Any ideas on how to deal with this ignorance?

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Let's go! Let's- drive!- Yeah!!!!!!
Barked: Sun Jul 5, '09 7:36am PST 
Man, I seriously need to vent!!

My Panda has been with me for about 6 months. She was 2 when I adopted her from the local shelter.
She is my first Border Collie and although I have learned a lot, I am aware that I have long way to go.

I don't know a lot about her past, only that this is her 3rd home and that the last person surrendered her because she "wouldn't leave the cats alone".
She obsessively herds my cat Peewee who gets annoyed with her, but isn't afraid.

Panda is amazing! I don't know anything about her breeding, but I am sure she would be fantastic if I needed to keep track of sheep.

So, today ( as most weekends ) we went to the State Park for a hike. Dogs are to be kept on a leash there, but of course there are always a few people that this rule does not apply to.

Although Panda has had interactions with other dogs that went well, she does exhibit some aggressive behavior. My suspicion is that she doesn't know how to interact with other dogs and if she feels unsure she just goes on the defensive.

So, besides the fact that this park is just beautiful and I enjoy going there, I am trying to hone her social skills.

Recently her barking at other dogs has increased a little, so now I make her sit and stay when another dog approaches and reward her for letting them pass without making any noise.

Now, I know what it is like to have a "friendly" dog. I have had 2 of them! If they have enough sense not to approach another dog, I certainly don't care if they are off leash. I passed a few of them today and Panda just sat and stayed. As she should be, she is on a leash and I do have her under control.

But there was this young couple with an older male medium sized dog we met early into the hike and he was off leash. I said: "She is not friendly!". He quickly approached us and Panda turned into psycho-dog.
Now, you would expect these people to at least run to keep their dog from getting bitten, but instead the girl seemed to be annoyed to have to walk over and pull her dog back. No apology.

A little further up we met a nice man, walking his neighbors young intact male black lab. He stayed on the other side as I stated another "She's not friendly", but we began to talk across from each other. I got to make Panda sit and stay and he commented on how good this was to improve her behavior.
This is what my dog needs.

But after a few minutes, the young couple comes around the bend. Dog is on the leash. I continue my conversation and they pass. Panda sits and stays.

Just a few steps further there is a stream and it is a great place to let the dogs cool off and get a drink.
However, the couple lets their dog off the leash and guess what? He comes running over.
This time, they guy comes after him and I say "You know there is a leash law, right?"
"He is very friendly" the guy replies.
Panda is doing her psycho-thing again and luckily I cant just go over and
smack the dude on the head!!!

Why does it seem that I care more about this nice dogs welfare than his ignorant owners????
I quickly stepped between them, which didn't help Panda's anxiety but I would have let her bite me instead of this gullible dog.
I don't want Panda to have any actual bites on her history either!

My 2 prior dogs were well socialized. I had my sheltie since she was a puppy and well, she was just an angel.
My second dog was about 9 months when I got her from the shelter, so it was still easy to socialize her.

I am very careful to make all of Panda's encounters a productive experience for her, but incidents like today are a set-back!

People like this, just irritate me!!! I hope their dog doesn't get bitten some day, because of their ignorance....

(I did post this in behavior and training, but would like to get some breed-specific feedback regarding Panda's defensiveness as well)
Moss- *Forever in- our hearts*

Lazy- and proud of- it!
Barked: Wed Jul 8, '09 7:44am PST 
way to goI think you are acting in the right way and you can't be responsible for other owners stupidity.It will take some time but you'll get there and it will be worth all your effortsway to go
Shayne CGC,- RL2

Shayne- Disc Doggin in- the 'Burgh!
Barked: Wed Jul 8, '09 2:26pm PST 
Shayne is pretty similar... she is a rescue who had lots of issues and the last one we are working on is really getting her more comfortable around dogs. She can make friends with pretty much any dog but it takes time and more than one interaction.

That being said, i'm regularly telling people that she's not dog friendly so they dont let their dogs just rush up to her (though sometimes she is perfectly fine). It actually happened today at the beach... i saw another dog coming so i leashed shayne up and started walking to our bag to get my bait bag... the dog comes rushing up to shayne and they sniff but shayne starts a spat... the owner was REALLY apologetic, she didn't see us on the other side of hte beach... but still never a good thing.

I'm not going to say it's normal for BCs becasue i know LOTS of very friendly BCs... HOWEVER... i know almost just as many BCs who have doggie issues... they aren't going to go out and attack another dog but they REALLY dont like dogs in their space and are vocal and physical in telling the other dog off. Shayne gets into spats every now and again and they are loud but no one is ever injured. She can be around other dogs no problem but doesn't really like to play (unless she's already friends with them) and greetings are often very tense.

Keep making interactions positive and you will TOTALLY help her get through it!


Christmas Eve- Baby
Barked: Wed Jul 8, '09 6:42pm PST 
My suspicion is that she doesn't know how to interact with other dogs and if she feels unsure she just goes on the defensive..

Panda, I think you are right on target. Be alert to potential situations and environments where Panda will or might react negatively to and also watch her body language. Try to intervene by focusing her attention on you BEFORE she has a chance to kick into high gear. I use "watch me", so both Jackson & Clementine look to me to handle situations, not them.

Panda's reaction to other dogs is not breed specific and reaction to invasion of space, specifically UNINVITED invasion of space is common. Since we can't control the actions of other owners, the best we can do is be a reliable leader and teach our own dogs appropriate ways to react. Keep up the good work. A Border Collie that learns he has a trustworthy, reliable leader usually responds likewise.

Good luck.

Let's go! Let's- drive!- Yeah!!!!!!
Barked: Wed Jul 8, '09 8:10pm PST 
Very helpful feed-back!!!

I have been told that BC's can be difficult when it comes to interactions with other dogs. I already know that there can't be any toys around. If another dog wants her ball (or her lammy-doodle, or her flying squirrel) or maybe even his "OWN BALL", there will be a fight.
She is definitely a toy-hog!red face

As to the walks in the park, we went back the next day. It was even busier and Panda didn't have a single outburst!
I am just really worried that she will get an actual "BITE" under her belt, because someone ignored my warning and let their dog right into our personal space!

Jackson, the "Living with Border Collies" link you sent me was fantastic!!! I have been using the "Sit", "Good sit" and am blown away by the improvement!! "Good girl" doesn't even come close!!!
Thank you so much!

I like the "Watch me" suggestion you made, but it is a challenge to get her to look at me or face me unless I am holding the magic ball.
She will take a treat, but she is not food-driven.
I thought about re-naming her "BALL", because as soon as you say the 4-letter word, her head snaps around!laugh out loud
But if I have the "Ball", I still don't have her attention..... the ball does.

Again, thank you so much! I am so glad I stumbled across this site!!!happy dance

Christmas Eve- Baby
Barked: Thu Jul 9, '09 7:36am PST 
I don't know what it is about that flying squirrel toy, but that has been a trigger of possessivness/less than desirable behavior in our home too -- so you are not alone there! Jackson is a toy hog also. We can have 10 toys out and within 1/2 hour, Jackson and all 10 toys can be in his crate -- and Clemmie has none.

You might be interested in reading the book "Mine" by Jean Donaldson. It has been a few years since I read it, but it covers possessiveness and resource guarding. I don't remember if it covers dog-dog issues, but it's a very beneficial book to read. I think you will find Patricia McConnell's books very helpful and interesting too. She's had and helped many a Border Collie. Also, my dogs are Clicker trained (Border Collies eat this method up), so this would probably help with you being able to get Panda's focus on you without relying just on the ball. Just a suggestion. Lastly, "Click to Calm" by Emma Parsons is another very good book. All of these trainers/behaviorists mostly follow the same methods (as opposed to Cesar vs McConnell or Dunbar, etc.), so you can take suggestions & bits and pieces here and there and apply them to what works best for you & Panda.

Another thought I had is Panda's defensiveness to other dogs might be exacerbated by the tension he is feeling from you. You are concerned about what might happen when meeting another dog, and that tension travels down the leash. Very hard action (personal experience) to overcome, but something on-going to work on.

Let's go! Let's- drive!- Yeah!!!!!!
Barked: Thu Jul 9, '09 8:09am PST 
Wow, you are just a fountain of wisdom, Jackson!!applause

I'll check on those books, I tend to get a lot from reading. I also never just take a popular trainers ideas as gospel. I use what works for me and my animal.

One of my friends just adopted a grown BC as well, and she has noticed that Captain is reactive to dogs that make eye-contact. I'll be watching for this in the future to see if it is one or maybe the only trigger for Panda. Gender has nothing to do with it, neither does size.
I also found it interesting that she walked quietly through the gate at my friends house, with 2 Bassets barking at her right there at the gate!! That really surprised meshock!
After a while, she actually tried to get the boys to play with her.blue dog

As to the tension on my end of the leash, that will take some time and more positive experiences to ease up some. I guess Panda and I are in the same boat with that issue.

Christmas Eve- Baby
Barked: Thu Jul 9, '09 2:02pm PST 
Thank you, Panda. I hope some of the suggestions and reading materials help. In turn, you have asked excellent questions and presented real-life concerns that many of us have experienced and worked to improve. I'm hoping that some of the other users out there will chime in and offer their own experiences and what worked for them.
Oliver PAWS

<3s tennis- balls, peanut- butter, & Fling
Barked: Fri Jul 10, '09 9:54am PST 
Oliver is the same way when he's on leash, I think it's the whole flight or fight thing. But I'm doing the same thing.

There are a bunch of off leash dogs with no owners at all where I live so I started bringing an umbrella. Everytime an off leash dog comes over I open the umbrella to scare them off.

It's not fair to me to be responible for some one elses dog so if it scares the dog, too bad your dog shouldn't be off leash.

Hope this helps.

helloooo....! - i\'m TALKING to- you!!!!!
Barked: Tue Jul 14, '09 1:31pm PST 
when i had dandy in toronto, i ran into off-leash dogs **in the children's playgrounds** all the time. i finally called toronto animal services and was specifically told that if an uncontrolled animal approaches, what i should do is put the safety of myself and my daughter (then not even 2yrs old) first and that means letting dandy off the leash to deal with the other dog if necessary. she told me try yelling at the other dog or throwing things or keep a stick handy with me (she actually said baseball bat but i think that's doing it a bit too brown) but if the other dog doesn't break off, then let mine go and whatever happens, it's on the other owner's head.

same thing happened to us when we took dandy to the highland games ont he weekend. i had him tethered to my waist and okay, it's his first time in a crowded venue with other dogs and scads of kids and bagpipes, etc, but after about 20 min, he was totally cool. the bagpipes, oddly enough, seemed to even settle him down. anyway, i never even once had to seize his collar and say "oh, no, sorry, he's not good with kids" or "oh, sorry, he's a bit cranky" - in all cases, i replied in utter disbelief "then why on earth would you bring him HERE!??".

i'm with you - some ppl!!!!