I Need An Outside View

Here is my situation..... I have an 18 month old BC female and an 18 month old little boy. Partners in crime and I have been so lucky with them both. My dog is called Emi and she used to help me around the house so she has been trained to do lots of different things, I noticed her getting a bit lonely so I thought I could bring in another border, I did. Milo is nearly 3 and a male which is equally as gorgeous and I suppose he is considered a rescue as so much came out of the woodwork about him. Recently Emi has been stealing my little boys toys and chewing them in the garden, walking right past me with them and chewing them, even taking bottles out with her! I have only just caught her as for the past 5 weeks of doing it I could never catch her in the act. So that's problem one. Problem two is she bullies milo off his toys, she can't seem to share me anymore and now she does this running nip at Milo's neck! When she was a pup I used the ouch method for the nipping which worked great but if I shout ouch I will scare milo off then I have to undo the whole lesson to coax milo out from a hiding spot. They are such great dogs in the house, they sleep together eat together, and are completely submissive around my little boy I'm just getting a bit frustrated at how I can tackle Emi without setting milo back? I think it's jealousy mostly but does anyone else have an idea of what I can do? I have already wasted so much time with behaviour specialists with milo that I feel I have been so let down by them. One didn't even own a dog and had no intention of owning one and the other just went on to brag about her own success instead of helping milo! Please help xx


Honored Member
Hi, first problem number one. When you can catch Emi 'in the act' (always difficult) remove your little boy's toy/bottle and immediately give Emi one of her toys and a treat. Don't scold her, reward the good - i.e. giving up the toy she shouldn't have and taking one of her own.

Do you use a clicker? If not, I strongly suggest getting one, cheapest training tool around and the most effective. Keep doing this, it may take a while as you're right she's a bit jealous, especially since Milo came into the picture.

Second problem. This ones definitely jealousy/ possessiveness, and a bit harder to correct. First, make even more fuss of Emi. She needs to know she's still your girl and very special to you.

With the nipping. As the 'ouch' doesn't work (please don't ever shout, not good for any dog, though I'm sure you don't really mean SHOUT), distract Emi with one of HER toys, use a treat too, ask for sit and treat. Again, ignore the unwanted behavior and reward the good behavior.

As they're fine in every other respect, it shouldn't take too long to remedy the issues which have arisen.

Try not to play with either dog a lot while the problems exists. I know this is VERY hard to do.

I gather Milo has had issues??? It may help us here to give you more advice if we knew a little more about his background.

Yes, there are some awful trainers around. If you can find a Positive Reinforcement Trainer - do check their classes out first - you will find that they will help, not just brag about their dogs. And will also own a dog or two or more themselves!


Honored Member
For Emi being Jealous make sure you still spend alone time with her. Maybe a walk, playtime, cuddle time or whatever to let her know she's still your girl, that you still love her.

You say Milo's toy's? I find it easier that the toys are for all the dogs. My two do not have any toys that are one or the others, they are for both of them. And when Emi takes a toy from Milo, remove the toy from her give her another toy and of course give Milo back the toy he was playing with. Eventually she will realize if she wants a toy she needs to get another one, that it isn't okay to take from Milo.
And remember the hardest part(well at least I think it is) patience.:)
Hi Southern girl, yes they have toys together sorry I didn't mean to sound like they have specific toys, when I say Milo's toy I mean the one he was playing with at that time, yes I have done the technique you suggested but then emi resorts to the nip in the neck. They seem much calmer this morning as I separated them off with puzzle toys. So maybe that's the solution? Sometimes I just wonder if she plain and simple doesn't like milo? They rough and tumble but they never take chunks out of eachother, milo has only really stood his ground once or twice which doesn't help emi bullying him.


Honored Member
So Emi does this nip to the neck only in response to specific triggers? Such as Milo has a toy and if Milo has a toy Emi automatically wants it?

I think as well as what Southerngirl suggests I would consider resorting to a time out. Simply remove the toy from Emi and then Emi from the situation for 30 seconds or so. I think it would come under the same kind of idea that "my dog is allowed to growl but not in my kitchen".

Catch Emi being good, if Milo has a toy and Emi doesn't take it make sure she knows you noticed and that you are really happy with her. When Milo has a toy use that as a sign to her that you are going to have some Emi-time with her. That way she will WANT Milo to have a toy because then she gets time with you. It doesn't have to be sophisticated or time consuming - just a treat, or a quick puzzle (hide a treat under a cushion) might well be enough. Zac hates it when I'm throwing a stick for Gus but I've been able to teach him that when I throw a stick for Gus he gets treats.

You could also look at Kikopup's video on training a positive interruptor.

Do definitely make sure you are getting one-to-one time with Emi. She sounds a bit insecure.
Yeah I am going to do that thank you for your advice. I am kicking myself now, I was advised by a behaviourist that when milo gets to my house to not do anything with him. He was a bit traumatised from his previous family so I was told for at least three months to leave him, don't walk him, don't train him don't do anything. Just feed him and give him a bed. SO GLAD I DIDNT COMLETELY LISTEN. I left him for three weeks to find himself safe little hiding spots in the house and to also get used to the rhythm of my house. Along with leaving him for three weeks I was also told to leave Emi. She has house chores like fetching the post, taking things off the tumble and dragging clothes to beside the laundry bin, she went three weeks without this routine. So I feel like I'm putting together two collies again instead of supposedly adjusting one. Me and Emi are best friends, I have never used clicker or shock collar training. I don't really want to. We have built a great relationship, and milo is just so greatful to be with us. Because of Milo's history he may never get to the standard of Emi but we now know that and are managing him, he has truly blossomed and I really think if he sees Emi being controlled by a shock collar it could put him back. I'm sorry to be controversial and if these techniques have worked for anybody else then great, they just make me uncomfortable, and I would rather not resort to it if there are still options to look at.
Ok thank you I'll watch that link :) I would love to do different things with milo hut on the advice of the professionals I have been told to be careful as anything could be too much for him?


Honored Member
Sorry if it was something I said that you thought meant use a shock collar. I really really did not mean that. When I say a time out I mean just to remove the dog from the situation, quietly, calmly, no shouting, no punishments (other than removing the dog from being where it wants to be if you count that as a punishment?). I don't think that physical corrections or verbal punishments have any place in dog training.

I'm not surprised Emi is fed up. What you were advised to do would make her bored and feel really unloved when she needed to be reassured that she is still special to you.

Great links from Southerngirl BTW. Do check out clicker training, I think you will love it.