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Hi guys! I have a 13y old shelter dog (probably border collie mix). Shes been with me 12 yrs already. Shes a very good, well trained dog but... She nipps at horses when i work with them on round pen, so when they run in a circle. Occasionally also if the horse moves his feet not the way she would like him to. When i go out on a stroll, she runs after me and minds her own business. My horse Kicked her twice already but she didnt really learn.. I obviously try to avoid taking her with me now.
Anyway, i have a son, hes 7mths now. She was all prepared for his arrival, she never acted aggressively towards little, running and yelling kids however she is not a kid lover i can say - so i keep her away not to stress her. Since my son was born she was shy but interested. As he was growing she started approaching him, whinning, trying to poke him with her leg sometimes, licking his hands when he crawls. I always keep an eye on those two, NEVER force the contact, feed my dog and pet her and play with her when i carry him so she assosiates the baby with goodies.
Today my husband was holding him so my son was touching the groound with his feet and pretending he is kicking a ball. I watched them and noticed, my dog's body language was same like with horses.. Tensed, ears forward, eyes open wide starring at the baby and she was trying to approach them to nipp i can tell. I prevented this from happening by calling her off however i got a bit stressed.
Can anyone has any idea of why this is happening and how to stop it?
Thanks a lot!
 

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This situation will only get worse as the baby becomes more active. My advice would be unless you can keep them apart totally, re-home the dog.
 

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This situation will only get worse as the baby becomes more active. My advice would be unless you can keep them apart totally, re-home the dog.

Unfortunately, I have to agree with this. You could find a behaviorist to try and fix the situation, but with young children, it's just not a risk you want to take. I went through the same thing and we had to rehome our 4yo golden retriever (he had resource guarding issues, even with training, it was too severe to risk having our kids bitten) because he did NOT want to be separated from us and was barking all day (and we lived in an apartment).
 

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Honestly, given the dog's age and how long you've had her, I wouldn't personally suggest rehoming her. This is the only home the dog knows, and there's not many homes out there looking for a 13 year old dog. You are aware enough to notice questionable body language, seem to have an understanding of working with animals and their behavior, and sound to have done some training in the past.

I would definitely 100% recommend keeping her and the baby separated. I agree that this kind of behavior is likely to get worse as the baby becomes more mobile. I'm not surprised to hear that she did not become less keen to herd horses even after being kicked. Good stock dogs aren't going to stop herding because they get kicked, or they'd be useless.

Get baby gates. Consider kennel training her, or giving her a room that is hers that she can be gated in when you can't supervise. Teaching her a strong "place"/go to bed behavior would also be a good idea. You might consider muzzle training her just in case.

Make sure your husband understands that the dog isn't going to make reasoned, moral choices around the baby. Make sure that anyone that ever watched the child in your house understands the same. The dog wants to control movement, and the baby moves in ways she isn't always going to approve of.
 

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I just adopted a 1.5 year old Border Collie about a week ago and I am having so many issues with him trying to nip at myself and my family. We're going to try taking him to some obedience training but are there any other suggestions on what I should do? I really don't want to take him back to the shelter but the barking and nipping (and he actually bit my sister without drawing blood once) doesn't stop I'll have to.
 

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I just adopted a 1.5 year old Border Collie about a week ago and I am having so many issues with him trying to nip at myself and my family. We're going to try taking him to some obedience training but are there any other suggestions on what I should do? I really don't want to take him back to the shelter but the barking and nipping (and he actually bit my sister without drawing blood once) doesn't stop I'll have to.

Depends on the nipping. Is it playful, or is it a warning? There's a huge difference, especially for herding dogs, whose instinct it is to nip to get attention.


Also, it takes a while for dogs to get used to a new home. We got our newfoundland at 13 months, and he barked a lot and was very wary of strangers when we got him... Now it's been 4 months and he's the best dog ever, loves our guests, almost never barks.
 

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Depends on the nipping. Is it playful, or is it a warning? There's a huge difference, especially for herding dogs, whose instinct it is to nip to get attention.


Also, it takes a while for dogs to get used to a new home. We got our newfoundland at 13 months, and he barked a lot and was very wary of strangers when we got him... Now it's been 4 months and he's the best dog ever, loves our guests, almost never barks.
I think he just doesn't like it when we tell him not to do things, almost like a child getting upset when they get in trouble. However he is somewhat aggressive around my dad. Maybe I'll just work on getting them to play together and have him give Tchai treats and stuff.
 
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