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Thread: Border Collie. Obsessed.

  1. #1

    Default Border Collie. Obsessed.

    We have a 1yo border collie female.
    We have been able to teach her tricks and obedience very early on and she has also been around other dogs since she was a pup. She picks up things very easy and loves doing things to please us.
    The biggest problem we have is that she is obsessed with the tennis ball, which all border collies usually are, but the problem with this is, that when she's playing with the ball and another dog comes over to say hello, no matter how big or small, our pup will turn round, snarl and snap at this other dog and then refocus her attention on the ball.
    We can usually discipline her by sounding disappointed with her or telling her off and that works when she has chewed something or is being naughty, but no matter what we do, even if we take the ball away,nothing will stop her agressiveness.
    we are thinking about puppy pre-school but we are very pushed for time.
    Can any of you offer ideas which may work.

  2. #2


    the dog is obsessed because under the circumstances, its her way of expressing and releasing drive.

    What do you call a snap and snarl? She is basically guarding an object that has high value to her.
    How close do"s the other dog have to get? Tony

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    hi miss ella

    Most people I know who have dogs like this - do not allow them to have a tennis ball when there are other dogs around. A little bit tricky if some other dog has a tennis ball.

    So I guess what I'd try to do is that if I see another dog around - I'd take the tennis ball away and put it in a bag in your pocket where your dog cannot see or smell it (or the smell is reduced). If this is not enough to get your dog to be polite to other dogs that try to greet her, then I'd also put her on the lead. And if she does greet the dog politely then she could have the ball back (while still on lead). Hopefully she would learn that being nice to other dogs leads to good things like getting the ball back.

    My puppy dog likes to steal other dogs' tennis balls given the opportunity. She's extremely fond of the soft rubber balls that can be ripped into tiny pieces. I get them back from her by tossing a handful of bread pieces at her and saying "leave it". She puts the ball down to get the bread and I get the ball. Now she pretty much associates "leave it" with bread treats so it works most of the time whether I toss bread or not.

    However I have no solution for owners who promptly "return" the ball to Frosty puppy dog by throwing it at her or near her immediately after I give it back to them. She won't always leave it a second time. And I can't always be stuffed working hard to get a ball back when the owners don't seem to want to keep it.

    Another thought - you could try having lots of balls for your dog so she can't protect them all.

    Puppy pre-school is usually for dogs under 4 months of age, and at our dog club, puppy class is for puppies under 6 months of age - so your 1yo would be into the normal classes - which might help - ie you could give her something else to do besides "attack" like "sit-stay". Or you could try getting her into agility training (something else to be obsessive about but hard to be aggressive about), or into "flyball" dog sport Australian Flyball Association Website
    Would definitely have to learn to share in that sport.

    Hope some of that helps.
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 09-04-2009 at 02:01 PM. Reason: spellin misteaks only show up after you hit post

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009


    She is resource guarding

    Loathe as I am to use this link - the woman who runs the site is nutsybatbrains - there are some decent links about resource guarding here

    Behaviour - Counter Conditioning - Australian Canine Current Events

  5. #5



    Am loving that one Occy!

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