I have had a border collie mix, (maybe Scotty like the breeder said but I don't see anything but border collie) since early November, he was born Sept3 so he's almost 6 mos. Anyway, he has been taking to training pretty wellso far, sit, stay, lie down, come, shake, housebroken, rings a bell to go out, and sleeps and rests in his cage. He has been very friendly with the adults we meet on walks so far and with my 8 year old daughter who feeds and plays with him. Today however, he started barking at the kids playing while we were walking past, and the mother of a 3 yr. old came out and asked if the child could pet him, I said he has been very good till now, but as the child got closer (she was crying to pet him when we first saw her and was still making a racket while reaching out) but my pup got very aggressive and the fur on his neck was standing up while he was barking and even tried nipping the girl.

He was fine with the mom, just sniffed her, but the way he acted with the child has me worried, any advise would be appreciated. I'm gonna get him neutered as soon as possible hoping this may calm him a bit.

Al
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I have one dog who is almost 10 years old. She is as calm as she can be in any situation..except kids. She freaks..
I have had her her whole life, I know for a fact that she's never had any encounters with kids to make her this way. It's just something about the way she is. I am careful to not make her feel uncomfortable with small children. (and I really believe that my dog appreciates me recognizing the fact that she IS uncomfortable around kids and it calms her a bit) Perry
Today however, he started barking at the kids playing while we were walking past, and the mother of a 3 ... (she was crying to pet him when we first saw her and was still making a racket while reaching out)

This is the exact point where you went wrong, Al. You should have politely told the woman that you didn't want her kid to scare your puppy (which is probably what happened), and that maybe you could introduce them to each other at some other time, when the toddler was older and wasn't "making a racket" and "reaching out."

You should only gradually introduce dogs to babies and toddlers, Al, just like you should only gradually introduce them to cars, stairs, strangers, etc., and as early as possible.
You sound like you might have dropped the ball on socializing your pup to all the sights, sounds, smells and goings-on of life, and you might experience some difficulty doing that at this point.

Additionally, your pup is a HERDing dog, and herding dogs HERD.

Sheep, cows, goats and even people, especially kids. So that probably accounted for all the barking, nipping, etc., when he saw a bunch of kids playing, shouting, etc.
He was probably trying to HERD them.
"Most border collies tend to view children as "two-legged sheep." A child running across the yard or out a door is seen as a sheep breaking away from the herd, and the dog will cut across the path of this child to stop him or her. If the frightened child tries to run away, the dog will bark, snarl and even nip at the child as it would at a stubborn sheep."
http://www.sunnews.com/news/pets/cc/pets011002.htm
but my pup got very aggressive and the fur on his neck was standing up while he was barking and even tried nipping the girl.

Put yourself in your dog's shoes, Al. There's this strange and scary little monster (or two-legged sheep) rushing at you, screaming and crying, reaching out for you, etc.
Wouldn't you want to bark (to scare him away) or even bite him, too?
I'm gonna get him neutered as soon as possible hoping this may calm him a bit.

Yup. That might help, too.
But what you need to do most is to get started on gradually socializing your pup to small children, toddlers, etc.(by re-associating them with "good stuff"), in the hope that the one bad experience he's already had (with scary little monsters) can eventually be countered by multiple pleasant ones. If you don't do this (or at least try to), your dog may never be okay around toddlers, children, etc. Yup, you're going to need some well-mannered children/toddlers to help you out (you can rent my grand kids for $20 per hour(each), and double overtime on weekends. Yes, they will accept peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches in lieu of cash, but the peanut-butter must be the crunchy kind).
Here's some sites that'll help get you started on that:

http://www.meritpuppy.com/advice/socialization.htm http://www.dog-training-behaviour.com/baby.html
http://siriusdog.com/dog new baby.htm
http://www.animalhealthchannel.com/newbaby/index.shtml http://www.amrottclub.org/baby.htm
http://www.petpeoplesplace.com/Care/Dogs/003/07.htm

You can find many other sites, too, just by Googling for them.

PS: Don't forget to teach any CHILDREN you know, too, how to behave correctly around dogs. And if they can't, or won't, keep your dog away from them, neighbor's kids or not. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Good luck!

Handsome Jack Morrison
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Thanks for the links and advice Jack, We have been socializing him as much as possible, he goes to friends houses who have other dogs, pet stores, and on our walks many times people have come over to pet him, I think as you said it was the screaming of kids and reaching out, it's the first nice day in months around here so the kids are just starting to come outside to play, last night I was thinking the same thing about getting the little girls older sister and brother to help get him used to the kids. And the herding issue is there also. Anyone had any luck with curbing that trait? Thanks again.
Al
I can't really add too much to Handsome Jack's advice, except for "what he said!", but here's some of my experience.
When my dog was a puppy (herding breed also) I made a point to do some of our obedience practice in a field near a playground. That way, Guinness got very used to listening and obeying commands with the screaming and running in the background.
When I had taught him a reliable cute trick, I started letting selected kids greet Guinness by having them make him do his trick (usually, "Bang, you're dead"). He was always much more willing to accept a pat after doing trick 'n treat. I never missed an opportunity to lecture on proper dog greeting techniques (always ask, let the dog smell your hand first, don't pat on top of the head, etc.).
Always be ready to step in and say "NO - my dog is feeling grumpy today, and you may not pet him". It's your job as owner and protector. Read your dog, and step in when you need to.
Oh, and herding breeds tend to respond really well to clicker training.

Good luck!
-Shannon and Guinness
And the herding issue is there also. Anyone had any luck with curbing that trait? Thanks again.

You got a herding dog. You got the genes that go with that. The trait is there and fixed! Training, reponding to you will help him to control his impulses, but you aren't going to change his hard wiring. Did you know what you were getting when you got him?
You can train him and you can protect him by supervising kids.
"Most border collies tend to view children as "two-legged sheep." A child running across the yard or out a door ... run away, the dog will bark, snarl and even nip at the child as it would at a stubborn sheep."

Yep. Although not all of them will do it, and not all of them will bark and nip- just as not all BCs find it necessary to do so with sheep. And some are gentler with toddlers- Morag will bark (without any attempt to nip) at older kids, teens, and college-age kids, but will simply block little'uns with her body. Then again, she's only half BC.
Tricia, yeah I knew he was a herder, no problem with that, I've told my daughter that's what he knows is his job, and she should play with him with that in mind. We are doing pretty well actually, he is very quick on picking up things we want him to do or not to do. Up till yesterday he was very good with others also, I should have said no to the lady and her child but he has been going up to strangers and licking their hands, letting them pet him and not jumping up. Like Jack said ,it must have been the little monster scaring him. Thanks for the advice.
Good ideas Shannon, Thanks I'll give it a try. I do like the Border Collie breed, my niece has had two and they are a lot of fun. And make me get my exercise if I want it or not!
Al
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