Border Collie wants to herd me.

Posted by John-DuBose
Apr 18, 2011
I have a 10 month old Border collie/Black Lab that would rathewr play than eat. He ha enormous energy and would chase a frisbee 24/7 and everything is great until I want to stop. He will begin by nipping my pants leg and then jumping and biting my hands and arms. As he has matured his nipping has escalated to the point that he bruises and even breaks the skin. He has shown no other symptom of aggression and is totally devoted to me. I have tried to say "ouch" and turn and ignoere him but he just gets more excited and bites at my hands or arms to get me to play longer. I try to give him another object to bite on but he just continues to pull my hands and arms back to the play area. I try to get hold of his collar to control him but he has learned how to stay just out of my reach and nips at my hands. My patience wears thin and I get frustrated at not being able to control his excitement. I have tried the can with coins in it but it is not real effective outside in the grass.
I have read about the Border Collie trying to herd you and I wonder if this is an indication of that tendency.
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Apr 19, 2011
Hi John,

You really need to be firm and consistent, and never gives in. When you want to finish the session of either frisbee or fetch or tugging, make him sit using a treat (if a treat doesn't work, use the frisbee) and put him on a leash and walk back home or to the car. When you get home (or to the car) give him a super treat and praise him.

Instead of giving him a long session of play, give him a multiple short sessions a day so that he will know that another session is coming soon. Again, end the session when YOU want to. If he misbehaves put him on a time-out. By repeating this, he will learn that he can have fun only he behaves well.

By reading your post, I get a feeling that you are being manupilated by him. I am afraid you let him do this when he was still a puppy. Now that he is bigger and stronger he is out of control. His age also contributes to his misbehavior. He is a teenager after all

If he is a part border collie, try to challenge him with more mental stimulations, such as games and tricks. Work on getting his attention even when he is excited. For example, stop throwing a frisbee every now and then and give him a different command, such as "Stay" and you walk away and release him before you throw the frisbee for him again. One thing I do with my border collie who loves to fetch is to tell him to "Stay" when I throw a ball. After one second, I tell him "OK, go get the ball". It takes a lot of concentration and strong will of him not to chase the ball as it gets thrown. This is a good practice for him to control himself.

Anyway, I would recommend you work on his daily basic obedience in addition to his physical excercise. Setting clear rules and boundaries and stick to those always help him figure out what is allowed and what is not. Time-outs might be beneficial for him, as well as for you Good luck
Posted by John-DuBose
Apr 19, 2011
I thank you for the very helpful response. I know that I have to becme more firm and consistant. Your suggestions are very practicle and seem to be workable for me. I play frisbee and fetch with him free to run and that is part of the problem. He is young and agile and I am a 70+ guy that just cannot grab him when he gets into his hyper mode. In fact when I reach out to grab him he thinks "Game On". I will try to use a short lead that will help get him controlled. Thanks again!
John DuBose