Did you know if you have a group of teenagers playing the Wii in your living room, bouncing around & in general having fun - that this will make a border collie (who was before this point rather calm and happy) very agitated and upset?
Friday Night: John and the kids were playing Wii baseball. Finn & the other dogs were excited and bouncing around the living room with them. Then Finn suddenly nipped John hard in the back of the leg. John corrected him and Finn backed off. Then Grace took a turn, Finn circled around the chair and nailed Grace in the leg from behind. John corrected Finn again & they stopped playing the Wii and found something calmer to do.
Saturday Night: The kids were playing the Wii again. I let the dogs inside from the backyard. Finn came flying into the living room and bit Zach so hard in the leg that it broke the skin through his pants. Then he went after Evan.
I understand border collie behavior & why Finn was lunging and nipping. He is a herding dog, it is his instinct. I decided to work with Finn Sunday. Shaping his behavior with positive reinforcement, by marking the behavior hopefully modify Finn's reactions - basically desensitize him to the kids movements with the Wii. I had all the kids start playing the Wii again. Then when Finn ignored them, I clicked and treated him. He responded beautifully. After several sessions throughout the day Finn started to ignore them and looked to me for direction.
That was reassuring to me. He is trainable.
Later on though he started growling at our 10 y/o Grace and showing some aggressive behavior to the other kids when they would walk by him. That sealed the deal...
I could not trust him with the kids - which is not unusual for the breed. Finn is a young border collie who is very trainable. However he needs more than I can provide him in our home and he should not be around children at this time. Between the separation anxiety (cannot leave him alone & we haven't slept through the night in a week), and the biting I had to send him back to Bob (the breed rep for rescue). Bob has the experience, endless knowledge, patience and facilities to work with Finn. He can give him so much more than the very little I can...
I made arrangements with Bob to meet him this afternoon.
Finn cuddled at my feet all morning - I felt like such a traitor. That feeling lasted until Bonnie walked into my office & Finn started aggressive resource guarding - in a split second he shot out from under my desk and refused to allow her within 5 feet of me. *sigh*
I knew I made the right decision - Finn needed to leave. For my children and dogs safety.
I feel terrible....Finn has so much potential - but it seemed the more comfortable he was getting in our home the more aggressive he was getting.
It isn't his fault. I should have been paying more attention and not allowed Finn to be in a situation where he could fail like that.
Oddly enough...I am going to miss him. However I am REALLY looking forward to snuggling with my hubby and sleeping through the night - we get our bed back! YEAH!
1 day ago