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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This weekend my boyfriend was in town and we went to his aunt's house for a party. He brought his dog, Angus, a neutering, ten year old border collie. Two dogs live there-Ozzy, a chow/border collie (assuming neutered) and Rainbow another border collie (spayed probably?).

Rainbow was NOT happy. Angus went in for a sniff, standard meet and greet, and she started barking, growling and showing teeth. Angus had no reaction, or it was subtle. As far as I could tell he just stood there as she "shouted"and then he walked away. I don't know if it is DA or what. I suspect it is rooted in fear though, because even though she would lunge at him/bark/snap, Rainbow was hunkered down and backing up.

I say undersocialized, because apparently standard procedure for things like this is "lure Rainbow into the closet/room with a treat and lock it". So she had no way of learning to interact properly.

Outside in the yard, she seemed more relaxed. She would kind of follow Angus and show interest, like she wanted to play but then she would got.back to the growl/bark routine. Unless I'm misinterpreting some sort of stalking behavior?

Ozzy for the.most part was ok with Angus, only barking in response to Rainbow making a fuss. However in the yard, in one instance Rainbow and Ozzy did gang up on Angus.

Two major things concern me the most though.

My boyfriend's eight year old cousin casually mentioning that "Rainbow tried to bite me today" obviously is not ok. They also have a six year old and kids in the ranges of four to ten visiting...and kids and dogs don't mix well at the best of times...

This seriously pissed me off when I heard about it (did not.witness it). My boyfriend put his.hand down to give Rainbow.the opportunity to sniff it and gets snapped at. (He said he wasn't even trying to reach out and pet her/invade her space). His uncle.laughed and said "get him" afterwards. That is NOT a joke.

To top it off, they are trying to pawn off Rainbow to my boyfriend and his family. Yeah right.

Bottom line is someone needs to work with her before she bites their kids or a stranger and is put down. Stop shutting her up... I would hate to live in fear (or general stress, whatever it may be).

I tried to stay out of the way. I did not want to get caught in the middle (literally) when it escalated. After several hours of harrassment Angus did bark back at her, as if to say, "quit it!"
 

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You are between a rock and a hard place there. If you say anything you will be thought of as an interfering busy body. If you do not say anything you will feel guilty when a child gets bitten.
I would say Rainbow's reaction was protective more than aggressive. This was her property and Angus was invading her space. The snap at the hand worries me and the owners attitude indicates a total lack of understanding or caring.
Maybe you need to discuss this with your boy friend but stress that if he talks to his uncle that it must come from him so you are left out of it. Perhaps uncle needs to get a good book on basic dog training for a present. Uh!Can he read?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ha! I think he can...

I really feel like if someone just worked with her it wouldn't be so bad. I mean she is only 2 or 3 and has a lot of life ahead of her.

Is there anything specific I could suggest to my boyfriend to tell his Uncle? (Do x when y happens, etc)

My boyfriend and his parents are in agreement that the issue is that they do nothing with Rainbow and then "whoa, she freaks out at anyone that comes near her!" We were discussing the situation in the car on the way home and we all think it is just a matter of time before a bite happens. :(

So at this point I guess I'm half venting more than anything guys.

Any more suggestions would be awesome :) Y'all always seem to know how to handle things.
 

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I agree with Nev Allen. You can't interfere, and have to advise your bf. However, his Uncle thinks it's normal or a joke for a dog to be fear aggressive. SO, I wouldn't feel too guilty... b/c you can't save every dog, unless the owner is receptive. If the Uncle is interested:

1. You can socialize Rainbow in the backyard with your dog, individually... not with Ozzy at the same time. (You can do Ozzy individually, also.)
2. Your bf can toss treats to Rainbow throughout the day, and it may reduce the snapping...
 

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Well, the "get him" response points toward the ultimate problem in Rainbow's behavior... her owner's attitude. There's not much that can be done unless the people she lives with are stable, and have an open mind and awareness to a dog's need of training for the wellbeing of the dog as well as the people surrounding it. Encouraging this behavior is, needless to say, TERRIBLE! Because the day a person or child gets bitten the dog is blamed, whilst the behavior was accepted before hand.

It would be good for this dog to be with a dog who knows bite inhibition... a confident dog, preferably. So perhaps socializing him is key. Also, you should not accept biting behavior. It should probably be met with your form of dissaproval and perhaps ignoring her for a while... Read up on it. There are multiple training techniques, and perhaps checking out some Youtube tutorials may be a brilliant idea to see what techniques suit you.
 
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