Dealing with biting Border Collies
Biting and mouthing is very common in Border Collies, especially when they are
playing. They should, however, be made to learn to inhibit their biting and normally this is learned from their
mother at a young age. These days, puppies are taken away from their parents and siblings at a young age, and they
may not necessarily would have learned to control themselves, and that is where humans have to intervene and
complete the training themselves.
A large proportion of Border Collies are given away to animal shelters, or just left in the streets
because they have bitten someone, more often that not, this has been a child. The herding instinct, if not
controlled, can be very strong and this is overwhelmingly incompatible with a household that contains children.
This is particularly the case when the owners and children have not been trained in dealing with the peculiarities
of the herding instinct.
Border Collies can make good family pets, but only for those dogs that do not have the intense
herding instincts and if the families are prepared to deal with the ramifications of this behavior. To a border
collie, a child running around outside may look like a sheep without wool. A child that is running across the
backyard or out of the front door is, to the dog, a sheep has decided to break from the rest of its flock. The
Border Collies natural instincts will then kick in and it will streak in front of the child to stop it making a run
for it! If a child is unprepared for this, the experience of a dog cutting him off and barking at him with
seemingly evil intentions, will be quite a traumatic event. A Childs normal reaction to this will to be frightened
and possibly let out a scream, running further to escape the dog.
While the dogs in your household are allowed to play while teething, it is up to you to teach him
or her what is acceptable and what is not. Most dogs and puppies are loving, sweet, adorable, affectionate and
wonderful 99% of the time. Only 1% of the time will something happen to result in your dog biting. Socializing your
dog will generally stop it barking. It will learn by the reaction of other animals that this is not an acceptable
move for the dog to make and it will calm him down. They will learn to inhibit the biting reaction.
There are other ways in which you can prevent a dog from biting and they are to make the dog wear
or muzzle or use a training stick, which will not scare, but just frighten the dog, just before it is obvious that
he may bite.
There is no way for you to prevent a dog from following his instincts, but there are ways in which
you can modify his behavior to make him fit in with today’s standards of dog-keeping. If you have the time and
patience to train him or her, you will not find you have a problem, left to his own devices, however, and it could
be potentially very destructive!
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