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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20218
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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Can you help if not my dog is to be put down tomorrow, he is

Customer Question

can you help if not my dog is to be put down tomorrow, he is just over 2 years old but right from day 1 he has always been so frightened of almost anything, even if a bird flies out of a bush.the problem is he now is trying to bite people, dogs(nipping their legs) but last week he bit my mothers hairdresser for no apparent reason. what I cant understand is he can be brilliant one minuite and then try to bite people.please help as I feel I have failed him and he will be put down so young
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
Hi JaCustomer, My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today. In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient. What breed is your dog?Does he have any hair loss or excessive shedding?What obedience training have you done with him?He sneaks up behind people to bite them, correct?What have you tried so far?
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
I was hoping to get an answer to my request for more information, but don't want you to have to wait either. Border collies, if that is what she is, tend to be high energy dogs and need a lot of exercise as well as mental stimulation or they can become bored and have behavioral issues. They need frequent walks and other activities to keep them occupied. Many owners elect to do agility training with them to give them an outlet for their excess energy and keep them stimulated mentally. So the first thing is lots of fast paced exercise. I'd recommend at least 2 hour long walks each day. They should be fast paced without allowing him to sniff or investigate or socialize. Half way through the walk, designate a stopping point where your dog can sniff, explore and eliminate and then another fast paced walk home. Start obedience training if he hasn't already been through it. If he has had training, step up the reinforcement sessions to every day. The following site is helpful in helping owners train their 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. As I mentioned, agility training might help as well. Here is a site on agility training basics. You can use the obedience training to have him sit and stay when people come into the house. A well trained dog will stay until released, so be sure to have a release command as well. Until he is trained to sit and stay, keep a leash on him and slip it under your foot when answering the door and that will keep him in a sit stay position until the visitor is seated and he can't sneak up behind them to nip. An exaggerated walk bringing the heels up in the back can also prevent a dog freom nipping when they walk. A good basket style muzzle will help prevent bites until you get him trained as well. It has to be basket style so he can breath, drink and even eat relatively normally with it on but still prevent bites. It wont' be a quick fix though the muzzle will prevent bites, but training is your best bet at stopping the issue. There are medical issues such as hypothyroidism can cause sudden aggression as well so a thyroid panel might be a good thing to have done as well. I hope this information is helpful to you. 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 . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
I'm hoping you were able to turn things around with your dog. Please let me know if you found my answer helpful.