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My dog is jealous of my horse.

I have a horse and our border collie has been harassing him. I am allowed only to work with the dog, and tie him up when I work with the horse. He can not be tied up for long times because there is no shelter there.

Well, you got yourself a complex problem there. Border Collies have a built-in instinct to herd; in fact they direct their herding instinct to about anything that moves or is likely to move. If a stubborn sheep does not move when a BC approaches him the dog will (threaten to) bite in order to get him to listen. Normally we train the dog that he will only bite when told so (it only bites the wool, but this is enough to get the sheep moving). This is what's going on between your dog and your horse. The dog tries to herd, the horse does not react like your dog expects and he starts harassing the horse. When you work the dog all is well. When you start working the horse, the dog becomes jealous since he does not get attention at all and runs around the horse, because his herding instinct tells him so.

Some Border Collies just need to work with sheep in order to satisfy their herding instinct. Others only need to have another job or sports where they can use their minds. It's very important for a Border to have a mentally challenging job. This can be a wide variety of occupations (searching objects/people, herding, as a hearing dog for deaf people, etc.) as long as their minds are kept busy.

If you have to bring your dog with you when you work the horse make a shelter for him (a parasol or something) and tie him up. If you work your dog before you go to the horse and if he is really tired, he might be a bit quiet. Then a third person might be able to teach him to be really quiet when you work the horse.

When his herding instinct and his will to please are satisfied before you go to the horse, you can also teach him that he must not herd horses. You can teach him, because he has an alternative.


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This page last modified: Friday, 01-Aug-2008 17:07:11 CEST
 
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