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Border Collies

I got a BC-mix from the pound when he was a year old, and he was a great dog in most ways. But he would snap at people (including myself) when he felt uncomfortable. For example, if you woke him up by petting him, he would bite at your hand; it was like you had to give him a minute to "get his bearings". Or sometimes if you tried to get him to go somewhere (it didn't matter where) and he didn't think he wanted to go he would lean up against a wall or corner, bare his teeth, and bite at you if you reached for him... things like that. I ended up giving him up because I couldn't trust him with a child in the house, but I was wondering if anyone else ever had issues like that, and if so, weather it was a trait of the breed or just his possible previous upbringing. (all they could tell me when I got him was that a woman had brought him in as a puppy and that he had been in the pound for 6 months)

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Asked by esr at 1:50 AM on Dec. 10, 2008 in Pets

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Answers (9)
  • I think it was the way he was brought up. I had a Collie and he was such a big baby. He even got threatened by my cat when she cornered him after having kittens. He was terrified. He was the most loving dog and never, ever no matter what kid pulled his hair or hit him showed any kind of danger toward them. He just liked to be pet and loved on.

    Answer by TiffanyLove18 at 1:57 AM on Dec. 10, 2008

  • AWW the poor thing! Sounds like he's been traumatized! Sorry you had to get rid of him, but wow you can't have a dog like that around kids. I don't know too much about b/cs but I do know that they're considered one of the smartest breeds. I could never own a dog that would snap at kids, either. That is why I have two purebred collies. They may shed like crazy, but they are the sweetest dogs around little ones! My Teddy is CRAZY about babies!! Sunlight loves little ones and loves to play in the yard with them , too.I have seen them yank her ears, fall on Teddy when he was on the ground(he just grunted and didn't even move,) pull his tail and give him all kinds of guff. Collies have the patience of saints. These were raised with my kids(two were babies when we got them) and they have been through the mill.

    Answer by Aprilmorgans at 2:07 AM on Dec. 10, 2008

  • I have a Border Collie and if I try to move her when she's laying on me she growls and snaps. I worry because I have a baby due next month, and have been trying to train her not to get so anxious.

    Answer by beforeyoureyes at 2:45 AM on Dec. 10, 2008

  • Border Collies are super high energy dogs who NEVER get the excercise they need if they are not "working"....While they are fantastic around kids and great protectors they are not a great dog if they are just to sit around the house or in a back yard. They need to be worked in some capacity and they have to get a ton of DAILY...excercise...
    I love border collies and just had my old lady dog Daezee who was a BC/Aussie Shep mix to sleep this last summer....she was a grand and regal gal...

    Answer by mamakirs at 8:59 AM on Dec. 10, 2008

  • BC's are not for people who can not exercise them daily. They are extreme high energy. I have had several and they tend to be timid except with the cattle and horses. My current BC is great with kids if they are playing. I think the nipping and such is more a problem of the dog's past than the breed. I can't say enough about Cesar Millan's methods in dealing with dogs. It has made a huge difference with mine. I would encourage you to check out his books, his site, and any dvds you can get your hands on to watch.
    BC's really should not be looked on as family pets unless you have a job for them to do whether that is cattle, agility, a very active lifestyle that you take the dog, or some other form of activity. They are NOT lay around the house sort of dogs.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:32 AM on Dec. 10, 2008

  • i got a border collie mix from pound as well. when we got him i thought wow what a great smart dog but when the baby got bigger and he was asleep she climbed on him he snapped. he knew commands and had his teeth shaved down and totally loved your attention. he did have lots of energy and could run in the back yard for hours even after we played fetch and threw the frisbee. which he totally loved. he barked all day and had a grave yard worker so i had to get rid of him. i think it really well could of been the breed. the rescue lady said it wasn't that he didn't like the baby but his instincts but that he would probably never really bite the baby. it could be the past with your dog. maybe with jack too. you never really know. i don't think it's the breed. especially with mixes cause they are mixed and you loose the breed traits when mixed. so you get no bad traits.

    Answer by melody77 at 8:32 PM on Dec. 10, 2008

  • border collies and herding type dogs tend to snap more it is how they often move the stuburn sheep and cattle.

    Answer by babyspots17 at 11:50 PM on Dec. 10, 2008

  • You do not "loose the traits" with a mixed breed--they just get toned down. We had a aussie/heeler mix. She would sleep with her head across our daughter's neck when our daughter was younger. We got the dog when our dd was 5. They became the best of friend's the day our dd got out of the car from school and a school paper blew away from her. That pup chased it and brought it back--the deal was sealed. The dog was extremely protective of our daughter and her room. She was fine with other members of the family but we all knew who her "charge" was. The dog did follow my MIL in the house one day nipping at her heels--that was funny--not to the MIL. This "mixed breed" showed a lot of the heeler side. If I had her today, which I wish I did, I wouldn't let her get away with some of the stuff she did (I have learned a lot since then) but you still get characteristics of the mixed breeds.


    Answer by Anonymous at 12:00 AM on Dec. 11, 2008

  • If you went to enter the room while dd was in bed with the dog across her neck, she would growl. But she never bit our daughter and we never feared she would. Today, no, I wouldn't let a dog get away with that--but at the time we knew it was the protective heeler coming out. The dog would back off when we used a stern voice:-) She was an awesome dog and loved to work cattle.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:02 AM on Dec. 11, 2008

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