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Suthee25

Aggression and misbehaving

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Hi I have a border collie that is extremely scared and standoffish. She startles with loud noises and sudden movements. I’ve been working on those things and I haven’t seen much improvement. She also doesn’t like meeting new people. I can’t even pet her half the time. She snarls at me and my parents, she will also snap when we try to pet her sometimes. Last night she tried to bite me when I was finishing bathing her. She attacks other dogs especially the lab we have in the house and last time that resulted in a lot of stitches( for her ). I’m scared to take her anywhere. I have a big back yard and I know this breed needs a lot of exercise but she gets bored so fast even when I take her with a basket of toys outside she just lays down and is so uninterested. Please help

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This is far beyond what people online can help with. You need to find a good trainer and take her to see them and see if they can help you. Whereabouts are you? Maybe someone can recommend some trainers in your area. 

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I agree the first thing is to take her to a vet for a good exam. Among other things, pain and thyroid issues can be causes for aggression.

I also agree that an online forum isn't the right place to seek advice. I'd skip an ordinary trainer and head straight to either a veterinary behaviorist (the animal equivalent of a psychiatrist) or an certified applied animal behavior consultant, both of whom will be much more qualified to deal with the extreme and quite probably dangerous behavior you're seeing no matter what her age is.

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Agree with all of the above. this is a very serious situation for all involved, and you will need some serious assistance. First, a vet check. Then, research carefully to find a good, qualified dog behaviorist in the area. It needs to be someone who is fully qualified to work with aggression, and who uses positive reinforcement methods.  I emphasize this because using aggression against aggression will not help and may very well make the problem larger and more dangerous. Dogs who learn not to show aggression out of fear of painful or highly unpleasant consequences will only control their feelings up to a certain point and those method almost always backfire. This dog needs to be retrained to see human beings and dogs in a more positive light.  The younger the dog is, the greater the chance of success with this. Remember that every single time the dog bites or attempts to bite it is self-rewarding and validating to the dog, so make haste in starting to correct this problem.

We all wish you the best of luck with this. Let us know if we can help you find a good trainer.

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Thank you , this is really what I was looking for is resources. I promise I’m not trying to have the internet fix my dog.  I have a behavior visit at the vet coming up in a week but it seemed like it was hard to get. The last time I asked about these behaviors the vet told me that the dog was too young to have anything wrong with it besides being young and untrained. So I’m going for that and I’ve also been in contact with a trainer who believes they can help. I’m in the buffalo ny area so if anyone knows of behaviorist or trainers here or somewhat close please post ! Also trying to find new toys for when I’m playing with this dog. She doesn’t seem to like any of the typical toys. The only thing I’ve had luck with  that will hold her interest is and old basket ball. 

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Veterinary behaviorists are pretty few and far between. I know there's one on staff at Cornell and another in private practice in Ithaca (I think her name is Haupt?), which will be at least a couple hours away from you, but it's pretty normal to have to travel to get to one. I believe that sometimes you can arrange for follow up app't by phone and/or video chat, submitting videos, etc.

Have you tried doing a search? I'm sure the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists' (ACVB) website will have a search option, as will the applied animal behavior consultant websites.

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