Border Collie puppy being very aggressive

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Border Collie puppy being very aggressive

This is a discussion on Border Collie puppy being very aggressive within the New Additions forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Just joined the forums to ask for some advice! So at 10 weeks old I adopted a female border collie pup, had her a little ...

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Old 07-01-2018, 11:27 PM
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Border Collie puppy being very aggressive

Just joined the forums to ask for some advice!

So at 10 weeks old I adopted a female border collie pup, had her a little over a week now, I love her but there's this really bad behavior that I feel like I'm not approaching correctly.

What she'll do after the typical "herding via biting the knees" which in her defense, is an instinct (advice on fixing that a bit?) she'll crouch like a cat and then growl, bark, pounce, jump and aggressive not stop bite us all over. I know this is her way of playing but this way really needs to stop, because it makes getting near her really hard knowing the risk of her getting a bit too energic on the nipping. It even makes training her in other ways harder, I managed to get her to learn sit via a clicker + treats, but anything else she takes as jump and bite.

I've tried the loud "yip" to make her think we're one of her brothers, but she just goes right back to being rough. I've tried a suggestion I read here saying no loud and gently holding her face so that she knows the bite is what I'm saying no to. I've tried putting her in a time-out crate whenever she gets out of hand but alas, a repeated cycle when she comes out. Whenever she does get out of hand we pretty much resort to distracting her with a toy (only chew toys and teething toys, no ropes, we try to play with a ball but she gets bored half way to chasing it)

Any advice would help, I understand the nature of border collies and did tons of research before selecting the breed, but the puppy stuff is where I'm either doing something wrong, not finding a working method, or maybe just not giving it enough time. I'm not that experienced personally with puppies, I've had borders before but at mature ages.

Last edited by SaltwaterandCollies; 07-01-2018 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:13 AM
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Sounds like an over zealous puppy. I don't have many suggestions as I haven't had a puppy in some time but I imagine @Aspen726 and @Shandula may be able to help as they both currently have BC puppies
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:24 AM
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I feel your pain, my ankles had scars when our dog was a puppy and I referred to him as the Crocodile. It will end but boy is it tiring. My suggestions are to get frozen treats , several plastic toys and soft toys from an op shop so you can keep them interested, wear thick jeans and maybe gloves when you can, watch for tiredness because they get worse when tired and catch them doing the right thing as often as you can with a high value treat.

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Old 07-09-2018, 09:16 AM
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What you describe is not aggression at all. It's very typical puppy behavior. When I took my (now 14 week old) BC home, I had to walk her with a tug because she was CONSTANTLY tugging on my pant leg. Every time she would pull my pants, I'd redirect with a tug. What do you plan to do with this puppy? Agility? Flyball? Herding?

Puppies have very short attention spans so don't expect too much. I "train" my puppy about 5 times everyday for 20-60 seconds (depending on what we're working on). Keep it fun and keep your expectations low.

As far as making the pup think you're a littermate... have you ever watched a puppy with its litter? They are ruthless! Especially BC litters! I recently had the awesome opportunity to help care for a BC litter and they are constantly jumping on each other and biting one another... tugging on the tails of other puppies... etc. Even if I could convince my puppy that I was her littermate, it wouldn't make any sense to do so.

Lastly, do not use her crate as punishment. Her crate should be a happy place where she can decompress and rest. My puppy happily goes in her crate several times throughout the day to rest.
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:20 AM
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Sorry @SaltwaterandCollies - I was on vacation!

My biggest tip would be keep them with their litter until 10 weeks I saw a huge difference in my current puppy's bite inhibition.

But, since that ship has sailed here are my two cents.

Your puppy isn't herding you, she's being a bratty, overstimulated puppy. In my experience the WORST puppies for biting and mouthing incessantly are Labs, which don't have a herding bone in their bodies. :P

When she's in her little teeth tornado, redirect to a toy. And play with her with it. If she bites you again, unceremoniously pick her up, and plop her in her crate/ex-pen with something for her to chew on. 9 times out of 10, over-stimulated puppies need to nap, and chewing on something tends to help them release some energy and fall asleep.

Please do not grab her face. Not only is it not teaching her what you'd rather she do, it can come across as rather aggressive to your puppy who is trying to learn about what is safe and what isn't. As you know, Border Collies are quite soft, so we need to be careful about how we train them.

Good luck with your puppy, and we love pictures!
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:49 AM
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Yep going through the "piranha" stage too. I always have a toy and redirect it is getting better. I am working on "break" with my puppy right now. She is only 9 weeks so I keep the sessions very, very short. When she gets overtired she goes in her pen because that is when she is at her bitie-ess!
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