Biting Collie - Recent Newsletter

Posted by Emma-Crabtree
Aug 12, 2011
I was really interested to read about Finn, the biting Border Collie and the gentle immersion that his owners went through to get him to calm down.

Did the owners use situations with strangers i.e. were out for a walk, Finn went to nip, or did they enlist friends who were unknown to Finn?

I want to use these techniques for Teddy as his reaction to unknown people on walks is becoming more aggressive and embarrassing. Only yesterday he ran up to and started barking, going in at the ankles to a runner we met in the woods. Commands go unheeded and I have to 'grrr' at him and increase my pace so that he is 'shooed off'. I must remember the rattle I have made with a water bottle, pegs & pebbles!

My problem, I guess, is that Teddy is very well behaved on walks when he is on the leash and can be very well behaved when there aren't other distractions around. His recall can, on occasion, be 100%!! Would a training lead be useful, do you think, so that he has a certain amount of freedom but I can wind him in if needed?

Posted by KOPCaroline
Aug 14, 2011
Hey Emma,

I think either way - strangers or willing friends- to help train work well. I've heard success stories for both. Its whatever you are more comfortable with to start out.

Using your friends to help expose Teddy to new things at first can be an easier way of handling it, and then you can "step up" to exposing him to situations with strangers.

As far as a training lead, again, I've heard good and bad. Its my personal view that a normal lead is better - the point of a lead is to regain close control of your dog. That being said, I have numerous friends who use extendable leads to train, and they have huge success with it. Its a bit tricky to use the retraction as a punishment - this can sometimes lead to anxiety about being put on lead, so I would advise against reigning Teddy in and telling him "no", etc when he misbehaves. Instead, use the extension to give him a bit of freedom, and anticipate his behaviour, looking for his triggers, etc, and stopping his ability to go further as he begins to look like he will get upset. Then call him back to you, praising him when he does, and go from them. Don't force him to come back to you with the lead.

Hope this helps - other members will hopefully give you their opinions!