No one can deny that Border Collie puppies are incredibly adorable. But despite their small size, their playful bites can hurt and can also start a pattern of behavior where biting can be problematic. But thankfully, addressing biting in puppies is FAR easier than in adult Collies. Time to nip this in the bud!
How do I stop my Border Collie puppy from biting? This can be done with patient training, best done at an early age. When a Border Collie puppy bites you, proclaim ‘Aw’ so they know they have hurt you, but stay otherwise calm and do not shout or physically punish them. Remove your puppy from the situation immediately and give them a puppy ‘time out’ in their crate or quiet room, so that they associate biting with unpleasant consequences and missing out on excitement and fun. Consistency is key!
Puppies explore the world with their mouths and play biting their companion ‘wolves’ is important developmentally, derived through evolution. But human skin is more tender than canines and persistent play biting can become a real problem, which is important to stop early on. This article helps you understand the roots of this behavior, at what age biting is likely to stop and how to stop your puppy from biting you and others.
See our list of ’10 Ways To Stop Your Puppy Biting’ below.
How Do I Stop My Border Collie Puppy From Biting?
Playing with a puppy is supposed to be fun for both owner and companion, but over-enthusiastic puppy biting can get frustrating and even painful – and is particularly a problem when you have guests around, especially if they include children! Your friends or family members may not appreciate this puppy behavior, and it may endanger your dog in the future if they do not learn to restrain themselves and stop biting. The key to stop collie puppies from biting? Put simply, it is i) consequences (withdraw attention/time out) and ii) consistency and repetition!
Puppies must learn that biting is not acceptable behavior and when they associate this with negative consequences they will soon adapt and play more gently. The consistency part is THE most important because as with all training, repetition of the same actions is essential for this to sink in. If your puppy is getting different consequences/actions for biting every time they do it – from different people – then how can we expect them to learn that biting is not appreciated?
MOST importantly, this must be done with love! Remember, your puppy is using his or her mouth to explore their new fascinating world, and if they were with their canine family their mum, dad and siblings would not be as sensitive and squeamish to a bit of play biting. Do not shout, hit or punish in an angry fashion, this will lead to anxiety and likely make the biting worse. Easier said than done I know… but taking a deep breath and simply withdrawing attention immediately after they bite or take them away from all the action will work wonders over time.
10 Ways To Stop Your Border Collie Puppy Biting:
- Withdraw Attention – When a Border Collie puppy bites you, proclaim ‘Aw’ so they know they have hurt you, but stay otherwise calm and do not shout or physically punish them. Simply withdrawing attention immediately after this can work really well, so that they quickly learn that biting leads to the end of playtime. No big reaction, no drama, just sitting quietly and ignoring them for a time. Try this simple method for a week, this may be all you need to do.
- Time Out – If simply withdrawing attention does not get results, it may be time for a puppy time out! The moment your Collie pup bites you or anyone else, express that this hurt again by saying ‘Aw’… then immediately take your puppy and put them in their safe crate or quiet room. No scolding or any other punishment. Over time they will learn to associate their biting with this consequence, being removed from all the action and missing out on fun.
- Less Excitement – Much or most biting in Border Collie puppies simply occurs when they are overstimulated and over-excited. This can particularly be the case when they are playing with children, who may (almost!) match their high energy levels and may not know when to stop. SO, it is important to monitor the dynamics of play and intervene when the puppy is becoming a little over-excited, preferably BEFORE the biting starts.
- Training Experts – If biting continues to be a problem then you may need a little expert help to show your pup that biting is not acceptable in human society. Contact your local dog trainers for advice and book a session; you can then apply what you have learned at home or on your walks.
- Diet – Your Border Collie should be healthy generally which will encourage healthy behavior. Make sure they have all the nutrients (plenty of veg!) and supplements they need to provide them with the ingredients to produce neurotransmitters in their brain that reduce stress and anxiety. These can include vitamins such as B12 and Omega-3 fatty acids to encourage relaxation and may prevent aggressive behavior.
- Physical Exercise – It’s important for your pup to get enough physical activity because when a dog is tired from exercise it won’t be interested in play-fighting. The amount of exercise your pup needs depends on their age but they need at least 20 minutes to an hour a day of brisk running exercise.
- Brain Games. This smart breed needs mental stimulation as part of its daily exercise routine. A fun game of fetch or playing with a safe chew toy can provide this.
- Environment -You should get your pup acclimated to the environment you will live in after he moves to his new home. You can do this by taking him on walks around your neighborhood or simply playing fetch with him inside your home. This will make it harder for your pup to find something worth biting because he has become familiar with the area and its rules.
- Positive reinforcement – Don’t forget to praise good behavior too! When a dog is calm around a person they should be praised for their good behavior. If the dog has been sitting properly without moving for fifteen minutes, reward them with a treat.
- Be consistent! – Again, this is worth repeating. Bear in mind that if you apply steps 1 to 3 above, but your husband, wife, partner, child, friend or ANYONE else does not know about or enact the -anti-biting training plan, then your puppy will still be getting mixed messages. OR they may stop biting you and continue biting your mother-in-law. Which is best avoided!
Important read: how to train your Border Collie puppy!
The Importance of Patience!
It’s important for you to realize that this behavior may not be very easy to stop overnight; it will take time and patience on your part. Make sure you apply the above training tips and actions consistently over time, and do not waver or give up. It may take 2-3 weeks to start seeing results, although should hopefully be rewarded with improving behavior sooner than this.
Being angry or punishing too harshly can lead to anxiety on your puppy which no one wants. And this is likely to lead to nervous biting from a fearful place, which is much more problematic and harder to tackle than play biting. We want a confident, happy puppy becoming a confident and happy adult, and they will then be less anxious and more friendly around visitors when they feel that they can play freely… and this will result in little or not biting in the long run.
Remember, dogs want what we give them! If we let our dogs run riot and do whatever they please during playtime, then we’re telling the dog that biting is okay and it will become ok in their mind to do so. Make sure you keep training sessions short as well because puppies don’t have much patience. There will also be a local puppy class that will help you with basic obedience training and can give you advice on how to tackle any unwanted behaviors.
Do Border Collie Puppies Bits A Lot?
Life with growing Border Collies is exciting, every day a new adventure. The downside? It can be tough to enjoy playing with your pup if they exhibit behaviors such as biting, jumping up, mounting or barking. However, these are natural behaviors for puppies because they want to play rough games or express their dominance over another dog.
Do Border Collie puppies bite a lot? Like all dog breeds, Border Collies do bite as puppies as a way of playing and exploring the environment around them. Collie pups do therefore bite, sometimes often, and usually in a soft and playful manner. This is natural behavior and will reduce dramatically with age and with the right training done with patience and compassion.
The natural order of the world is that the dog lives with its owner and it’s important to make your pup feel like he belongs, but at the same time, you need to set boundaries for him because this will be part of natural dog society. The natural instincts of dogs include chasing and barking, so we must teach our pups that these behaviors are natural canine behaviors but they don’t always have to play these games.
Why Does My Border Collie Puppy Bite Me?
We know that it can be difficult to manage a Border Collie puppy. They are so full of energy and they love to play! Your pup is going through the process of socialization, which means he’s learning about their environment and how things work in this world. They just need to learn that constant biting is not appreciated by their human!
You may ask: Why does my Border Collie puppy bite me? The answer is that they are wired this way. Border Collie puppies, like other dog breeds, evolved to use their mouth and teeth in social interactions with other canines and ‘rough play’ and assertion of dominance using biting plays an important function in development and hierarchies. They may also just be overstimulated and over-excited!
Puppies are curious creatures who want nothing more than to explore their surroundings. It may seem like your pup is being aggressive when he plays with you or other people, but that’s not always the case! He just wants to spend time with you and learn all about life around him. And remember, nipping is a very natural behavior stemming from the Border Collie breed’s origins as shepherding dogs.
Border Collie Puppy Aggression
There is a natural pecking order in dog society where each dog knows his place in the world. They benefit from living in packs with an alpha male and female who look after them. The ‘alpha’ role may be relatively new to people’s vocabulary, but it actually comes from the natural behaviors of wild wolves. Your Border Collie will play with other pups who are the same age and size because as a natural way of setting up boundaries and rules in life. Dog fights can happen when you have two dogs roughly the same size and strength, and this is natural and normal behavior. If your pup growls or shows his teeth when you play, that’s also natural.
When you watch dogs in the wild they will often squabble over food and resources. Territorial aggression is one of the most annoying problems that humans have to deal with in their dogs, but luckily the situation can be prevented. These tips should help show you how to keep your puppies from becoming territorial when they grow up. Avoid states of ‘territorial aggression due to objects’ – If your dog bullies people or other pets who walk on his/her territory, it’s recommended you do not allow this type of behavior at a young age by avoiding giving the puppy toys and chew-like objects in areas where he/she tends to occupy.
Reward calm behavior in your puppy – Placing a treat near your paws or having them roll over for a belly rub is another great way to teach your puppy calm behavior. This is also a perfect opportunity for them to engage in self-calming exercises, giving the dog an appropriate way to release their energy so they don’t have reasons to feel threatened or hyper-excited.
Find out more about possessive and territorial aggression in dogs here.
As a puppy owner, you need to help your Border Collie puppy learn that biting is not acceptable, but at the same time, you should never hit or harm your little pup, or else they may react aggressively towards humans or other animals when they’re older.
It’s important to teach them right from wrong so they know how to behave themselves in society without being too dominant over other pets. There are many ways you can encourage your Border Collie puppy not to bite such as training, diet, and exercising. As long as you show them some love and care for them, they will return the favor by loving you unconditionally.