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Thread: 2.5 yr Border collie suddenly growling at other dogs

  1. #1

    Default 2.5 yr Border collie suddenly growling at other dogs

    I have a 2.5 desexed make border collie. I have had him since 10 weeks old. Have done basic, intermediate, advanced training and agility. He gets love of love, attention (inside outside dog) and exercise both mental and physical. We walk 2klm to the beach 3 to 4 times a week where he is very owner/ ball focused but also very social friendly. He has always been a little anxious when dogs come up and bark at him in play or big dogs ie Great Danes but never really barked or growled I would just keep moving him thru the situation as I could see he was not comfortable. The last 2 weeks I've noticed he will sniff/great dogs like normal but if the dog then initiates play or chase he will growl and move towards it as if to move them on. He has never growled or barked at a little dog or puppy which he did today. Any ideas why this behaviour may be occurring? He can chase a ball etc at a million miles per hour and seems his normal self at home.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Bunbury
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    As the owner of a 2 and a half year old female border collie I wonder if they go through a stage? She is also getting spooked by strange things and I have taken to refreshing her recall when we are out with some treats, getting a little rebellious. Also fine at home, they are a funny breed, this is my first. Gorgeous and temperamentally sensitive I find.

  3. #3
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    Aug 2011
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    Canberra
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    I can't know why he's doing it, but maybe it's just that he's maturing. I've learnt that you can't make a dog like other dogs. If he's only growling and barking, it's OK. But I'd just call him and move on when that happens.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2009
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    Adelaide
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    At about 2 or 2.5 - my dog grew out of being a puppy and into being an adult - and she began marking a lot, and she also began laying down the rules for other dogs. Before that - she would grovel for every dog she met. A lot of people mistook this for timid - except she'd cross the park to grovel for a deerhound so - definitely not fear based.

    More recently - she got quite reactive and would forcefully scold any dog that barged straight up into her face. So I've been working on protecting her from dogs like this, and giving her other jobs to do that distract her from the rude dog. Doesn't always work - because rude dogs can be quite persistent especially as I carry treats. But it's better than her sending them off with a hard nip (makes them yelp) before they get up to us.

    I'd much prefer to let her sort things out but she's not always gentle and other owners don't understand that their dog is being rude by barging up in the face of owner and doggy go away language.

    Border Collies often become complete dog snobs and will only play with other border collies and sometimes not even those. Any other dog that does not have super refined dog communication and respect - will be ignored or sent packing (scolded). And border collies remember every bad experience they've ever had and blame all dogs that look like the bad dog...

    This article explains it fairly well.
    Why Does My Herding Dog Seem to Hate Labs?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Bunbury
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    Oh my, how true. I think the mystery of the errant border collies is solved. Become adults and lose what tolerance they had. Maggie was such a friendly pup, now she is only friendly to bipeds and ignores 90% of the dogs we come across.

  6. #6

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    This all makes much sense. Thank you all for your comments much appreciated.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Bunbury
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    Maggie got pounded on by a dog that lives nearby today at our local park. The other dog ( twice the size, Mags is 14kgs) belted over and it was on. Was a bit worried until I saw the other one had a velcro muzzle on.
    So sad, she isn't a bad dog just unsocialised and poorly trained. Pretty sure the muzzle is the result of other dogs getting the same treatment and owners complaining.
    Maggie held her own and can't have been really trying as there were no yelps and she has really sharp teeth. Definitely maturity there, as 6 months ago she would have shrieked and tried to run home.

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