I'd be interested in hearing what you all think about the behavior of this particular ACD,Biscuit.
She belongs to my nephew and his wife and we were
over there yesterday picking up a boat trailer.
Biscuit is @ 8 years old and lives with a Lab,another ACD,and a Catahoula,all males.
She exhibits some odd behaviors that are contradictory in my experiences. She is at times, the definate
female in the house and all the boys tiptoe around her when she reminds them she's top dog,but she
also has virutally none of the attitude when it
comes to letting the Lab consistently steal her
toys from her that she's just retrieved.
The same goes for her food.
That's oddity #1.
Oddity #2 is,even though she's more than
willing to show submissive rolling over for
pets and bellyrubs to me,she also gets up
as I'm (or anyone else,for that matter)
passes her up in the house on their way to
another room,with a lunge forward and an intended
nip that stops short of contact. She's pretty
consistent in this behavior and has even done it
to my nephew's wife,so I can rule out the fact
that I,in particular,walk fast and that's what
she was responding to.
I understand the nipping/herding behavior of an ACD, but I'm puzzled by the way in which she exhibits it.

I thought it would be interesting to hear some speculation from you folks as to what's possibly going on in her mind. To add a bit more information,I've been told she's always been nippy with children and in the past,has been an outstanding working dog with cattle.
That's about all I know about her.
That,and the fact that there's something about her , special,that I really,really like more than any other ACD I've ever been around.
But,her behavior does puzzle me.
Speculations? Ideas?
Terri
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She exhibits some odd behaviors that are contradictory in my experiences. She is at times, the definate female in the ... Lab consistently steal her toys from her that she's just retrieved. The same goes for her food. That's oddity #1.

Can't speak to the nipping, but what you're describing above is pretty normal for an aging *** that's transitioning from Absolute Monarch to Figurehead Ruler.

Melinda Shore - Software longa, hardware brevis - (Email Removed)

Of the $65 million given out for Bush's "faith-based" charities, not one penny has gone directly to Jewish or Muslim groups
but she
also has virutally none of the attitude when it comes ... retrieved. The same goes for her food. That's oddity #1.

Can't speak to the nipping, but what you're describing above is pretty normal for an aging *** that's transitioning from Absolute Monarch to Figurehead Ruler.

Ah,this makes sense.My personal experience with aging bitches first hand is only with one dog,Darcy.
And she never,ever let the boys take things from her. Taffy is not quite on the same level of Absolute
ruler as Darcy was. Or Biscuit,for that matter.
Thanks.
Terri
comes to letting the Lab consistently steal her toys from her that she's just retrieved. The same goes for her food. That's oddity #1.

Has she always done this, or is it new behavior? The reason I ask is that Khan allows some other dogs to do the same thing. The only dog I've known him to not do this is Pan. Some dogs are just not a threat, I guess. If this is new for her, then there's probably some sort of transition going on, like Melinda suggested.
Suja
She exhibits some odd behaviors that are contradictory in my experiences. She is at times, the definate female in the ... Lab consistently steal her toys from her that she's just retrieved. The same goes for her food. That's oddity #1.

Hi, Terri...
I usually just lurk these days, but as a long-time ACD owner, maybe I can help.
ACDs are quite unusual dogs (as I'm sure you've noticed). They set their own rules and live by them. Females, by most accounts, are supreme rulers of the roost and will decide everything from who takes what position in the pack order to who gets to play and when. My current ACD female is truly the "fun police." She's very serious and rarely engages in play with my other three dogs (a male ACD, a female pit bull and a male Basset hound). She usually lets them play as much as they want, but sometimes she just gets it in her head that "That's enough!" and she goes in to "break it up." She usually does this by cutting out the pit bull, who is frequently the object of a chase game, with the two boys in hot pursuit.
Regarding your friend's dog, it seems that she favors the Lab, for whatever reason, and that the toys and food simply aren't that important to her. Believe me, if she really wanted them, she'd guard them ferociously. ACDs will pick favorites in both their human pack and their dog pack - my bet is that the Lab is her favorite.
Oddity #2 is,even though she's more than willing to show submissive rolling over for pets and bellyrubs to me,she also ... to. I understand the nipping/herding behavior of an ACD, but I'm puzzled by the way in which she exhibits it.

It seems to me that she has appointed herself as the gatekeeper. It would be helpful to know if there were other dogs or people in the room when the "straying" person walked past her. If so, she may have decided that things are "right" when the group is all together in one area. If one member of the group tries to leave the rest, it's her job to try to keep the pack together - at least in her own mind.
I thought it would be interesting to hear some speculation from you folks as to what's possibly going on in her mind.

Cowdogs, more than any other breed I've owned, seem to take their own view of what is right and wrong, normal and abnormal, and have a sense of what ought to be. Then they enforce it, and they're difficult to dissuade from this activity. That's why I don't think ACDs are suitable for most owners. The truly successful cowdog owner understands this about them and admires this quality - then works with it, rather than trying to bring the dog into submission. They are a challenge!
To add a bit more information,I've been told she's always been nippy with children

Doesn't surprise me - children are unruly, loud, fast, and often unpredictable. They don't follow the "rules" according to the ACD, and the cowdog cuts little slack with these "inferior" beings.
and in the past,has been an outstanding working dog with cattle.

Doesn't surprise me, either, for reasons stated above.
That's about all I know about her. That,and the fact that there's something about her , special,that I really,really like more than any other ACD I've ever been around.

A lot of ACDs these days are being bred with softer temperaments. When you find one with that kind of attitude, you're finding the true nature of what I believe is the ideal in the breed, and that is being lost in many cases as breeders attempt to make them more suitable for pet homes or showing. This girl sounds to me like a real working-type dog. It takes a special kind of person to admire that... LOL
But,her behavior does puzzle me. Speculations? Ideas?

The first thing to do is to try to figure out what her view of a "correct" environment is. If she's calm and happy, this is her idea of how things should be. If she's bossy and nippy, things are "out of order" and her job is to set them "right." I think they consider themselves as lords of their universe and have no problem accepting responsibility for maintaining order in it. They're really fascinating dogs, and once you figure out what they consider right and wrong, their behavior is quite predictable. Figuring out why they consider something right or wrong is a much tougher task. I think often the answer is just "because."
Does this help?
Tracy
comes to letting the Lab consistently steal her toys from her that she's just retrieved. The same goes for her food. That's oddity #1.

Has she always done this, or is it new behavior?

I'm not entirely sure how long she's been doing this. I've only known her about 6-7 months but my inlaws say she at times has nipped others.But,I've no idea how long ago this was. (Trying to gather useful information from my in-laws at times can be a painful and slow process. There are usually two conversations going on at once ,sometimes on different subjects,with us trying to listen to both. We end up moving our heads back and forth between the two and only getting every other sentence.They are both loud and during these episodes get even louder,to drown the other one out. These are wonderfully nice people,but quite frankly,they exhaust me.

I wish my nephew or his wife had been there because I may have gotten the answers to my questions in a succinct,timely and quiet manner.)
The reason I ask is
that Khan allows some other dogs to do the same thing. The only dog I've known him to not do ... I guess. If this is new for her, then there's probably some sort of transition going on, like Melinda suggested.

I think this is the case,too.
Corey,the lab she allows to take her toys,is the top male in the pack. (There are other dynamics going on with Corey and Wrangler,the Catahoula, but that's another story entirely that involves serious fights between those two.)
I'm not around these dogs much and have to rely upon my own rare observations and the convoluted stories of my in-laws,and the clear observations and experiences of people here. )
Terri
Hi, Terri... I usually just lurk these days, but as a long-time ACD owner, maybe I can help.I was wondering ... helpful to know if there were other dogs or people in the room when the "straying" person walked past her.

Yes.We were all in the house at that time. Everyone else was sitting at the kitchen table and I had gotten up to walk towards the back of the house,which meant walking past Biscuit. The other dogs were all behind me,lolling about the ac vents.So,I was the only one who had left the arena and was not in her place.
If so, she may have decided
that things are "right" when the group is all together in one area. If one member of the group tries ... she was acting on pure instinct alone. I was having problems putting my finger on what that instinct might be.

I thought it would be interesting to hear some speculation from you folks as to what's possibly going on in her mind.

Cowdogs, more than any other breed I've owned, seem to take their own view of what is right and wrong, ... this quality - then works with it, rather than trying to bring the dog into submission. They are a challenge!

My feelings about ACDs as well.I like them and wouldn't mind having one,but I still would never recommend them to most people. More so than other breed, I find them unsuitable to the average dog owner.

I truly do like it.She's very interesting to observe and trying to figure out what she's thinking is very fun for me. The last dog that I had that came close to this "hardness" was my former German Shepherd girl,Darcy.Darcy was a challenge,too, but not nearly as complex as this ACD girl.Or it could just be because I understand Shepherds much more than ACDs,(but I really don't think that's it.)Biscuit is very different. I think I really am observing an ACD in about as much as it's pure form as it was intended to be.There is a male ACD,Buddy, who hangs out there that belongs to my BIL,but Buddy is nothing like Biscuit. He's much more relaxed and has a much softer temperment.
Biscuit belongs to my nephew and his wife who are extremely active in the rodeo circuit,which brings them into contact with a lot of RL herding and working dogs,which is where I think they may have gotten Biscuit.
If she's calm and happy, this is her idea of
how things should be. If she's bossy and nippy, things are "out of order" and her job is to set ... wrong is a much tougher task. I think often the answer is just "because." Does this help?Enormously! Thanks so much.

Terri
Oh yeah,lest I forget and you call me a big meany pants and yell at me again,I'm officially notifying you right now that at 7:30am mountain time,my grand-daughter's host will be given a shot to induce labor to bring forth the fruit of her looms.

Hehehe!
Let the countdown begin!
Terri
Oh yeah,lest I forget and you call me a big meany pants and yell at me again,

MOI? Yell? How very un-ladylike. You wouldn't be accusing me of being un-ladylike, would you?
I'm officially notifying you right now that at 7:30am
mountain time,my grand-daughter's host will be given a shot to induce labor to bring forth the fruit of her looms.

Grand daughter likes her current home just fine, huh? Maybe she's been watching too much CNN.
Hope everything goes smoothly with the delivery. When do you suppose you'll be posting pictures?
Suja
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