Dog Chasing Kids

The question is….

Dear Liz: My family got a 3 month old Border Collie for Christmas this past year. Scooter is a great dog but when the kids are outside with their friends and they’re running around, Scooter chases after them and bites them in their heels. What can I do to make it stop?

Signed, Standing Still

The answer:

Dear Standing Still:

Well, asking a herding dog to stop rounding up things is like asking a Bassett Hound to grow legs! It’s genetically impossible. The Border Collie has been around since the 1700’s and it’s been bred to do the work of rounding up livestock. This is a natural instinct and will never be able to be trained away completely, if at all. This letter brings to light something I’ve been trying to get folks to do for years. Look beyond the cuteness of a puppy and research the breed before purchasing one.

Too many times we’re just charmed to pieces by the cuteness of an animal. We think we can change that animal’s natural instincts (or we’re told we can) and it turns into a huge disaster for everyone – especially the dog.

The springtime is the time when people really start looking for puppies and they’re out there in number, pleading with us to take them home and snuggle them. Trust me, I’ve been there! But the best thing you can possibly do is to research BEFORE you go looking. And stand firm!

So to Standing Still I say this. Unfortunately your Scooter will never stop rounding up the kids. Perhaps, though, you could try getting the kids involved in training Scooter in sports like flyball or in competition through your local 4-H. Scooter needs a job to do. There are plenty of agility clubs out there that would love to have his attendance! Good luck to you!

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