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Hello-

My fiancee and I recently adopted a border collie named Opie who is now 4 months old. At first he was the cutest little thing who loved to cuddle and play, but after a couple weeks he realized he loved to bite. Now, I get that all puppies do that and we have done lots of reading about how to correct that behavior. Well the positive of this is my fiancee did a wonderful job of getting him to stop biting, on the negative is that he still bites me every chance he gets!

I say the same commends as Josh (fiancee) does, and I have tried it all! Holding his muzzle, giving him a toy, yelping... Josh can tell him no and he will stop and replace it with licks, but when I do it he will just growl at me. At this point I don't believe it's playing, I believe he is being mean to me based on the growling and his upper lip. I'm not sure what to do at this point and would love more ideas.

I'm starting to get frustrated, and of course I don't want to take it out on the puppy, because he is just a baby, but I take it out on Josh because it's frustrated to see Opie biting me and then going over and licking Josh.

Help please, I would love suggestions!
 

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In this situation i see the puppy is respecting Josh more. Like you said
Well the positive of this is my fiancee did a wonderful job of getting him to stop biting, on the negative is that he still bites me every chance he gets! I say the same commends as Josh (fiancee) does, and I have tried it all!
Your puppy sees your fiancee as the alpha male, he respects and listens.

Keep doing what your doing but make sure you energy isn't too high. Dogs are really good at reading it and will definitely take advantage when they can. Also when your pup is biting tell him "no" and ignore him until he settles down and then you pick the time when you can play. Just make sure you are in control and not the pup. Like i said dogs are really good at taking advantage of us.

I hope this helps :)
 

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If the correct training methods were used the puppy would learn not to bite people in general instead of not biting just one particular person. Dogs don't "respect". They either do something because they enjoy doing it or because they fear punishment for doing otherwise. "Alpha male" is an entirely outdated term as of at least a decade ago. In the real world the "alpha" animals are simply the parents of the other animals in the group, not a dominant animal that gets what they want through force.

Dogs also don't take advantage or seek a higher place in the "hierarchy". Puppies will TEST what they can and cannot get away with, but dogs simply don't have the mental capacity to think in the complex way required for intentionally taking advantage of a person or situation.

The previous advice is bound to cause you trouble. Both of you should look at force-free, positive reinforcement training. There are tons of good resources, posted here as well as all over the place online. To me, it just sounds like Josh is intimidating the puppy into fearing him and the licking is appeasement saying "please don't hurt me". Kikopup on YouTube is a wonderful resource and has some great free videos on how to train puppies.
 

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While this is a pretty simple problem to fix (lots of great suggestions above) I really recommend speaking with a trainer and signing up for a puppy class. Border Collies are not an easy breed, in fact they are actually one of the hardest breeds. A lot of experienced owners can run into issues with a BC puppy. So you're going to want to get someone very knowledgeable on your side. Lots of exercise.
 
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In this situation i see the puppy is respecting Josh more. Like you said Your puppy sees your fiancee as the alpha male, he respects and listens.

Keep doing what your doing but make sure you energy isn't too high. Dogs are really good at reading it and will definitely take advantage when they can. Also when your pup is biting tell him "no" and ignore him until he settles down and then you pick the time when you can play. Just make sure you are in control and not the pup. Like i said dogs are really good at taking advantage of us.

I hope this helps :)
No. Dominance in dogs isn't a thing.

I suggest going to Dog Star Daily and downloading the free puppy raising guides. Lots of great information there.
 

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No. Dominance in dogs isn't a thing.
I would like to believe this. But we all know dogs descended from wolves. Wolves work in a pack. They have the Alpha Male and the Alpha Female, then the rest of the dogs submit down and are "Followers". The alpha male leads the pack when it comes to getting food, the rest follows, they respect the head of the pack.

When a dog comes into our house you are now considered a pack. You need to be in charge or you have no order. You are a family but the dog needs to respects you.

The licking you see from the puppy is the dog submitting to Josh.

Its like a mom and dad with a kid, your kid is 2-4 years old, you are out in public and you tell you kid to sit down the chair, but they have never heard that before or don't listen because you don't enforce it and they don't respect you. Its just like a dog, your dog has to respect you or its going to run all over you.
 

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I would like to believe this. But we all know dogs descended from wolves. Wolves work in a pack. They have the Alpha Male and the Alpha Female, then the rest of the dogs submit down and are "Followers". The alpha male leads the pack when it comes to getting food, the rest follows, they respect the head of the pack.

When a dog comes into our house you are now considered a pack. You need to be in charge or you have no order. You are a family but the dog needs to respects you.

The licking you see from the puppy is the dog submitting to Josh.

Its like a mom and dad with a kid, your kid is 2-4 years old, you are out in public and you tell you kid to sit down the chair, but they have never heard that before or don't listen because you don't enforce it and they don't respect you. Its just like a dog, your dog has to respect you or its going to run all over you.
Have you even read any scientific, behavioral studies on wolves since 1999? All of this stuff you're saying has been outdated and scientifically disproven, time and time again, through behavioral studies since at LEAST the late 90s (actual article published below the quotes, for educational purposes of anyone who wishes to read).

The licking from the puppy is a "submissive" behavior, but not one in the sense that people commonly think of. In wild wolves and your average puppy, it's a behavior of greeting, excitement, or simply encouraging the parent figure to regurgitate food.

Labeling a high-ranking wolf alpha emphasizes its rank in a dominance hierarchy. However, in natural wolf packs, the alpha male or female are merely the breeding animals, the parents of the pack, and dominance contests with other wolves are rare, if they exist at all. During my 13 summers observing the Ellesmere Island pack, I saw none. Thus, calling a wolf an alpha is usually no more appropriate than referring to a human parent or a doe deer as an alpha. Any parent is dominant to its young offspring, so "alpha" adds no information. Why not refer to an alpha female as the female parent, the breeding female, the matriarch, or simply the mother? Such a designation emphasizes not the animal's dominant status, which is trivial information, but its role as pack progenitor, which is critical information.
The point here is not so much the terminology but what the terminology falsely implies: a rigid, force-based dominance hierarchy.
The typical wolf pack, then, should be viewed as a family with the adult parents guiding the activities of the group and sharing group leadership in a division-of-labor system in which the female predominates primarily in such activities as pup care and defense and the male primarily during foraging and food-provisioning and the travels associated with them.
from "Alpha Status, Dominance, and Division of Labor in Wolf Packs" by David L. Mech in 1999.
 

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Have you even read any scientific, behavioral studies on wolves since 1999? All of this stuff you're saying has been outdated and scientifically disproven, time and time again, through behavioral studies since at LEAST the late 90s (actual article published below the quotes, for educational purposes of anyone who wishes to read).

The licking from the puppy is a "submissive" behavior, but not one in the sense that people commonly think of. In wild wolves and your average puppy, it's a behavior of greeting, excitement, or simply encouraging the parent figure to regurgitate food.







from "Alpha Status, Dominance, and Division of Labor in Wolf Packs" by David L. Mech in 1999.
Plus--dogs are not descendants of wolves, they split off from a common ancestor. Just like how humans didn't evolve from chimps, we split off from a now extinct ape species.

I hope this picture makes sense. There's a more simple and to the point version somewhere, but I can't find it right now.

 

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Not a believer in macroevolution, but that is a whole separate can of worms that isn't relevant.

Point still remains that regardless of whether domestic dogs came from grey wolves, a different sibspecies, or just dropped into existence (yeah right), dominance isn't a thing.
 

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So if I understand what you folks are saying here, most of the dog training pre 1990's is wrong? I'm a new member here, but a long time dog lover and owner. And from my own experiences, I do believe the pack mentality is correct.
I've also lived long enough to know that "science" is constantly redeveloping and recreating itself. So I honestly don't know about this one.
 
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