Border Collies have a lovely temperament and make wonderful family pets but given the right circumstances any dog can turn aggressive. Border Collie aggression should be dealt with as soon as possible before it turns into an ongoing problem.
Border Collie aggression can be due to a variety of reasons. It may stem from a dominance issue with you as owner, or it could be as a result of a trigger from younger days as a puppy (possibly before you owned your dog) such as an attack from an older larger dog.
No matter what the cause, you need to deal with Border Collie aggression as soon as possible once you see signs of it. If left unchecked this aggression can become scary, putting a rift between you and your Border Collie because of the unknown factor of when it will occur. Also, if you fail to deal with dog aggression it can become dangerous.
The Source of Border Collie Aggression
Border Collie aggression can start from as young as 6 weeks of age. This is a crucial age for puppies because it is the age when they should start to be socialized with other dogs and they should start Border Collie puppy training. This initial stage of socializing your Border Collie puppy lasts through to 14 weeks or sometimes longer. In puppy training, this is the stage at which they must learn not to bite people (puppies are notorious for wanting to bite, nip and chew your hands, feet, ankles etc).
The practical outcome of this is that a Border Collie puppy should never be taken away from its litter before 8 weeks of age. It should be treated very gently between 8 and 10 weeks of age and never yelled or shouted at and of course never hit or physically disciplined. Harsh punishment towards a young puppy can lead to very serious aggression problems in your Border Collie over time.
To avoid ongoing Border Collie aggression you need to socialize your dog with both dogs and people before your dog reaches 14 weeks of age.
Border Collie aggression can be triggered by a variety of reasons. However, if you own a male dog, you should consider that dogs that have not been neutered are more inclined to excessive aggressiveness.
Overall, a Border Collie living in a bad environment is more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior as it gets older. This could be as a result of harsh punishment, poor living conditions, lack of socialization, attack from other dogs or other negative influences in the Border Collie’s environment.
Border Collie aggression can stem from your dog’s need to be the leader of the pack. It is therefore important to establish early the pecking order and maintain this order with your Border Collie throughout its puppy stage and beyond. If you don’t, you risk your dog establishing control over your household. This is when things start to deteriorate.
Stopping and Controlling Border Collie Aggression
Your dog reaches sexual maturity at 14 months of age. If you witness Border Collie aggression after this age you must deal with the problem immediately.
The first step is to appoint yourself as leader of the pack. Also, be sure not to reward your Border Collie for aggressive behaviour, this is especially true even if your dog is exhibiting aggression because it is scared.
The next step is to train your Border Collie to respond to your commands, control feeding and walking times. It is important to establish there is a strong leader in the household. If you allow your Border Collie too many freedoms or you allow it to control your household it will show stronger aggression towards others.
If your Border Collie has not been properly socialized it may be defensive-aggressive. Such a dog may lash out at a person due to fear. If your dog is exhibiting this type of behaviour you should keep it away from young children (whom the dog may see as a threat) and attend professional dog training classes or a dog behaviourist who can help you address this difficult and potentially dangerous behaviour. A professional trainer can help accustom your dog to a social environment.
Border Collie aggression is not the norm and it can be controlled, even as your dog gets older. If your Border Collie’s aggression advances to violence it is important to get a professional involved before your dog is responsible for injuring someone.