Nervousness in Border collies

@x_Jo_x (1041)
May 31, 2009 5:49pm CST
My Border Collie is very nervous about everything. She dislikes other dogs, but often will sit and wag her tail when they are at a distance and give very mixed messages. The slightest noise scares her most of the time, and she sometimes gets aggressive with strange new people or dogs (only trying to nip or barking at them, nothing too aggressive). Any tips on what could help her? Im currently starting training for Agility with her, I used to compete with our old border collie and so she is starting to have to meet other dogs although i still take her to do some training on her own, with her one and only friend lol. We also have her brother, he is still a tiny bit nervous but in different ways. He is very sensitive, but over all a lot more confident and happy to be in new situations, in fact he often gets too excited. My friends female border collie who is friends with mine also has similar traits, is it a female collie thing? Has any one had a nervous/agressive Border Collie that is now any better and if so, what did you do?
3 responses
• Canada
20 Jul 09
I have a border collie/aussie shepherd cross and she is very nervous around strangers and even some people she has met several times. She barks aggressively when she is in the car and a stranger approaches. I guess that might not be entirely a bad thing but she is now 18 months old and basically full grown and will growl and nip at people when she feels "threatened". I am very worried that she will bite someone hard and then I'll have to put her down. After hearing several complaints from dog owners of both border collies and aussie shepherds, I suspect this a characteristic of these breeds. I've looked to see if I can get some professional but I would be very interested to know if anyone has tried to solve this with any level of success and what they had to do.
@x_Jo_x (1041)
20 Jul 09
Hmm yeah, ive got a dog trainer who i know quite well who offers me advice. My dog is so random with who she is "threatened" by, she seems to like doggie people who are good with dogs, but then there is a few which she doesnt. I think its mainly the situation she is in, if she gets to approach people then she is better than if people come up to her. Im really worried she will bite someone too, i would hate that so much! I guess it is a breed thing. Apparently a good method is to get people to give them treats, but im not sure that would work with mine. The threat would be greater than the food lol, shes not an extremly food motivated dog. Mine had a problem with trying to heard cars, she would always lunge at them, which is obviously really dangerous. I took her to some car parks to get her used to being around cars that wernt moving/moving very slowely. Then I sat by the side of a busy, fast moving road with her and gave her treats to keep her attention, at first it didnt work, but eventually she calmed down and was more interested in me and the food and now she is fine 95% of the time with cars. I was thinking of doing a similar thing with people, although the risks are a bit higher. Maybe just sitting outside a shop and warning people might help. I hope you have good success with your dog! Thank you for your reply
@ryzach (1546)
• United States
7 Jun 09
I also have a border collie mixed with some australian shepard and she is nervous as well. Maybe it is a trait of that breed. I should go check it out online to see if it is common. She is so lovable though and I would get another border collie in a heart beat. I think they are wonderful, just the right size and they love to play. I do know they need lots of exercise and when my border collie gets enough exercise she tends not to be as nervous as when she does not get the exercise.
1 person likes this
@x_Jo_x (1041)
7 Jun 09
Yep they are definatly lovely dogs. I know that nervousness is quite a common thing in collies i think, and if they arnt't neverous then they are usuall hyperactive! And the breed has several issues around hearding instincts, Like Aimee my dog used to try to chase cars. This is apparently a problem because she has an active hearding thing, where she wants to try and heard everything. As she has no sheep, she tries to heard cars which is obviously a problem and highly dangerous. I spent some time with her sitting by roads and getting her used to them going past, and she seems 90% of the time to be ok now, but i would still not trust her off the lead near roads. Thanks for the comment and the adivce
@JodiLynn (1417)
• United States
10 Jun 09
My Tuck (border collie) only gets nervous during storms or fireworks displays, never displaying aggressiveness. However, his son, "Petey" (on of four pups we kept from Tuck & Blue) is starting to show he is becoming easily agitated in normal group settings, play, eating, family time etc. This is a new behavior. He also is being uber protective of me, also new. I've found play (as a reward) to be the best elixir of bad or unwarranted behaviors. Having borders means your arm is going to be tired every day for the rest of that dogs life, unless you actually have livestock for them to tend on a daily basis! best of luck to you!