Help! Border collies terrorizing horses and chickens

Discussion in 'Working and Companion Animals' started by Lucyloo, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. Lucyloo

    Lucyloo Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2018
    Hi everyone,

    I have two 8 month old border collies who, whenever they are let out, either run straight to the chicken coop or beeline to the horse pasture, and nearly give the animals heart attacks! They jump up and bang against the mesh wire on our chicken coop, run circles around it barking, and have done some serious damage to it that we had to fix! With the horses, they drive our old mare crazy, running and jumping around her in circles while barking. I completely understand that this is just their herding instincts kicking in, but if anyone has had this same problem or knows how to fix or prevent it, please let me know. Ideally, I want my BCs to be the protectors of the chicken coop, rather that being fixated on breaking into it 24/7!

    Thanks!
     
  2. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Formerly LisainN.Idaho Supporter

    Messages:
    15,931
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Are they littermates?
     

  3. Lucyloo

    Lucyloo Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2018
    No, one (the male) is a month or two younger than the female.
     
  4. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Formerly LisainN.Idaho Supporter

    Messages:
    15,931
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    I have a border collie but the idea of having two as puppies at the same time “training” each other doesn’t sound optimal.
    mine was trained by our Great Pyrenees and a pony who doesn’t suffer poorly behaved dogs.
    You don’t want this getting worse. Might want to call a trainer. I would for sure keep them contained before they kill a chicken or get kicked by the horse.
     
    kalmara likes this.
  5. Lucyloo

    Lucyloo Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2018
    In addition to the 2 BCs we have a lab mix and an anatolian shepherd that are always around, so they are somewhat training them, but so far haven't done anything about this problem. We have been keeping a better eye on them when we let them run around lately, and have been keeping them in a big enclosed area more of the day. Hopefully the problem will get better as our other dogs begin to put them in their place.

    Thanks for the advice!
     
    boerboy likes this.
  6. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Formerly LisainN.Idaho Supporter

    Messages:
    15,931
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    I didn’t really have any...just a tough problem. :)
     
  7. mnn2501

    mnn2501 Dallas

    Messages:
    12,064
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    N of Dallas, TX
    8 month old puppies are like 2 year old kids. Get them plenty of exercise and be with them anytime they are able to get near the chickens or horses, teach them "No" if you have not already and hopefully they'll grow out of it.
     
    kalmara likes this.
  8. Lucyloo

    Lucyloo Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2018
    Thank you.
     
  9. CountryMom22

    CountryMom22 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,401
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    Location:
    Central NJ
    Two puppies is usually not a good idea. They tend to form the pack mentality which spells trouble. Your older dogs are not going to train the puppies, that isn't their job. The pups need training from you. The longer their behavior continues, the harder it will be to fix it. They should not be allowed to harass the other animals, as they could easily get stomped or kicked.

    I would start with the basics: sit, stay, come, leave it and no. And of course a solid recall. That way they are under your control even when not right by your side (hopefully). Even a dog with herding instinct needs to be trained to use his instincts and respond to commands. The dog helps the owner, but the owner needs to do the thinking and give directions, so an innate herding instinct isn't enough.

    Good luck, sounds like you've got your hands full!
     
    RichNC, Ronney and kalmara like this.
  10. kalmara

    kalmara Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    197
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2011
    Location:
    New Zealand. East Coast (sun !)
    you need to start training them now. Put one away in a kennel or tie it up, two pups will egg each other on. Put in some one on one time with each of them. Being a working breed they need a job, you need to give them a job, supervised. Not a good idea to sit back & wait for them to be trained by the older dogs, it just isn't going to happen that way. Maybe think about rehoming one of them to make it easier & give you more time to concentrate on getting one trained.
     
    CountryMom22 likes this.
  11. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,774
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Lucy, I keep BC or heading dogs (which have a large amount of BC in their breeding) and to start with neither breed should bark - they are eye dogs. Your other dogs are not going to "teach" them to do anything.

    Are you expecting these pups to grow into LGD's? because that's what your original post sounds like. That isn't going to happen. BC's are working dogs, their instinct is to work stock usually sheep but also cattle, not to patrol your perimeter fencing as an LGD. They are full-on dogs, need heaps of exercise and/or work, get bored if they don't get it and will go off to find their own "work" which may not be the best thing for you.

    You have had good advice from Kalmera and others - please, take it on board.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  12. hiddensprings

    hiddensprings Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,033
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2009
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Training is a must. Work on getting them to come as soon as you call. Explain “no” to them....I love Border Collies and have had several. They learned the word “out”, which meant get your tushy out of the pasture. I never allowed them out unless they were with me. If you need too, keep them on a lease while you are starting their training. I had one that I was not able to train. Her herding instinct was so powerful and she was as stubborn as they come. I ended up giving her to a neighbor who raised BC’s for his cattle operation. She turned into a great dog for him because she need a much more difficult job than I could give her. My favorite Jake, was a great herder but was much more into being with me. He followed me everywhere and listened very well. He had the instinct but it just wasn’t as powerful as the female.
     
  13. CountryMom22

    CountryMom22 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,401
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    Location:
    Central NJ
    Ronney picked up on something I totally missed in your original post.... Border Collies are not LGD's. They will not patrol your property. They are herding dogs in need of a job. Bored BC's can be a nightmare. These may not be the right dogs for the job!
     
  14. Pyrpup2016

    Pyrpup2016 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    214
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2016
    You've gotten some good ideas here, but the basics are that those pups shouldn't ever be loose with the stock!!!! You need a long line, and work with them one at a time, and Never off the line. Every time they do something you don't like, you have to have some control to stop it. Every time they do something, it is a lesson - good or bad, it's a lesson they've learned. If you can't control them, they can't be loose. Period.!!! None of us that raise working dogs allow the bad behaviors to be learned. Pups are either on a line, or penned up. It will take work, lots of it. They are doing what their instincts tell them, but you have to be able to control what they do and when. As others have said, two pups is a recipe for untrained, out of control dogs. They work for and with each other, rather than you. BC's are very receptive to training, but it has to be consistent and firm. They also (as others have said) are not guardian dogs. They are dogs that gather and hold stock - then learn to bring them to the handler. They will always revert to that behavior, given the chance. They may learn to mellow out, but shouldn't be trusted loose with stock until they're old and "chilled out".
     
  15. haypoint

    haypoint Unpaid, Volunteer Devil's Advocate Supporter

    Messages:
    13,800
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Location:
    Northern Michigan (U.P.)
    A single well trained BC is too much for most farms. They need a job. That can be agility events, hours on end Frisbee catching, eliminating geese from an airport or community park or herding a flock of sheep.
    An untrained BC is a pest on every farm or back yard.
    Two untrained BC puppies are a disaster. BC will herd sheep, cattle, horses, ducks, children, joggers. They are intense. Any fast object is exciting. The snow off a shovel, a rabbit or a flock of chickens. Without the command "stay", expect disaster.
    Their instinct is to group animals and move them towards you.
    Wrong breed, wrong job, wrong plan. I don't see a happy ending here.