My 4 year old border collie - male and not desexed- nips about 1 in 50 or 100 people butis very friendly with everyone else. This is frustrating as I now warn people who want topat him,not to, just in case. can you help,please ?
Type of Animal: Border Collie
Pet's Gender: Male
Pet's Age: 4
Saying NO loudly, but it has no affect
Hi there,Thanks for your question regarding your 4 year old Collie boy who nips people every now and then! This is quite a worrying behavior as it sounds as though he is quite unpredictable. You have done exactly the right thing in being extra cautious with him around people now and you will need to continue to warn them not to pat him for quite a while yet. These behvaviors can be quite difficult to get control of due to the unpredictable nature of your boy, however hopefully with time you can get him under a little more control. First and foremost - I would recommend getting this boy neutered. This can help settle him down enough to make the training slightly easier at the least. I don't think neutering him will be the magical answer and solve the problem, but it will help. Because he is 4 now and the behavior has become engrained, it won't be a quick fix, but it will just lower his testosterone level and hopefully settle him a bit.When he does bark, growl or nip anyway - be they you, a family member or a random member of the public, you need to reprimand him more appropriately. Use a guttural growl of 'AARRRGHH' rather than 'No!' - this will be much more effective. You could also combine this with a loud clap of your hands or by shaking a plastic bottle filled with stones at him to startle him. Even more importantly here - you need to reward him for appropriate and good behaviors. This may be just sitting nicely to receive a treat to begin with leading up to sitting nicely to receive a treat from a stranger and perhaps in a few months leading up to receive a pat and then a treat from a stranger.Ultimately - you need to be very careful with this boy - if he bites someone badly enough, that could be the end! Continue to warn people until you feel absolutely 100% comfortable he would not nip. The only thing we have to consider here is a potential medical issue - so do get him fully checked over as well as having him neutered. I would also recommend getting him to agility or obedience training classes in order to get him even more training motivated and used to your guidance.Best of luck with this boy and continue to take it very carefully with him around strangers.Thanks and please now click accept.Kind Regards,Dr Edwards
Veterinarian - BVSc