Training an Older Collie

I've known my fiance for four years, he has a 8 year old large Collie (he's had since he was a young pup). Before "Champ", all I ever knew about collies was Lassie. I've looked up sites and information, Champ is hardly anything like them, his personality is horrific, he is a glutton no matter how much you feed him. Collies are normally friendly with children (even babies), he will bare his fangs at Ariana (nine months old). We have to shave him because he can not keep himself properly groomed, he chews on himself all the time. His ears stand all the way up and make him look like an ugly rat, I've completely lost my attraction to collies since I've known this one. For more information, my fiance bought him for $75, I figure that the parents were not bred for conformation and the breed standard, but just for money and because they were so 'adorable'. I'm just hoping somebody has information that can help me.

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Spirit79 from Evansville, IN

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December 16, 20050 found this helpful

My grandparents raised collies for decades. They always gave the dogs names of leaders, Major, Sultan, Commadore...Something is definately wrong with 'Champ'. Every breed has a dog that just isn't the 'typical' example...but for $75, and if he was sold as a purebred..it sounds as if his lines were too close (granddaughter/son to grandma/pa, or even worse, parent/child). I'd get bloodwork done..without knowing the lineage of the parents, that isn't going to be possible to tell about that, but I was thinking maybe something else metabolically, or a chemical imbalance, or even diabetic. Yes, they can be. How young of a pup did your fiancee get him. Puppies should not leave their moms younger than 8 weeks, and I personally would not do it less than 10. Training from that stage is essential. It would most likely do no good to try now, though. Did he ever bare his teeth at anyone else before the baby? It could be jealousy or a territorial thing, but in a well tempered Collie, I've never seen it. My earliest of memories of dogs are my grandparents' Collies, they let us use them as 'horsies' (we were about 4) we played with them in the back yard, threw toys for them, hugged them, even play wrestled them. NEVER even a growl.

What worries me the most is the baby. If he bares his teeth, that is only a warning that he will (eventually) bite.

In my teens, I also lived with a lady who ran a dog kennel on her property, as well as selling, breeding, and showing Labradors. So, I had a pretty fair grip on understanding dogs. I am no expert on any breed, but having been around these two breeds, I can speak generally.

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December 17, 20050 found this helpful

No dog takes care of their own grooming, that's what their humans are for. It sounds like he's exhibiting jealousy toward the baby which is understandable. Try to give a little extra attention to the dog. He may also have a skin condition that causes his dry skin which causes him to scratch. And is he getting enough exercise? I have a Borzoi that's overweight at age 5 and it's from lack of exercise because he's decided he likes the warm couch and house better than the cold outside. Since I have 4 other dogs it's impossible to take just one for a walk. A trip to the Vet might be in order as well to check for any health problems that would cause the weight gain such as thyroid problems.

I had a Collie years ago and she was not "nice" with my children either. Lassie is just a fictional character and we all expect our dogs to behave that way without the hours and hours of training that brought about that behavior. Good luck and I hope he comes around and accepts the baby more.

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December 17, 20050 found this helpful

I am Spirit64 E-town,

This dog will bite. The snarling is an aggressive or fear-aggressive behaviour. Never leave this dog alone with the baby, especially close-by. No dog is naturally friendly with anything they don't want to be, expecially if they're trying to establish dominance in the family over the new "puppy." If you are nervous and frightened around the dog at any time, you give him control, so don't do it. Period.

This dog needs training with both you and your roomate, so that you are both competent dog owners. You owe it to your dog and your baby. Anything less is irresponsible parenting and dog ownership. Do I sound harsh? I'm not. The consequences of not caring for the dog properly would be much harsher than any mere words I could use.

Grooming a dog is the owners' responsibility. There is plenty of information on the Internet about grooming a collie. This is a handsful-kind of job, but easy if you watch TV, or contemplate the stars at night. Just combine the activities each day.

There is a group, shy-k9 at Yahoo groups that has a message board. A number of experts, trainers, are there to help you.

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December 17, 20050 found this helpful

A good idea is to go to yahoo groups and join collie group. The people in this group can give you advice on just about anything with collies. We have some very knowledgeable people there. Good luck. Collies need to be groomed they don't do it themselves.

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December 17, 20050 found this helpful

Relatives had a collie that became meaner with time.

Some do and some don't.

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December 17, 20050 found this helpful

Sounds like the dog is not getting the right food that he needs.Try a good quaility food given twice a day. As far as the grooming...all dogs have to be bathed and brushed, nails trimed by a human on a regular basis. The snarling at the baby.......if the baby is on the floor it is at eye level equal to the dog.The dog sounds as if he is protecting his enviroment. Please make sure the baby is not at eye level with the dog. Dogs can be aggressive toward a child out of jeliousy. Spend some quality time with the dog...away from the home......ie park.

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December 19, 20050 found this helpful

My daughter was bit in the face by an agressive purebreed when she was 18 months old.

She spent eight days in the hospital with 1000 stitches in her face. She is 26 and STILL has the scars.

Everyone is right. That dog will bite your baby! GET RID OF THAT DOG!!!

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January 13, 20060 found this helpful

To me it sounds like your dog could very well be suffering from health issues. I would be sure to test his tyroid as well as other health issues. He very well could be from bad breeding. But that's no reason to get rid of him. It just means you must be responsible. Keep him away from your child, seek a professional behaviourists advice and do what is best for your family and the dog.

As for grooming, that's your responsibility. Dogs don't have thumbs to brush them selves, they arn't cats either. They are a double coated breed that needs regular weekly brushings.

If you feel you just cannot give this dog a proper home, seek out collie rescues. They may be willing to help your boy work through his problems and find him a loving home without children. If you take him to a shelter, he will most likely be put down.

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