Help my BC puppy bite my older golden retriever neck

Discussion in 'Puppies' started by sweetcanela, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. sweetcanela Experienced Member

    My 4 month male border collie bite my 2 year old female on the neck. It has gotten bad enough that we have had to shave her 3 different time due to hot spot. Every time we throw a ball, or my golden runs out of the water or just simply iis walking, my bc run and bite her neck. She doesn't put him in his place because she can with stand alot. The problem now is that she can't do anything with out him chasing her and biting her. He does not do this with any other dog male or female, Only with my Golden retriever. I try to use a vibrate collar and he just ignores it. He know HEY mean back off but he ignores me every time now. I let them run free when we go hiking and he still does it, i don't know how to get him to stop. Thanks in advance.

  2. sarhaspups New Member

    Hi Sweetcanela,
    I would keep your BC pup on a long line and don't allow the bahavior. BC's can become very compulsive very quickly and this sounds like that could be the case , whatever it is , he is being self rewarded. Keeping him on a leash will keep him under your control and I would also suggest interacting with him, play with him, tug with him, instead of him interacting with the Golden all the time or under his free will. I would also keep them seperated at home, keep the puppy in an xpen for a few months, in the same room your in and when you want to play with him, keep it one on one time , only allow him to play with the Golden on your terms, if he starts going for the neck, take him away and put him in the xpen. Build a strong bond with him and you be the center of his world, not the Golden? Hope that helps?

    Sarha
  3. sweetcanela Experienced Member

    Thank you so much for the advice sarhaspups. When we are at home he never does that. Only when we go walking and he is excited he will aim for the neck or if she coming from fetching a ball from the lake he wait for her and then bite her neck. I will try what you told me. Thanks again
  4. montsterdog Well-Known Member

    Sarhaspups advice was great. I would also use the long line. You could also try running between your dogs just when the border collie is about to go for the Golden's neck and then praise immediately if he (border collie) backs off. I'd still keep working on your "Hey" or "leave it" commands too. :dogsmile:
  5. sweetcanela Experienced Member

    Here we have another problem....he becoming agressive to other dogs. Today a friend came with her dog(male husky) and i had him on a leash so they could do their sniffing and getting to know each other and he just went nuts and almost bite him, but i corrected him with a hey and just back off and i praise and he then did it again. He starting to do that lots now and i don't understand why if he always go for walks and see other dogs and nothing happens. Just lately he seem he wants to control and dominant every dog and bite. Is this typical for 4 month border collie pup?
  6. sarhaspups New Member

    I would say , no that is not a typical thing for a 4 month old pup (BC or not). He could just be a little dominate though, there is always a more dominate in a litter. I would use hey or leave it. I use hey and I say it in a very low growl tone to get his attention. My BC pup is very compulsive about herding my sisters dog, he does not do this with any other dog but her dog, at the dog park. I think that your pup is doing the same thing that i have experienced with my sisters dog and it is b/c he is being self rewarded by doing this behavior (mostly b/c of herding instincts) and it is becoming habit /compulsion for him.
    Again, if he is being dominate with dogs put him on a short leash, when he is behaving let him have a little more line but the minute he goes to bite, say HEY (stay standing straight up and be as solid as you can and don't touch your dog) make him come to you ( if you use a clicker, click/treat for him looking at you when you say HEY and ask him to come to you, praise praise praise good behavior heavily) and keep him close to you until he calms down.
    What kind of things do you do with your dogs? Is he getting enough excersise? What kind of training have you done with him so far? He is very young and you can turn his dominates around quickly and easily at this young age with just a little persistance. Are you going to puppy classes? Interaction with other puppies might be good for him?
    Good luck and let me know if you have more questions. Keep us posted on your progress.
  7. montsterdog Well-Known Member

    Your puppy might act that way also if he is fearful. He might be going through a fear period. I would take a break for a while from other dogs and then let him play off leash with dogs that are non-threatening and friendly. Some border collies can have "space issues" and do not like other dogs being too pushy.

    I think a puppy class would be great for you. Usually they have puppy play time where the puppies are allowed to romp around with other puppies in controlled environment. That might help to boost his confidence if he is being fearful. You might be also able to find a puppy play group in your area.
  8. leema New Member

    I don't find it very likely that a 4 month old puppy is exhibiting dominance. I believe he is more likely biting out of fear or biting out of 'fun'/instinct (to herd).

    If you are worried about this behaviour, I would suggest getting a behaviourist. Without seeing the behaviour, individuals on here (including me!) will only be making blind guesses. It is good that you are concerned, have identified this as a problem, and want to work to fix it. But without seeing it I don't think there is much we can suggest.
  9. sarhaspups New Member

    I don't doubt that it can be dominance, I've seen dominance in very young dogs and it starts from being with the littermates, they too just as all dogs, determane who is the leader. I wouldnt discount that it could be dominance and I would go find a behaviorist also. It could be a fear period also , like montsterdogs suggested and if that is the case I would take it easy as you don't want to push him too hard while going through a fear period. Definately seek help, as Leema said, it is hard to determane a solution with something like this without seeing the behavior.
  10. CollieMan Experienced Member

    I'm very much with leema on this issue. He's a Border Collie for starters, and it is partly because of their natural tendencies towards nipping that they are used so successfully for herding sheep; they nip at the ankles of the sheep. When many Border Collies see moving objects (including children, cars, bikes, birds, bees, etc. etc. etc.), they naturally want to nip at it.

    Despite the breed traits, I think you have to play the numbers a little here and ask which is the more likely. Is it that your four month old puppy is 'dominant' and feels it needs to prove this to any dog it is around, or, is it that your puppy is only four months of age and is not yet fully able to control its emotions and behaviour.

    Without a shadow of a doubt, my money would be on the latter. If your dog, and other dogs, aren't responding to your pup's biting, I think it's likely because they see it completely different to how you see it. You may see it as aggression, but chances are that they see it for what it is - puppy over-exuberance.

    I think it could be counter-productive to believe you have a dominant dog. Doing so may mean that you are inclined to behave and react completely differently to how you may need to be doing. If you get it wrong with a Border Collie, you are going to have far more problems than you might have with many other breeds. Border Collies can be extremely sensitive, and you forget this at your peril. Discipline methods which might, for example, make a German Shepherd Dog look at you funny, can so easily make a BC run for cover, and it can take days for the dog even to come near you again, let alone want to train with you. Just don't risk it unless you are 100% certain, would be my advice.

    All that said, you can't allow the nipping to go on unchecked. If you do then you effectively teach the puppy that it's fine, and it will continue to get worse, in terms of the severity of the nip, and what it nips. There are several things that you could try, but because of the sensitivities of the breed, and the age of your pup, I'm reluctant to suggest any. I think you do need a qualified behaviourist (or someone who has plenty of experience with Border Collies) to come along and show you how to deal with the problem, based upon your own pup's personality.

    On a final note, don't be in a hurry to get your dogs mixing with every other dog it sees. At that age, I was very strict in that the only dogs my pup ever mixed with was other dogs in the training class, which I knew was controlled. Yes, you want your pup to mix with other dogs, but you also want those encounters to be positive ones. Negative encounters now may cost you dearly in pup's later life. As a trainer friend of mine once said to me: "All I see most people doing when mixing their pups with other dogs is teaching their dogs how to become better fighters."
  11. l_l_a New Member

    sweetcanela how about meeting the other dog when they are separated by a see-through fence or gate and see how your dog reacts then?

    Without seeing the behavior it's too hard to know what's going on. as others have said already, it could be herdng behavior, or "happy" excitement and over arousal but of the play kind, or it could be fear aggression.


    Or it could start out as the former but, depending on how you and your friend react, turn into the latter. For example when our foster dog was brought to us she was very fear aggressive upon first meeting my dog in the park. But they have since become buddies for the most part (except that I have learned, she is a very dominant dog and they have gotten into some nasty squabbles over resources). And, when I took her to our trainer for an aggression evaluation, she did fine with the trainer's Rottie, up to a certain point when she tried the dominance thing and was being pretty persistent about it. And, in the park she does fine with other dogs. So why the fear aggression toward my dog on their first meeting? It had to do with stress and the way we handled their meeting, I have a pretty good idea what we did wrong but given the circumstances we couldn't really have done any different because it was not ideal circumstances at all as it was a last minute arrangement (as it can often be when rescuing dogs!)

    I'm just saying, you need an experienced person to see it to be able to tell what's going on. Or maybe you can have someone video the meeting and post it here and maybe we'll have a better idea?

    Does your dog growl first before biting? If it is fear aggression, dogs will usually growl or snarl with ears back, sometimes giving a sideways look, or curl a lip or give off other avoidance signals before biting, that is unless they were punished for this and are thus simply suppressing their warning signs and going straight for the bite....

    If it is play biting, or herding behavior, there won't be avoidance behavior leading up to it, the body language would be very different before and after the biting.

    if it is dominance, it will usually start with stiff posturing where the dog is standing tall with its body and tail stiff and ears forward and eyes staring directly at the other dog...then depending on how the other dog is behaving it could escalate into biting...these are very broad generalizations ...



    another problem is that on-leash meetings, especially if the owners tighten up the leashes because they are worried, can prevent dogs from giving off clear body language and lead each other to think the other is being threatening when actually they are not but by now the first dog is reacting to a perceived threat...
  12. sarhaspups New Member

    I think it could be counter-productive to believe you have a dominant dog. Doing so may mean that you are inclined to behave and react completely differently to how you may need to be doing. If you get it wrong with a Border Collie, you are going to have far more problems than you might have with many other breeds. Border Collies can be extremely sensitive, and you forget this at your peril. Discipline methods which might, for example, make a German Shepherd Dog look at you funny, can so easily make a BC run for cover, and it can take days for the dog even to come near you again, let alone want to train with you. Just don't risk it unless you are 100% certain, would be my advice.

    -Please dont' get me wrong, I'm not saying that she need to be dominate back to stop the pup, for heavens sake no, that isn't what I meant at all. There are many positive ways to deal with dominance issues. Most dogs have it in some form or another. Just watch dogs interact with one another, there is always dominance to some degree. How much varies but it's always there. I'm not saying her pup has dominance issues either, could be a number of reasons for this behavior but BC's are very smart and if handled correctly you can fix the problem. I would find a BC trainer and get advise from them.
    :dogwub:

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