Not sure anyone can help with this, H have an 11mth border collie puppy (a dog) called Archie.
He has always been aggressive around food, he can eat, snarl, growl, snap and bark all at the same time. While its quite funny to watch we know he shouldn't be doing it and have been telling him no.
He has been very ill and has been diagnosed with an auto-immune disease and is on steriods (probably for the rest of his life if he survives ). Unfortunately these can change his personality/behaviour and he has become much more aggressive. He has not been neutered as we don't want to risk an infection, so have opted to leave this at the moment, we won't be breeding from him.
~ He is much more aggressive around food, and will snap at our other dogs if i'm cooking and they come to near me. ~ he is aggressive when in his cage and they try to come past, he lunges snaps and growls. ~ He has started to bark and growl at people (mainly children) and dogs walking past the car. ~ If he is sitting/lying next to me and one of our other dogs approaches he growls and snaps. ~ When I take him out to the toilet in the morning, if he thinks I haven't come to the back door quick enough to let him back in for his breakfast he comes back and barks at me.
I'm not sure how to deal with this as the steriods, as well as changing his behaviour, also make him very hungry all the time.
Can anyone please help? because sooner or later one of my other dogs is going to get fed up and really go for him.
I would seek professional help in the form of a behaviourist, and I would get him neutered. I would also look for alternative medicine, or a vet who deals in it. I'm sorry for your predicament and that of your dog. I hope you can find some positive instruction soon.
I agree that neutering him would be the best option unfortunately we can't as any form of infection, even a mild one could kill him. I'm happy for any suggestions on alternative medicine to the steroids, I've looked everywhere but can't find anything - does anybody know of anything?
You have quite a few things going on with this dog.
First off, you have a dog that honestly, you probably never should have gotten/purchased/adopted. I consider border collies on the short list of breeds that only the most active of owners should have. It's a breed that NEEDS a job, psychologically. If they don't get enough mental stimulation, the behavior problems increase drastically. Add in the autoimmune disease and the steroids and you've got a major problem pet.
How much exercise is he getting a day? Has he ever physically attacked any of the other dogs or does he just bark/growl at them? We have a BC mix and when he's agitated, he does what I call 'yammering'. It's a mixture of barking, growling, almost talking, really. However, while he is extremely excited he is not really being aggressive. An aggressive dog typically holds their head very still, teeth exposed, lips curled back, almost coiled like a snake ready to strike. Is he doing this? Or is he just 'carrying on'? When he's carrying on like that, yuu can get a water bottle or a squirt gun and squirt him in the face as you tell him 'no'. So he is getting even more of a 'correction', and this one is far less pleasant than a mere 'no'.
I suggest you try to give him more stimulation, exercise him more, take him for a 2-3 mile walk and put a backpack on him with a water bottle or something so he's doing something a little strenuous that has a 'job' type thing to it. I also suggest you look into the NILIF training program.
I have to say that i am astounded at your response, you know nothing about me or how I keep my dogs, or how much exercise they get. I live in a rural area, my dogs are constantly outside and get a huge amount of exercise, i also have horses and they come with me to the stables and get a huge amount of exercise there also.
I was looking for some advice not someone to pronounce judgment on me, I am confident that I was right to purchase Archie and to rescue the other dogs, we have plenty of room for him and are more than capable of looking after our 4 dogs. I have never had a problem with any other dog, and all my dogs have always been border collies, and all were at one time working dogs. All of my previous dogs have been well-trained, and while some of them have nervous issues I have never allowed them to become a problem either for myself or the dog. I have plenty of experience but have never had to deal with a dog on steriods, and as I think I explained these can cause behavioural changes which unfortunately poor Archie is suffering from, hence the reason for asking for advice.
I would say that he is aggressive, what you refer to as 'yammering' we call 'speaking' in our dogs, and while he speaks to me he is definitely aggressive to the other dogs.
He gets exercise all day long, my sister only works part time and because of his illness she takes him during the day and he spends all day outside playing and walking through the fields where we have our horses. I then play with him in the evenings and he plays with our other dogs. i couldn't give him more excerise, because of the illness he gets very tired and anaemic, so I also have to ensure he gets plenty of rest.
he has never bitten another dog but he snaps at them - i think he knows his limitations they are bigger than him, but sooner or later one of them is going to go for him.
I agree with the water squirting but he is terrified of water and I think in his case this would be an unncessary cruelty, I want to help not frighten him. I tried putting stones in a can and shaking them, but it frightens one of my other dogs who is terrified of loud noises.
I don't want to take him to obedience classes because he is not innoculated due to the auto immune disease so I don't want to expose him/or the other dogs to illnesses.
Elaine, which auto-immune disease has your dog been diagnosed with? There are a few, AIHA, Lupus, etc. It would help to know the type to suggest a couple of options and a few things to avoid the secondary infections that usually crop up. Also, I'm sure you have a great vet, but is he a specialist in this field, or is he consulting with one? Have you been in contact with a university that specializes in these conditions? What medication is your dog taking, other than steroids, and how long has he been diagnosed? Sorry for all the questions, I'm just trying to get a better picture of what you are dealing with. ((hugs )) for your dog.
I apologize if you feel I was being judgemental about how you keep your dogs, that was not my intent. It's just that your first post seems to indicate that Archie is more of an indoor dog that doesn't go out very much, than an outdoor dog that got plenty of exercise.
Your first post mentions him being in his crate (thus, indoors) and him snapping when the other dogs go by, that he's aggressive indoors around food, especially when you are cooking, mentioned his behavior when you let him outside in the mornings, and his insistence on coming back inside (which to me indicated that he wanted to be inside more than outside). Again, these were the conclusions I drew based on your original post and I apologize for the inaccuracy of those conclusions.
I still stand behind what I said regarding border collies not being a breed for everyone, though your home situation certainly seems better suited to this intensely active breed than most.
The thing that worries me the most about Archie is that he's growling and snapping at kids, and regardless of his health, this is obviously a Very Bad Thing. If he misjudges the snap and connects on one of them, you and Archie could be in for a lot of heartbreak. You mention that he hasn't been vaccinated, does that include rabies vaccination? I ask because if he ends up biting someone and he hasn't had the vaccination, in the state I live in, he would be required to be quarantined at an accepted animal hospital for 10 days :P
Due to the fact that he hates water with an unholy passion, a couple of squirts with a water bottle when he is showing potentially dangerous aggression is going to get immediate results. Border Collies are some of the most intelligent dogs in the world, and I doubt it would take more than 2 or 3 squirts for him to learn the behavior is unacceptable and that he needs to stop if he doesn't want to experience the water.
In fact, to me you are fairly limited in regards to what other things you are able to do to help him, and it is a simple and painless solution. Keeping him on a leash at all times in the house and outdoors so you can correct him immediately with a leash jerk and put him in a 'down' or 'sit' position doesn't seem like a viable alternative, given the household you describe and the level of freedom he is used to.
Never trust a tall dwarf... he's lying about something.
He is an indoor dog, but we try where possible to encourage all our dogs to spend as much time outdoors as possible. Archie can be very clingy to me, and insists if he is outside I am too, not much fun when its pouring buckets!!
Its fine, perhaps I was being a bit sensitive, its been a hard couple of weeks with Archie and I'm shattered. I agree Border Collies are definitely not for everyone, and at one time all of mine have been destructive through nervousness, and have required a huge amount of patience, love, discipline, and above all else exercise.
The thing that worries me the most about Archie is that he's growling and snapping at kids, and regardless of his health, this is obviously a Very Bad Thing - I agree totally especially as I don't have children yet but we were planning, although this has been put on hold while Archie is ill. You mention that he hasn't been vaccinated, does that include rabies vaccination?- Thats correct although we are in the UK and I don't think we vaccinate against that now. The problem with the vaccines is that in his case the vets believe it will cause a full blown version of the disease and kill him. If he actually bit someone through aggressiveness, I would have him put to sleep because it wouldn't be fair on him in the long run.
Due to the fact that he hates water with an unholy passion, a couple of squirts with a water bottle when he is showing potentially dangerous aggression is going to get immediate results. Border Collies are some of the most intelligent dogs in the world, and I doubt it would take more than 2 or 3 squirts for him to learn the behavior is unacceptable and that he needs to stop if he doesn't want to experience the water. - yes possibly you are right and maybe I should try this.
The problem is in all things but aggression he does exactly what i tell him, he completely ignores my OH and other people but listens to me. I know this is not ideal either and my OH and sister have been working with him to teach him to listen to others.
We don't know what kind of auto immune disease it is, and perhaps I don't have the best vet for this but I trust them and they have been so good to him. His blood tests are showing only that he is anaemic and that his white blood cell count is up - but my vet told me that these things are a process of elimination when you have ruled out everything else only an auto immune disease is left. They did say we could pay for a bone marrow test but that it wouldn't change the treatment. He is on 30mg of Prednisolone each day, being reduced to 20mg today. He is not on any other medication although when he is very ill he gets anti biotics and anti inflammatories. I also give him a broad spectrum vitamin.
At the moment he is quite bright, but sometimes his eyes get very bloodshot and then he gets pale and you can literally see the blood draining from his mucus membranes, and then he gets exceptionally tired.
There is a field of thought that relates prednisone to psychosis. I'm wondering if you are anywhere near Bristol, Liverpool, Cambridge or Nottingham. They all have teaching veterinary universities including research on everything.
Although I do beleive that drugs can affect a dogs behavior, in this case it is probly escalateing a problem, that was probly there all along, but not quite as intense. In your dogs case it sounds like he is very attached to you, well he at least sees you as a significant asset.(Not always a good thing) Some dogs do guard their assets, especially insecure dogs. The car can be an asset, food, crates, toys and chewing items. Food is a huge asset of course to alot of dogs, but only some feel that they need to guard it. It is really a perfectly natural behavior. And if he was in the wild would probly survive (if he was a wolf) Would you say that the dogs behavior is better when loose outside even when there are people around? I would suggest #1.Hand off some of the feeding and walking jobs to other members of the family.Ignore the dog more. #2.Start basic training/With positive handling only This means absolutely no corrections.(training should be done with all family members) When training fearful or insecure dogs owners must be patient. Redirect the dog/or ignore (when bad behaviors occur) and start rewarding for good behaviors, and ignoreing the bad ones. You need to manage the dogs environment better, setting them up for success, not failure. #3.Have the dog fed in private, with no animals and people around. Never give the dog a reason to feel insecure about his food. Start working with the dog everyday, on giveing and takeing exercises, food for toys/toys for food? Could you start tossing food into a bowl for him? How much danger is there? #4.Aggression around the crate. Have you ever met a person with that small dog, and they are carrying it around in that little bag, and when you try to pet it, it snaps at you. Have you ever heard of the wild animal that you corner, and it lashes out at you in fear. This could very well be a fear of a small space issue. Move the crate away from people and dog traffic, give him a space away from the hustle and bustle. #5You as an asset...The best way to deal with this is change the association of you and dogs approaching, keep treats with you and when the other dogs approach you and the dog...treats fall from the sky (meaning from you) Its really hard to work with a dog that has fear and insecurities, just remember that some training and puppy classes can do exercises to prevent alot of these behaviors from happening in the first place, unfortunetly the best time for this is during an imprinting stage of puppyhood, before 16 weeks. Put all these things together and start working on them for the next few months, I wouldn't expect the dog to be completely cured but at least some of the anxiety can be lessened, and you may develope a strategy to manage the dog in the future. Good Luck to you Sue PS. There are also some Complimentary products on the market called DAP (Pheromone sprays and diffusers that may prove helpful in the long run.
When I look up into the sky, I think to myself, Wheres the ceiling?
Thanks, I fell and pulled all the ligaments in my ankle a couple of weeks ago and have been bed bound since. This meant Archie had to rely totally on my partner for everything (much to his disgust, and trying to break into my bedroom on a number of occasions!!) but it seems to have helped. He is still getting very jealous of any dog that comes near me, but there is a significant improvement. He has also changed some of his aggressive behaviour from snarling/growling to a bark, but not in an aggressive way more a 'look at me' bark which we ignore. We have a long way to go, but things are moving forward positively.
I think I spoiled him when he got seriously ill, and this hasn't helped in the slightest. Seeing the improvement in him while I have been ill has made me see this more clearly.