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Please help!! Resource guarding border collie

(9 Posts)
inmyshoos Wed 03-Dec-14 10:43:11

I have a 1 year old male collie currently intact.
I also have a neutered 8 yr old labxpoodle.

Both rescue dogs. Labx we have had for 4 years and collie since he was around 14 weeks.

Collie on arrival was a little manic around food. Unhaled his food and would barge into labx bowl ignoring all signs ftom labx that this was not on. Fed them seperately since and now i know if they are fed in same room collie will respect labx and wait until he finishes. I continue to feed seperately as feel it is safer.

Collie has always been quite confident around labx. Will not respond to subtle warnings from labx like growling if trying to get a toy from labx. If i leave them to it the labx will get noisy and more physical but 9/10 tumes the collie ends up with toy. Feel like the bc is a bit of a bully really. Occasionally it will be a scrap if lab really wants the item.

It is getting worse and i am feeling quite stressed by it. If Labx is sniffing bin, sniffing a toy, sniffy the wood pile at fire etc the collie will come over all stiff and staring hard with twitchy lip to see lab off.
If i see it and tell him off he goes from hard staring the lab to ears back and soft eyed looking apologetic at me.

If collie having a pat from me and lab comes over he will guard me doing the same. I immediately stop fussing him send him away and ignore him. I have been reading about dealing with resource guarding (Patricia McConnel) but wondered if anyone had exoerience of this and could share a success story because i feel so disheartened at the moment.

Please help.

inmyshoos Wed 03-Dec-14 13:12:09

Anyone? Pleaseflowerscake

Buttholelane Wed 03-Dec-14 13:59:54

I have a border collie too, she could be like this as well given the opportunity.
When visiting my in laws dogs she attempted to guard the water bowl outside, she also snarled when one of in laws dogs approached a rawhide that she was about to pick up.
Although it must be said, in laws dog is very rude and quite the bully, she would have stolen the rawhide if she got the chance!
My charming canine has also once tried to play with another dog (who had a ball) at the park, when the dog wouldn't share his ball with her she did try and intimidate him into giving it up!
So your not alone.

I would have the collie on a lead and every time you see him thinking about intimidating the lab, the second you see stiffness, staring etc, I would give a sharp ah ah and if he doesn't stop immediately I would say nothing and swiftly lead him out and lock him away from everyone else for a while.

I don't know if that is the 'correct' way of managing it but it's how we have disciplined our collie for everything from barking in the house to jumping on visitors to thinking about stealing food,
The vast majority of the time, she is impeccably well behaved now.

I think it's a very common problem in collies, I find them to be very manipulative, controlling dogs and quite prone to jealousy.

inmyshoos Wed 03-Dec-14 14:26:43

Thank you for replying!
I love your description of the collie 'manipulative, controlling and prone to jealousy' grin I agree and tis probably the reason i cried for the first fortnight we had him. I wanted a second dog (specifically a bitch not a dog and definitely not a collie) and my dh chose this little bc pup at the dog pound. I didn't have the will power to say no.

I do love him. He is clever and obedient and very loyal. But he is also sneaky and manipulative and complex.

I am on the collie fb groups and so many people adore the breed. I am not yet a convert.

My labx is a big duffus but he hasn't a bad bone in his body. And he doesn't have the brain power to be sneaky or manipulative. He is just a good honest dog. For me he is a far better 'family' dog.

Collie also not great with dogs visiting our home. Been a few handbags at dawn. My labx would welcome anyone. A little enthusiastically perhaps but welcoming all the same!

I will persevere with this.

muttynutty Wed 03-Dec-14 16:11:48

Yep totally agree not resource guarding just collie controlling smile

He is not being sneaky and manipulative or complex. (although it can seem like it!).

A collie is one of the few dogs that is actually allowed to make his own decisions. If the dog is out working sheep and the sheep break away from the flock the collie does not wait for the shepherd to command them to get them back they will automatically do it and for this the human is grateful. They also need to be able to listen and work to commands.

Put this into a domestic situation the collie is wanting to make decisions - they can seem like the fun police - your dog is having fun playing the collies to will go to calm down the situation and remove the toy.

We had a rescue collie that everytime my DH came into the room would run and put his head on my lap and not let DH near me. So growling and being grumpy when lab comes up for attention is very very common. I would not tell the collie off but just stand up and walk away with the lab. If not possible to stand up just stop stroking the collie and send the collie to his bed. I would try to always make a fuss of collie when the lab is around IF the collie is calm.

The best way to "manipulate" the collie to our ways is not to reprimand - they quickly work out ways to get around this but is to ask for alternative behaviour. - this may be a settle on your bed, it may be something more active. Get the ground work right with a collie and you will be a convert.

I also have labs and I adore the bones of their loyal warmhearted bodies but I do have a very soft spot for the bright, intelligent, emphatic collies.

I am a very positive reward based trainer which makes people think I do not have boundaries. I live with 6 collies - I do just to survive. However to help the collies understand what is expected of them in our house I will use reward based training. You cannot let standards drop with a collie, if you do not want them to come into the house when they are wet do not let them ever ever do it - with the labs you could do this now and again and they will not exploit the house rules - the collies will but if you are firm, clear, reward the good behaviour you will have the most loyal fantastic dog.

Do you fancy agility - you will meet a lot of experienced collie owners who may be able to help you - you can do this with your labs too smile

Buttholelane Wed 03-Dec-14 16:13:20

They have lots of good points too!
We love ours, she is incredibly friendly, loves everyone, children especially, very cuddly and clever, obedient as you say.

Once you get to grips with their little collie quirks you might be converted.

The main things I would say with them, is they are very clever and this is not always a good thing!
That cleverness means they are manipulative, they will find ways of getting what they want, this could be frightening or intimidating others deliberately, it could be playing the I'm so cute, I'm so adorable, you just HAVE to treat me card, some of them pretend they are injured or sore if that has got them attention in the past.

They are wilful and can be challenging to train because they either have a what's in it for me attitude or they are so enthusiastic they try and second guess what you want and pay too much attention so if you moved your hand a certain way while saying 'sit', the next time you ask for a sit they think your training something else because the hand movement isn't there!

They are also very good at sussing out whether you mean business.
If your kind but don't enforce rules particularly well you can bet that while your collie might love, they won't respect you and will only do what they are told if they feel like it!
You must make sure the collie respects you, I can't emphasise that enough.

They can be noise sensitive, shouting at them tends to make them retreat into their shell and get upset.
Calm but firm leadership is what you want.

My collie welcomes other dogs into the house but if yours doesn't you could use positive reinforcement to try and change it.
That would mean working out the distance between other dogs and yours where is no reaction, give a treat, take the other dog away. Repeat frequently over the course of a few weeks giving a special treat only in the presence of that other dog, gradually closing up the distance until they are both in the room together.

muttynutty Wed 03-Dec-14 16:14:20

Re other dogs coming to the house - Collies are not good with change! They will not want other dogs people coming to the house if they can help it. (huge generalisation but this quite a common collie trait)

I would set up a crate area in a quiet room reward collie for being in there. Send him to this area when visitors come - dont force interaction - let him know it is fine for visitors but you are not required to interact. His job is to relax and ignore

Buttholelane Wed 03-Dec-14 16:34:43

Muttly has given excellent advice, an alternative idea for dogs in the house, would be to teach your collie a behaviour to do when stressed like going to bed or getting a toy or sitting quietly.

For example, if my collie feels mildly anxious or stressed about something, she grabs a toy.

inmyshoos Wed 03-Dec-14 17:55:47

Thank you so much for the advice butt and mutty. I really appreciate it.

I would love to do agility or fly ball or something with him but limited clubs here as very rural and last time i checked it was only on one night during week (when dh works away) and on a Sunday when my ds has rugby. Not sure if my dd1 and dd2 would be allowed to come.

He is soooo good in many ways. He is very good at waiting to be towelled off before coming in house. Lab consistently bad!!
He is great when left at home. Never destructive.
He really wants to please. I do love him. He really reminds me of my old collie cross girl who i had for almost 17 years. She was my special dog. This really helps me love him because she was tricky in the beginning but a more loyal friend i could not have asked for.

Will try hard.

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