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Border Collie Puppy Biting

Border Collie Puppy Biting

Almost anyone who owned a puppy has had some sort of experience with this particular problem. You start playing with your puppy and during the game he gets too excited and bites you. Or while playing outside, you start running and your Border Collie starts chasing you and biting your legs.

It’s a common problem with a lot of puppies. As much as you might love to play with your dog, the constant biting can really ruin your fun, not to mention your clothes which are probably filled with holes from the little biter already.

Usually puppies outgrow this type of behavior by the time they reach adulthood and don’t bite anymore. Sometimes though, if they don’t learn that biting is not a fun way to play, they can keep this habit throughout their adult life. So it is better that you do something the biting and stop it before the biting starts to REALLY hurt.

Why Your Puppy Bites You

Puppies are a lot like children in many ways. They are curious, silly and very playful. Unfortunately for you though, the only games they know how to play include growling, barking and biting. Since they were born, the only types of games they played with their siblings were chasing and play fighting.

So when they get excited and really want to play with you, they are bound to remember the games they had with the other puppies and “show” them to you by biting your hands or feet.

Usually the puppies learn that biting hurts and no one will play with them through play time with their siblings. When one of the Border Collie puppies bites another one too hard, the one that has been bitten yelps out and stops playing with the biter. At first the biter might not realize why the fun stopped but after a couple of more games where that happens, he will learn that biting too hard will end the game so they stop.

If however the puppy is taken away from his siblings too early, he won’t have a chance to learn this. Unfortunately for your hands, this means that he will keep biting while playing games. Luckily though, there are many ways to train your Border Collie puppy to stop biting.

How to Stop a Collie Puppy that Bites

There are several methods that you can use to stop a Border Collie from biting. I’ll go over only a few of them that have worked, for me personally or for someone I know. You can combine a few of these training tips for better results.

  • Training Tip #1 – Immediately stop playing with your Collie puppy whenever he bites you. Try to make it very obvious as to why you stopped playing. As soon as he bites you, turn away and take any toy you were playing with away from him. Your Collie puppy will learn that biting will quickly end the fun for both of you.
  • Training Tip #2 – When your puppy bites you, try to yell out. This is the same method that puppies use amongst each other and it works wonders. The only downside is that you will probably look silly to someone who doesn’t know what’s going on.
  • Training Tip #3 – Avoid aggressive games. As much as your puppy might love to play fight with you, try to come up with other games which your Collie might enjoy. Aggressive games like play fighting, keep away and tug of war encourage the puppy to bite.
  • Training Tip #4 – Always be consistent with your method. Whether you stop playing with your puppy, yell out when he bites you or both, you need to be consistent for him to catch on to what you’re doing.
  • Training tip #5 – Tell other family members and friends to do the same thing. Your efforts will be a lot more effective if everyone else is on board too. Your puppy will also learn much quicker that biting others during games is not acceptable behavior.

If you want to learn how to cure even some of the worst Border Collie behavior problems and the exact things you need for a happy, healthy and obedient dog, check out the Border Collie Owners Guide.

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11 Responses to “Border Collie Puppy Biting”

  1. connie says:

    I have a 4 year old nutered male collie wich i have had since a puppy, until recently he has been brillient with my 10 grand children.He has never nipped or bitten any of them he loves their attention and followes them around . He knows the difference between his and their toys, and has never been distructive But all of a sudden i have noticed that bobbie gets very anxious when the two youngest come to the house, they are of a similar age (3 years) but of two different families. Bobbie nipped my grandson on his lip drawing blood, there was no growling or warning . The only incident i can think of that may of triggered this was a few months ago i caught my grandson kicking bobbie, he did not retalerate but came over to me and just followed me around until my grandson went home.I am very worried this may happen again and now leave bobbie in the kitchen with a gate to seprate them when he visits please can you advise me on what to do he does not show this behaviour to my other grandchildren.

    • Alice Singer says:

      It’s hard to say without knowing exactly what happened. Were you present when the incident happened? Was the dog provoked? It would seem odd for him to bite your grandson for no reason. Does the Border Collie act defensive or aggressive towards the grandson since that incident?

      For now it’s a good idea to never leave them unsupervised though.

      • John says:

        As a rule of thumb never ever leave your dog alone with kids. No matter how good you think your dog is! Most likely been provoked by the kids, but the will not know any better.

  2. Erika says:

    We adopted a BC crossed with a Chesapeake bay retriever and are having a heck of a time. He is generally a jolly fella until you ask him to do something. If the mood strikes him then he does it, if not,then NO WAY..Any sort of reprimand and he bites at us ,the leash and jumps up on us.. We are seeing a trainer once a week, but this is happening daily and getting exhausting. Any suggestions? We are saying NO, tugging on the leash, pushing him back down off us, using the crate as a time out place, but to no avail….HELP.
    thanks in advance !

    • Bryce says:

      Hi Erika. Admittingly, I don’t know everything about dogs, but I have seen much and grown up with them my whole life. I currently have a border collie. He is pure bred. I’ve only had him three weeks. My hurdle is that he was abused right up until I got him so I have to be very careful. However, I have seen much improvement and I think I can help you out! :)

      Let’s start with the jumping. That one is simple. Simply turn your back to him. No dog likes to be ignored. The whole reason they are jumping on you is for the attention. When you push him off of you he is getting attention which, in turn, makes him do it again. Turn your back until he is sitting down and them praise him and pet him. Until he gets better he will jump up when you start praising him so you will have to repeat. Border Collies are extremely smart. Mine learned this by the third day!!

      For aggression on the leash, the pulling away from you, is most likely stemmed from not being on a leash a whole bunch. They will get past this. If you have a yard start there, otherwise in the kitchen will work. When he starts pulling don’t respond. Don’t do anything. Not a verbal reprimand or moving away from him. Just stand there and hold the leash. Try, without leaning over or anything, maintaining eye contact. That’s a dominance thing. Over time, days to weeks, this will subside.

      For biting, it doens’t need to be said that is terrible! He will get bigger!! What I’m going to suggest goes hand in hand with any other kind of reprimand. If you strike your dog, not suggesting you do, then he will fear you and run from you constantly and never listen. In turn, if you kennel your dog, that will be a place he doesn’t like. The kennel should be his sleeping place not a place of reprimand. My suggestion is roll him on his back and hold him down. Maintain eye contact until he won’t look at you. He will fight this, but the reason behind it is it exposes his stomach and neck and makes him feel vulnerable. If you watch dogs play, the submissive one will lay on their back and expose themselves to show submission.

      I hope you find this helpful. This really will take some time. The solution is consitancy. Stick with it and you will see results.

      If you use treats while you train, it will go much faster. There are little treats you can buy from pet stores that are perfect. They are soft and small and cheap!!

      Good luck. Please feel free to ask any more questions you may have. I’ve been where you are and it isn’t fun…

  3. Britney says:

    Hi, I have a 3 month old Border Collie, Nova. She’s bitting a lot more recently than she did when I got her. She’s been in my home almost 2 weeks and I’m still giving her time to adjust, but the bitting is a major problem. I’ve gotten several bite marks that have actually bleed. I’ve tried EVERYTHING to get her to stop biting. I don’t play tug-o-war with her, because it’s an aggressive game. When she starts bitting I tell her no and I stop playing with her for a few minutes. I’m not sure what else to do. I have two other animals in my home, a 16 year old beagle and a rabbit, who’s in a cage…but I’m worried that she might seriously hurt one of them.

    I’m not giving in on teaching her to stop bitting, but I’m worried that maybe I’m not being stern enough? Are there any suggestions you have?

  4. Blake says:

    I have a 1/2 Border Collie 1/2 Blue Heeler mix that we have had since he was a puppy and is currently just over a year old. As a puppy he loved to play and hangout, but now he’s more of a full on hyper collie that loves to herd/ bite pants, heels, and shoes. I have trained him to do some tricks but doesn’t listen when he wants to do something different. We had a professional trainer come to help us, but that didn’t help at all. I currently don’t know what to do about it because you can play for a couple seconds and then quickly switches to herding mode and you can’t get him to stop unless you throw a stick at the fence to distract him and quickly run before he notices, which, if you do that he can’t really learn not to bite because you can’t stay and tell him not to. He often does this even without playing. I don’t know what to do and have tried everything I have seen/ heard or already know. I know lots about dogs and other animals and plan to be a veterinarian but just don’t know what to do anymore. Our last resort is to get rid of him sadly. Please help.

    • Blake says:

      *Note: He also has a problem with jumping, if you turn he just follows you around for a couple seconds and then starts biting to get attention again. As for the biting problem I have tried ignoring it so he gets bored but he either doesn’t or stops until you move again.

    • Blake says:

      One more thing, for biting I have tried to get him to submit by rolling on his back. This helps for a couple seconds but then goes right back to biting.

      • helen says:

        rolling on the back doesn’t ever work, collies are clever and just play dead. Have you tried squealing really sharp and high pitched? you may look stupid but it should work though I hope your dog isn’t too old for it. When jumping up turn, don’t walk and if you notice your dog has calmed down or stopped biting reward him. the timing is crucial otherwise you reward for biting. at first reward as soon as you turn or he stops and prompt for him to sit. I used clicker training :) make sure your dog has been exercised before you do tricks and training and just keep consistent. there’s always a way :)

  5. helen says:

    This has worked amazingly! my BC ace (we have some batman fans!)is really starting to get the hang of this. squealing always makes him stop, even if he didn’t really hurt me. The only thing I don’t agree with is tug of war. My dog loves this game but if you teach the rules of the game and aren’t being violent or making exciting noises as you play he’s fine. occasionally when he gets too excited I stop but this should be enjoyed.

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