Our border collie is being mean to our kids

United States
July 27, 2008 8:50pm CST
We have had her about 6 months and we adopted her and she was about a year old. She has lately been nipping at my kids and headbutted one for no reason. At first I thought the kids were bothering her but they seem to be doing nothing when this occurs. I hate to get rid of her, we all love her and have made a huge investment in training, vet, etc. I know they are herding dogs and accept the nipping at heels for that reason, but hurting my kids is scaring me. She seems to prefer me but I wanted her to be for the kids. Any advice?
3 responses
• Canada
10 Feb 09
Border Collies and some other herding breeds are overall, not really that friendly to begin with. I have a Border Collie X Aussie Shepherd and she sometimes gets rough or growls at my 10 year old son. She does this when she believes that she is higher in rank than our son. For example, I was sitting on our couch watching TV and invited the dog to sit with me. Then my son came and was about to sit down and she growled at him. I immediately told her to get off the couch and invited my son to sit on the couch where she was sitting. This seemed to alleviate the problem in this instance. Dogs are predisposed to trying to get to the highest rank in their "pack" as possible (to be the "alpha dog"). Until your children can establish their higher rank with the dog, I believe you'll have problems. However, I recommend that you shouldn't do this yourself as the children may get hurt if your dog is adamant about keeping his position above the children. You should consult a trainer who specializes in this type of behaviour.
@relundad (2312)
• United States
28 Jul 08
Some dogs are just like some adults, they just don't like kids. My dog is pretty agressive with my son too and never like that with me. However is more like rough play, not that he really wants to hurt him. I talked to a trainer and he said that the dog see's them as more like him, more like his size and thats why he chooses to act like that with him and not me. He explained it like if kids come to your house, they act one way with your kids and another way with you. It's not like he can say let's go outside and play, so he does what dog's know how to do to get their attention. You should be able to tell if he is nipping to get them to play or nipping to hurt them. Unless he is trying to hurt them it should be okay. Unless he is being mean, I would not worry about it.
• United States
3 Aug 08
Now I'm getting worried. She is definitely getting worse and being aggressive. I think she is jealous of them because she prefers me. I'm so sad but am going to try to find a proper home for her :(
1 person likes this
@relundad (2312)
• United States
3 Aug 08
Sorry to hear that, but if she is mean then a new home is the best place for her. Also it is true that some dogs just don't like kids. And there are other dogs, that work well with 1 owner and are not really family dogs. Thet will only respond to and obey 1 person.
@irishidid (8102)
• United States
28 Jul 08
She's doing her job and herding. I had border collie that used to herd my nephews whenever they were in the front yard. The dog isn't being mean, just being a border collie.
• United States
3 Aug 08
I do understand that is in her nature. Unfortunately she has nipped and head butted them too many times for no reason. She loves me and I think she is jealous. I really wish I would have checked out the breed first before making such a quick decision.
@irishidid (8102)
• United States
3 Aug 08
She belongs where she can run. If you feel you can't keep her the cruelest thing you could do would be to take her to an animal shelter. Find a farm or ranch for her. Maybe she's jealous, maybe she's just bored?