If the relationship between you and your collie has got you pulling your hair out, rehoming isn't necessarily the answer.

Rescue centres up and down the country are full of dogs who have been discarded by their owners as though they're just a disposable commodity.

If you made a lifetime commitment to the dog in your house, then you really owe it to them to try and sort out the problem before you ship them off to a rescue centre.

If your car broke down, would you take it to the scrap yard and then just buy a new one?

If you had kids and they misbehaved, would you put them up for adoption and then have more kids until you found one that behaved?

The reason why problems get so bad and people rehome their dogs is because they let problems reach crisis point before they act.

Dogs, and especially Collies, need special understanding and consideration to take their needs into account.  It simply isn't fair to take a working dog into your home and expect that the dog is the one that will make all the sacrifices.


You must first seek professional advice.  If your dog is acting out of character always have them checked by a vet in the first instance.  It's important that any medical reason for a change in behaviour is diagnosed before a behaviourist comes near your dog.  If your collie is misbehaving because they are in pain, no amount of training will help!
There are so many medical conditions that can cause a change in personality for your dog that it is so important that your Vet check them out first. 


Assess the problem.  What can you do to solve it?

If you think you're not around enough during the day for your collie, get a friend to pop in an take them for a walk.  Perhaps a neighbour will dog-sit during the daytime for you.  You can also get professional dog-walkers nowadays.

If the dog is 'nipping' the kids, then enrol into some training classes and start building some levels of communication that way.  Get the kids involved in the training so they aren't the 'flock' anymore. 

Make sure you reinforce the pack order.  Dogs are pack animals, and Border Collies love feeling that they are part of a pack.  Always make sure that the humans in the household are at the top of the pack order, and your collie is at the bottom.


Solve the problem.  

If you need to, bring in a behaviourist, or get some specific breed advice from a behaviourist or breed rescue.  Collies love of human contact and need for constant mental and physical stimulation means a bored Border Collie is an unhappy Border Collie.  People with knowledge of how the Border Collie's mind works will be able to help you solve most problems with their behaviour, as often it is borne out of frustration.

Because of the Collies adeptness for learning, they respond well to positive reinforcement techniques in order to change their outlook and bad behaviour.  Make sure that any training class or behaviourist you use is familiar with such techniques.

The main point is that with a Border Collie, you get out what you put in.  If you aren't prepared to work and train with your Collie when problems arise, then perhaps it wasn't the right breed for you in the first place.




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The advice given in this site is no way to be taken as a replacement for professional advice either by a Veterinarian or a Behaviourist. Situations of individual animals vary greatly, and what causes problems in one Collie can be different for another.  If you would like one-to-one advice, then please get in touch by using the 'contact us' link.  This site 2004 Border Collie SOS.