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Terrible Twos?

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I have a young neutered male dog (just turned 2yrs) that Ive raised since birth. He was a singleton puppy, therefore I believe has some missing pieces as far as dog to dog socialization. Generally speaking he could care less about other dogs. However, recently, he was rushed by 2 puppies in a group class and did not take kindly to it. He recovered well, worked very well (agility) but I could definitely see that he was keeping his eyes on at least one of the puppies. Easily distracted with some behaviors and engagement.

 

I have also noted that, if he feels slighted or put into what he considers a stressful or surprising situation from another dogs pressure, he holds quite a grudge. I am looking for ways to help him feel more confident in situations that are out of his control. I will not be going back to this class because I do not want to risk him developing behavior problems or reactivity that result from people who cant control their dogs.

 

I absolutely do not use any aversives in training and, as I said, he has never really been overly concerned with any dogs in the past...this seems to have developed over the past 2-3 months. Could age be an issue or is it just that he has started stacking triggers over time and now he is developing an actual issue?

 

Thanks!

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This is likely an age issue, but in the opposite way that you mean.


It is extremely common for dogs, as they reach social maturity (social, not sexual) to become less tolerant of 'rude' dog behavior, or just dogs in general. And Border collies aren't generally the most tolerant of nonsense dogs out there; they take offense at slights other dogs may not even notice.


In short - this is pretty normal. Work focus and engagement and expect him to be less friendly with dogs and less (much less) tolerant of them in his space or face. Probably won't apply to 'dog friends' or dogs he lives with, but others? Yes. So avoid problems by not asking him to interact with strange dogs and protecting his space for him.


Not a big deal - really.

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I was wondering about that. He has very good engagement for the most part and I could care less about his love or lack there of of strange dogs, as long as he is comfortable around them.

 

Thanks for the reply

 

This is likely an age issue, but in the opposite way that you mean.

 

It is extremely common for dogs, as they reach social maturity (social, not sexual) to become less tolerant of 'rude' dog behavior, or just dogs in general. And Border collies aren't generally the most tolerant of nonsense dogs out there; they take offense at slights other dogs may not even notice.

 

In short - this is pretty normal. Work focus and engagement and expect him to be less friendly with dogs and less (much less) tolerant of them in his space or face. Probably won't apply to 'dog friends' or dogs he lives with, but others? Yes. So avoid problems by not asking him to interact with strange dogs and protecting his space for him.

 

Not a big deal - really.

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Agree. This isn't his problem, it's the rude dogs problems. I've got two that will posture first but if ignored, they'll put a good thumping on a pup. I'd personally just let it be since he recovers quickly..

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Agree with CptJack and Journey. It sounds like he's finally reached an age where he has an opinion about how other dogs treat him.

 

Border collies in particular can be sticklers about good dog manners and often do not care for "rude" dogs who don't respect another dog's space. Some even pick certain breeds they tolerate less than others, such as labs or bully breeds, simply because those dogs can be so "in your face." I'd say he's entirely normal! Just keep doing what you're doing and make sure he knows you've got his back and will protect and back him up in any uncomfortable situations. :)

~ Gloria

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