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Thread: Very aggressive puppy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014

    Default Very aggressive puppy

    Hi everyone!
    We adopted out border collie pup (now 9 months old) at 6 months of age.
    She came to us as most collie rescues do, highly strung,, in need of direction and needing a leader.
    She's done brilliantly and is a great little dog most of the time.

    When she came to us I noticed that she had some serious food aggression towards our other dog (8 yr old jackx) so I have fed them in separate spaces since then.
    It became apparent that she also has attention aggression, so we have been dealing with that aswell, the problem is, she's starting to attack my older dog more frequently and more aggressively. It's at the point now where she will literally pick her up like a toy and shake her around, loud noises doesn't stop her and neither does the hose, I know you shouldn't do it, but I literally have to grab her collar and yank her off poor Chloe and hold her until she comes back to earth.

    I just don't know what to do, she is generally a great dog, but I can't have this kind of behaviour happening, especially if one of the kids were accidentally to get in the firing line.

    Any advice will be great

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Rural Western Australia


    I would start crate training her. I would not tolerate that towards another dog and you must not let it escalate. Does she get plenty of exercise and training? I would think that you may have to start some serious obedience training and perhaps even keep her on a lead initially. You need to stop her dead before she attacks the other dog. Can you recognise the pre attack signs. I would be fairly strict in her management and make it known that the behaviour wont be tolerated. Crates are a great place to teach a dog to settle and relax and also for keeping the other dog safe. You could benefit from 2 crates.

    I would say this is going to take some time and effort and there may never be a full resolution, and ongoing management may be required. I have in my time come across some quite aggressive Border collies due often to poor breeding made worse by poor management. It may require the help of a professional. Does the rescue you got her from offer support? The one I got my dog from actually has classes and aprofessional dog trainer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Geelong, Vic


    you need to separate the dogs permanently until you get proper professional help, and frankly if that dog came from a proper rescue they should throw in to help.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    melbourne australia


    This sounds very distressing for all of you that have to live with this thug of a dog.
    I would purchase a crate also. Safety first. Prevent any further attacks by managing the behaviour, ie crate or leashed.

    Training 2nd.
    with some professional help if you can afford it. Or return dog to rescue.

    Seriously, there are thousands and thousands of non dog/dog aggressive dogs in pounds waiting for your love, and a dog sibling to play with.
    I would pull the plug on this pup. The death shake sounds awful for your other dog to experience.

    Unless of course, this dog is not exercised physically and mentally. If this is the case, return the dog anyhow. Its still not the right home.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Some dogs think that the old weak dog must die.

    And they will take that job for themselves if you give them any opportunity.

    So like Nekhbet said - you are going to need to keep these dogs separately.

    Personally - I would never adopt an aggressive dog from rescue or the pound - there are way too many friendly ones that need homes. And owning a friendly dog - for me - pays off every day.

    The collar grab - can be a dangerous thing to do in a dog fight.
    Leerburg | How to Break Up a Dog Fight Without Getting Hurt!

    Best to grab the attacking dog by the hind legs up high if you can - and lift the back legs off the ground and walk backwards. And then there is no way I'd be releasing the attacking dog "once it had come back to earth". It would be going into the crate.

    I don't think I'd want to keep a dog like that. But if I and a professional trainer thought there was any hope - the most important thing I would do is make sure the dog never had any opportunity to attack again. Part of changing a behaviour is preventing it - and then training a substitute behaviour that makes doing the undesired behaviour at the same time - impossible. Eg a dog can't jump on you if it has to sit. I would be teaching this BC - all sorts of food trading games - so it doesn't feel it has to fight for its food or resources.

    And I would ditch any Cesar Milan type techniques - no yelling - no alpha rolls. If you punish a dog for this - even tho it's terrible - the dog may blame the other dog for the punishment ie assume all the pain and discomfort is caused by the other dog and double its efforts to get rid of the other dog.

    Keep them separate. Prevent all opportunity for fights. If there is an accident - separate immediately and put the aggressor in isolation - gently and without talking to it - no scolding - no attention.

    You might want to look at LAT or BAT training - but I think this is too serious for trying to solve the problem from a book or internet.

    Keep the dogs separate all the time. The life of the JRT depends on it.

    And I'd be sending the BC back to the "rescue" who never should have let you home the BC in the first place.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011


    No experience with such serious aggression, but the advice to seek professional help and/or ask the rescue for help sounds wise. It depends on the rescue how useful the latter might be though. Some rescue people don't know that much about how to deal with such issues and may not at all have access to a professional trainer.

    It sounds very upsetting. A good behavioural trainer will be able to assess the situation and tell you what your options are. Make sure you go to one that comes recommended by a reliable source though. There are people here who know trainers in most states, so if you let us know where you are, they may be able to give you some suggestions.

  7. #7


    you could take him up to the vets...and ask for help!
    Do not dwell in the past

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