Border Collie – a smart, cute and adorable dog breed. But there’s a catch; it is infamous for one thing – nipping. If these cute pets don’t have the proper dog training, it can be problematic. You can face a lawsuit if your dog bites someone, and you also have to shoulder the medical expenses of the victim.
Because they are natural herding dogs, Border Collies have a tendency to nip or bite at anything that moves in front of them: children, animals, or even a moving car. To help you solve this problem, this article will provide tips how to stop a Border Collie from nipping.
Why Do Border Collies Nip or Bite?
Bad behaviors like nipping often start when the dog is still a puppy. At this stage, they are very curious and playful. Puppies entertain themselves by chasing and play fighting. But sometimes, playing can become overly aggressive and can lead to nipping or biting.
When the puppy bites his or her sibling too hard, the aggrieved pup yelps out loudly, stops playing, and turns away. Soon, the biting puppy will realize that nipping will end playtime, so he probably won’t do it again next time.
However, there are cases that a puppy is separated early from his or her siblings. This means that it will not be given an opportunity to learn how to overcome bad behaviors like nipping. Left unchecked, it can retain this behavior until adulthood.
As they mature, dogs may resort to nipping for different reasons. They may be demanding for attention, excited, frightened, or avoiding something that they don’t want to do. If your Border Collie bites a stranger or an unfamiliar person, it is a sign of aggression, fear or anxiety.
How to Stop a Border Collie from Nipping
- Have plenty of exercise – Make sure that your Border Collie gets enough exercise, ideally at least two hours each day. This will allow your dog to release pent-up energy and divert its attention from nipping or biting.
Using a leash, walk your dog around the neighborhood. It’s important to have an “assertive stance” while doing this, so your pet sees you as the pack leader. Walk with conviction with the proper posture: chest out, upright shoulders, and don’t slouch.
Set up obstacle courses. This activity is enjoyable not only for the dog but to you as well. You can make use of old tires, ropes, pipes, wood, steel rods, and water basins. Lead your dog through the obstacle course; you can use treats to encourage your pet to follow you.
Keep your Border Collie occupied by playing a game of fetch. The best thing to use for this purpose is a ball because you can throw it further, thus allowing your dog to exercise and have fun both at the same time. You can do this in your backyard, an open field, or park.
Put your dog on the treadmill. The first step is to allow your dog to adjust to the presence of a running treadmill. Start with the lowest speed setting first. You may use a leash, but don’t tie it to the exercise equipment. Use treats to encourage your pet to stay on the treadmill.
- Say “No!” or “Pssssst!” with conviction if the dog starts nipping or biting you. – This way, the dog will understand that you do not like what they are doing and you want them to stop. After that, ignore them for a while. It will let them know that they did something wrong.
Another technique is to yell and pretend that you’re hurt by the dog’s nipping (like saying “Ouch!” or “Aw!”). When they are still puppies and another puppy bites them, they will make a loud whining sound; it is a signal that playing has become too aggressive.
Make a high-pitched yelp, remove your hand (or the body part that was bitten) from the dog’s mouth, and then turn away. In dog language, this means “no biting” or “playtime is over.” This will send your message across.
- Teach your dog a canine sport – Engaging in dog sports will provide the necessary physical and mental stimulation for your Border Collie. There are different types to choose from: freestyle, agility, obedience, rally, and tracking.
Canine freestyle is a combination of dance and tricks. It involves movements like weaving, rolling, jumping, spinning, bowing, moving forwards and backwards, moving diagonally, and pivots.
Agility requires teamwork between the pet owner and the dog. It involves maneuvering an obstacle course with accuracy and speed. Training includes the wing jump, single jump, hoop, tunnel, go, out, and here.
Obedience training is the compliance of a dog to a particular command or direction given by the handler. The basic commands are: sit, come, down, and stay. The trust between the trainer and the dog is important for success.
Lack of physical activity can lead to boredom, and this may be the reason why your pet is nipping or biting you (and your home furniture). Border Collies are not only cute pets; they are also one of the dog breeds that likes to be active and have fun.
- Avoid aggressive games. – Activities like tug of war or fighting simulation can bring out the predatory instincts of your Border Collie. Instead of solving the problem, it might do the opposite; it may encourage your dog to nip more.
Instead, you can play hide and seek with your pet. Give a “sit” or “down” command. Then, hide in a hard to find spot to make it more challenging. When you’re all set, give the signal by calling his or her name. This game is fun and will sharpen the senses of your beloved dog.
Another fun game that you can play with your dog is “find the treat.” Prepare the favorite treats and goodies of your pet. Hide them in places where the sense of smell is needed to reach the spot. Then give the go signal. See how good your pet is in finding things.
- Constant Training – It is important to be consistent when training your dog to stop nipping. Stick to the methods and techniques that you are using. If not, they might get confused and forget the things that they have previously learned.
Obedience training means teaching a dog to follow what it is being told to do. Lessons include family manners, tricks, and skills demonstrations. Training sessions should be fun. However, you should set rules, boundaries, and limitations to instill discipline.
If you have kids or other family members living with you in the house, make sure that they also discipline the dog. They must not condone bad behaviors, especially nipping. A “team effort” is the best way to teach your Border Collie to become the ideal pet you want it to be.
A Border Collie is an active breed of dog. It is full of energy and wants to play all the time. They are smart, loyal, and they bring joy to many families and pet owners. Unfortunately, they may develop some bad behaviors. Learning how to stop a Border Collie from nipping is necessary so you can have a hassle- free and enjoyable relationship with your dog