herding dog that nips

Posted by dog-lover
Oct 5, 2007
I recently adopted an australian cattle / border collie mix that is 1 years old. She is a great dog and I couldnt be more happy with her. Our only real problem is that she nips at people when they run. I know that this is a natural herding instict for her, but never had a problem with my previous border collie. How is the best way to deal with this issue?
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Oct 16, 2007
Hi Dog Lover. I have 2 border collie mixes and both of them run along the fence as they bark when there are joggers going on the bike path. Since they are inside the fence they don't nip but they might if they were actually in the bike path outside the fence.

Where is your dog when she nips? If it is inside an off-leash park or something, you might want to train her to come when you see someone running. You might want to praise and give treat to your dog when she comes to you. This way, you can gradually teach her to come when called as well as stop chasing running people. One of my dogs gets nervous when she sees someone starts running, or moving quickly in the park and she runs to that person and barks at him (but never nips). That's why I always recall her when I see someone doing that kind of movement to distract her. I do the same thing in our back yard. They are good at responding to my recalls since I give them treats.

I hope your dog will stop chasing, thus stop nipping.

Good luck!!
Posted by dog-lover
Oct 22, 2007
She tends to nip when my children are outside running and rough housing with each other. She also nipped or tried to while kids were running on a dock and making noise. Luckily, I intervened before she could nip anyone. I now believe there is a correlation between the kids making noise and her excitement level increasing. Just the other day I jogged with her on a leash with no problem. I now think she is fine and its the kids that need training.
Posted by Annie
Oct 22, 2007
hi there,
I had a similar problem that seems to be fixed now. Firstly, I did a lot of work getting my dog to stay and just watch when the kids are playing fast, and now I am able to just call her over to me, or even just say OFF and she knows not to join in....big success for us It really didn´t work her being locked in the house watching as she just got more excited. I needed to stay with her giving treats. This was not easy and took along time ( about 6 months and she was then one and a half...)
The other rule I had was that the kids NEVER play rough with her ( that includes my husband , and if at any stage she joins in, they must STOP play immediately until she is calm.This includes neighbour kids visiting, letting themselves in the gate and running to join in( or sometimes running away scared from her). They must walk or be met at the gate. Unfortunately she can never play soccor with them, or wrestling, but until I she that she can control herself I must ALways supervise .....As she gets older she can now join in some lively games, but I need to be always watching and assisting her to know when to back off.
We now have a very sweet dog who does not get too excited when the kids play, and more importantly kids who are trained to treat her with respect. Of course, I can´t control kids in the big bad world, but she now understands and will look at me questioningly and I have the time to tell her to backoff or stay with me.
Good luck
Annie and Joey