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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20222
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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Our 18 month old Border Collie can be snappy with people

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Our 18 month old bitch Border Collie can be snappy with people other than ourselves, if anyone approaches her she tends to lunge forward and bark although she has not bitten anyone as yet this is what we are most worried about. She will sit and lie down to command and is reasonably good at comming back to command, she loves chasing a ball and ignores other dogs and people while doing this. what are we doing wrong?
Hi JaCustomer,
My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
In order to supply you with the best information, I do need to ask for some additional information. Once I receive your answer, it will likely take me about 30-45 minutes to type up your response. I hope you can be patient.
Is she spayed?
Is there a reason you want her to let others approach her besides just wanting her to be social?
What does she do if she is off leash and other people are around?
When sitting and people approach her, are they leaning over her to pet her or crouching down a few feet away?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes she is spayed.

It would be nice if she was more socialable but we are worried that she may bite someone.

She often barks and backs up even when people are accros the road.

I asked about how she acts off leash because often a dog will act one way on leash and another off leash. The owner often transmits their worry down the leash to the dog which makes the dog nervous and worried about what they believe you are worried about. They think it is the people and not the way they might react. So if she does not react off leash then you would want to be as relaxed as possible when you have her on leash.
I'm going to suggest daily obedience training. It helps establish you as the leader and as leader, you make the decisions and you decide who can come close or not. This is likely why getting her to sit helps the situation. The following site is helpful for teaching you how to train your dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.
Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.
Teach her more than just the basics as it never hurts. Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.
It will be helpful if you can find someone to help you once you have your dog listening to commands consistently. What you will do is have your dog on the leash. You will have your helper off in the distance. Your helper will gradually move closer to you preferably walking past your position in the distance. As long as your dog ignores them, you can give your dog praise and a treat. The second you see her fixate on the person or show any other sign of aggression (hair standing up, etc.) give your dog a correction by giving a short tug and a firm low toned "NO". It shouldn't take your dog long to realize you will not tolerate the aggression and that if se ignores the person, he gets treats. Once this happens you can repeat the training moving the person closer until he is no longer trying to lunge at people. You will need to practice this when you and your dog are walking as well.
You might also try a new method called bat. You can read more on this here:
Never let someone loom over your dog or even bend over her to pet her. It is seen as a dominant gesture. If they must approach, have them crouch several feet away with a tasty treat like a hot dog slice and let her come to them, tossing her the treat when she get close. Have as many people as you can toss her treats when you encounter them. This will get her associating them with good things like treats.
In addition, if the situation is not improving using the techniques on the previous website, you may have to consult a professional behaviorist. You can usually find a behaviorist by asking your Vet for a recommendation or you may be able to find one using the following site.
I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .
Jane Lefler and other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you