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#1 of 25 Old 08-02-2010, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am trying to keep my border collie.

With that said I need help for her behavior. She has become more and more aggressive with my other dog and cat. She fence fights my neighbor dog. Attacks any stranger that comes in the home.

She just growled at me and acted like she was going to attack me. I have two little kids which she is great with ....but I am aftraid it is a matter of time since she just growled at me.

I want to keep her for the fact that she might get put down due to her behavior.

Are there any homeopathic, herbal, or other remedies to bring her down a notch? I just sprayed the air around her with an essential oil mist hoping to chill her out. It didnt work, she was still eyeing my other dog and myself, so she is having some time to herself in the garage right now.

We love her very much and enjoy the good times with her.

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#2 of 25 Old 08-02-2010, 06:38 PM
 
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You need to get a behaviorist involved and a complete check by her vet.

No meds, herbal, homeopathic, or conventional are going to fix this. Once a behaviorist is involved and can figure out the root cause, then some my be used to help while you work on modifying her behaviors.

Go to http://www.apdt.com/petowners/ts/default.aspx and search for certified trainers in your area...though a true behaviorist would be better most likely.

How much exercise is she getting a day?

Why did she growl at you? How did you react?

What kind of training has she had?

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#3 of 25 Old 08-02-2010, 07:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for a fast reply!

The situation today: our other dog was outside going potty when the neighbor dog started barking at her. Our problem dog was inside with me and started going nuts, yipping like she was in pain to go outside so she could protect our other dog/bark. I told her no, stood strong between her and the door, she looked at me crazy and started growling like a snake, and her body changed to the way she acts when she is about to attack our other dog.

She attacks our other dog when food is involved, or when she is jealous of us petting her.

She doesn't get walked daily. I did just walk her to help her, it helped. The fact is we have two little kids and they are the priority.

We have also gone through job loss, new jobs, and relocation/moving, new baby in the past year. Lots of changes.

She had a vet checkup a couple weeks ago. Healthy, just has behavior problems.

Thanks for the help.

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#4 of 25 Old 08-02-2010, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I also try to think of Ceaser and relax my body, I try to send her calm energy...I reacted with strong words, trying to get her to sit and lay down. She wouldn't. Then I moved away from and asked her to come. She just quietly growled on and off and laid down. Very odd behavior, she knows commands, she was showing me that she was in control.

She went to puppy class as a puppy, did great.
Then bad behavior started happening, we took her to another class a year or so later. The directer pulled us aside and made it sound like there was no hope for her. I cried, it was so upsetting.

We have contacted the rescue group we got her from Midamerica bordercollie rescue. Hopefully they know of someone in this area, bloomington, indiana, who can help us.

Thanks again.

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#5 of 25 Old 08-02-2010, 07:17 PM
 
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Well, first off....border collies need a ridiculous amount of exercise. A walk a day in nowhere near enough for them and she is not even getting that. I dont say this to be harsh, but she is not going to get better if you dont figure out a way to meet her needs.

BCs need a JOB! they are very smart and active and need to get that out. She needs to walk or even run/jog miles a day, and play fetch, and have training sessions.

Google NILIF. You could start with that, but honestly, it sounds as if she is to the point of needing professional help.

Nicole - )0( unschooling mama to Lilahblahblah.gif (12/21/05) and Cianwild.gif (9/21/07) as well as 3 dog2.gif 2 cat.gif,  4 rats, chicken3.gif and ducks
 
 

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#6 of 25 Old 08-02-2010, 07:20 PM
 
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and also...I dont think she was showing you "she was in control"

She was amped up and in a rage or tizzy of sorts. Kind of like when a toddler tantrums because they are over tired, or been cooped up too long. Its not showing they can win....its they are often past the point of hearing.

Nicole - )0( unschooling mama to Lilahblahblah.gif (12/21/05) and Cianwild.gif (9/21/07) as well as 3 dog2.gif 2 cat.gif,  4 rats, chicken3.gif and ducks
 
 

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#7 of 25 Old 08-02-2010, 10:18 PM
 
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I completely agree with GreenMagick on everything, but especially the exercise. Like it or not, you have a working breed and she may simply need it to stay sane. One of our dogs is pretty high energy and will really start acting up if the weather has been poor or she hasn't had enough play time for other reasons. Even so, I know that a BC is way above the amount of time and stimulation I could provide.

Some things that have helped us in terms of exercise is, obviously, walks. But even more so walks in areas that she's not used to and has interesting smells - somehow that seems to tire their brain out more. Also games of fetch are great - if she'll chase a tennis ball or a frisbee (we use a canvas one cause it's easier on her teeth), or even squeaky toys. During bad weather or allergy season we also play a lot of fetch down a carpeted hallway. I'd also find her "stuff" to do - picking things up for you, carrying items you ask for, finding things by name. Our dog carries recycling items to the bin for example.

Also, re: vet check, I'd be doing some more extensive testing. I'm thinking specifically about thyroid issues which sometimes manifest in aggression problems. I don't believe these are part of regular blood work unless you specifically ask for it, at least not the full panel.
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#8 of 25 Old 08-03-2010, 08:57 AM
 
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We have a border collie and he needs a ton of exercise to be really happy! He's sweet anyway but if he doesn't get his walks, he gets depressed and just lays around.
We take him for a few miles twice a day usually and a great way to get him tired out is throwing a ball, in the yard or even in the house. Up and down the steps is a favorite. My DD now watches me and says "don't throw it high, Mommy, you are going to break something", lol
If we can, we take him up to the baseball field near us to throw for him.

Deb, Mom to Madeleine 8/2005 and Maia 11/2009 Nick: and Chris
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#9 of 25 Old 08-03-2010, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I found a behavorist in my area and talked to her last night.

My husband and I were talking, is it worth the $ to have her help us? or do we know what we need to do...walk the dog, distract the dog, give the dog a job, put the dog on a schedule.

We are on a small budget so I can stay home.

Do you think she will tell me something I don't already know?

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#10 of 25 Old 08-03-2010, 09:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamatoPeach View Post
I found a behavorist in my area and talked to her last night.

My husband and I were talking, is it worth the $ to have her help us? or do we know what we need to do...walk the dog, distract the dog, give the dog a job, put the dog on a schedule.

We are on a small budget so I can stay home.

Do you think she will tell me something I don't already know?
Behaviorists are expensive, but totally worth it. I have an Australian Shepherd, and even at 8 yo he still needs a ridiculous amount of exercise. BUT, if he doesn't get it he is not aggressive. He's not himself and he used to be destructive, but not aggressive. Especially with children, I would not take any chances and would work with the behaviorist. We did this with our other dog and it really helped us understand him and why he behaved the way he did.

Mama to DS1 (2/08) and DS2 (9/10).
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#11 of 25 Old 08-03-2010, 12:02 PM
 
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I would say you need a behaviorist.

You are past the they have to much energy and are into they are actually acting out stage. So there are some behaviors that are natural to your dog now that need to be modified and worked out as well as her just needing way more stimulation and exercise.

Another thing I find VERY helpful to help wear dogs out is clicker training. THe dog really has to think and problem solve...which helps wear them out mentally. That is often overlooked IMO. You can run a dog til they pass out, but they still need that mental stimulation. Play hide and seek, get some food puzzles, possibly do some agility..etc

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#12 of 25 Old 08-03-2010, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just rememberd that my newphew will be staying with us during his last year at IU. Moving in soon.

So, we will go with the behaviorist. Our dog will feel very aggressive with him, Im not sure how to introduce the two.

Thank you for your advice. I think it is worth the money....at least i hope so.

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#13 of 25 Old 08-03-2010, 03:11 PM
 
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I think that it's always beneficial to get some good/experienced eyes to look at the situation. Often people on the outside have a completely different perspective and can give you a lot of helpful ideas.
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#14 of 25 Old 08-03-2010, 06:00 PM
 
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My parents have a 1 yo border collie, he *needs* at least 4 hours a day of work to be remotely sane. Anything less means he starts chewing things. He has never been aggressive.

I second the NILIF and clicker ideas, and I also suggest that, in addition to the behaviorist, you look into starting to do some agility training with him- it will demand more mental 'work' from him, and paired with the physical challenge could be a good outlet.
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#15 of 25 Old 08-03-2010, 10:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would love to try agility, but we have always been nervous to have her around other people, kids, and pets.

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#16 of 25 Old 08-03-2010, 11:38 PM
 
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Once you start gettting her behavior under control, it may still be something you can do...will totally depend on whats causing her issues

Also, you can do a lot of DIY agility at home

Nicole - )0( unschooling mama to Lilahblahblah.gif (12/21/05) and Cianwild.gif (9/21/07) as well as 3 dog2.gif 2 cat.gif,  4 rats, chicken3.gif and ducks
 
 

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#17 of 25 Old 08-07-2010, 02:38 PM
 
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Does she know you are Alpha?

It sounds to me that this acting out is showing she's having needs not met... just like our kids do the same.

While I totally agree that kids are the priority, things are going to be happier if she gets some more priority too. So either having her run along when you're riding a bike, bringing her on a really long walk, swimming...walking and then playing fetch... she's needing more exercise.

Who is Alpha within the dogs? Who came first to your house? Have you looked into any of those boredom buster toys/games for the pup?

Welcome to the Real World she said to me, condescendingly, take a seat. Take your life; plot it out in black and white.
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#18 of 25 Old 08-07-2010, 03:13 PM
 
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I'd do a few appointments with the behaviorist and then take it into my own hands again, using the advice of the behaviorist. I have a BC mix and he NEEDS so much exercise its ridiculous. His everyday routine is: running up and down a long flight of stairs for 15 minutes (a game for him and easy work for me), a 2 mile walk (daily, in the evenings, is his routine walk), about 15-30 min of fetching a toy or ball, and several tiny sessions in the house of playing random games with him, usually "find it" or "catch the snack/toy/ball", etc are good.

(long) Here's a breakdown of my dog's aggression progression - He was fine with other dogs, we actually had another dog for a year that lived with him until she died of old age... and then he's been the only dog for about a year since... he got on with our other dog fine but that dog was a labrador, about twice our BC's size, she told him a few times but things never escalated to a fight. Since she passed on, he's been the only dog, & he has escalated in aggression and now cannot even pass another dog on the street w/o growling and acting like he would def. attack if not on a leash... to the point of me being afraid to take him anywhere that an off-lead dog may be. A few times while walking my dog (on leash) I have had to put my dog in the back of someone's pick up truck or over someone else's fence or other desperate measures to avoid a bloody fight, while yelling for an off-leash dog's owner to come get their dog, who may be super "friendly" but now, my dog will bite it anyway, or try to fight with it, etc. I'm also now looking for a good behaviorist. He's already bitten me once, by accident, b'c he was being attacked by a large, off-leash dog and I reached in the middle - pretty dumb to do but I didn't know at that point that he would bite me. Just writing all of this to tell you to yes, get the behaviorist now b'c your dog may very well end up biting a human, I can't imagine putting a kid thru what I went thru having that dog bite, getting infected, etc, was NOT fun & pretty painful & shocking to be honest... I was on antibiotics for several weeks b'c the bite got infected and I have scars. I wish I'd gotten a behaviorist earlier but he went from being ok with other dogs to biting within a few weeks. Good luck with your dog, hope you get her chilled out soon. BC's are fantastically smart and their energy is lovely, IF they have a good outlet. If not, they just go insane. Unfortunately, I have heard of other BC owners that they do have a tendency to flip out and become aggressive, unexplainably. For ours, it seems like now its a learned behavior to get defensive and go into fight mode... hopefully a behaviorist can help him reverse that mentality...we'll see. I'll come back and post out experience with a behaviorist... hopefully you will too!

"When the external begins to define the internal, instead of the internal defining the external, one begins living as a mortal rather than as a universal being." ~ unknown
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#19 of 25 Old 09-01-2010, 11:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We met with the behavorist a few weeks ago. I arrived at her house and the minute our dog(zaela) got out of the car, she was intense and aggressive towards the lady. I was told to give her treats continuely until she sat and stopped barking at her. It took almost the whole hour. If they lady made any moves or looked at Zaela, it would start again.

The behavorist talked to me about using treats and training zaela to focus on me. I have worked with Zaela everyday, taking her on 1 walk each day where I can have her sit while keeping her eyes focused on mine. I have also made more time for her to play fetch in our yard, and tried to keep her on a scheldule.

She is a different dog. Its amazing

My newphew moved in for his last year of college this week. I used the treats and kept zaela focused on me during the first meet and greet. After about 15 mintues, zaela was off leash walking around calm. Did the same with his girlfriend and things are great.

We also took our dog on a family trip this past weekend. We were at a park and two off leash dogs ran up on her....she did well...even with the owner. No aggressive fights. Just some loud barking.

I am so glad I called the behavorist. We are so happy we can keep our dog. I am hoping to get her into agility with the behavorist sometime.

Thanks for your advice!!

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#20 of 25 Old 09-02-2010, 12:28 AM
 
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Yay for the happy update!!!!!

So glad you are working with her. BIG kudos to you for sticking by her and giving her the time and help she needs

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#21 of 25 Old 09-02-2010, 07:36 AM
 
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Wow. that's great!
I would love to know how you do that with the treats/focusing. Like I said about my border collie, he's great and I love him but he does have issues listening to me when we are out walking and someone approaches us. I think he feels he has to defend me. Plus he goes nuts with other dogs.

Did this focusing on you help him to listen to you in that kind of situation? You had him sit and gave him treats The whole time. Was the treat given every time he would get up or something and then you had him focus-treat?

You don't have to do the treats when you are out on a walk, doyou?

TIA for advice

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#22 of 25 Old 09-02-2010, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Our dog is very food driven. She loves to eat. Is your border collie?

This is how the behavorist told me to do it.

1. If the dog is going crazy. Just keep giving her treats, one at a time, very small pieces, until she stops. The mind/body cannot be aggressive and eat at the same time. Eating turns off the fight/flight system.

2. Have dog sit on your left side. Say "look or watch", wait for dog to look you in the eye. Then say 'yes' immediately to praise the eye contact. Pause, then give treat. The pause will teach the dog that yes is the reward, treat is the bonus. This way if you are out without a treat, 'yes' will work too. For me the pause before treating was the trick.

Good luck!

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#23 of 25 Old 09-02-2010, 09:58 AM
 
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Great update! I was wondering if maybe your nephew would have some time to exercise the dog? Since you're busy trying to take care of two little ones, it seems it could help the situation. I hope your success continues!
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#24 of 25 Old 09-02-2010, 11:22 AM
 
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What a great update. And it sounds like all your effort is paying off. Bravo!
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#25 of 25 Old 09-09-2010, 09:54 AM
 
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Lovely update!!!
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