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Boarder Collies and Cats

September 17th, 2004, 03:18 PM
We recently acquired a female boarder collie (estimated age between 6 and 8 years old). Her previous owner found her about 2 years ago. She is very sweet and extremely well trained. We have 5 cats. She stares at them constantly at a very close range and appears to be "herding" them whenever their paths cross. I am not sure if her behavior is from previous herding experience or threatening (her teeth have been filed down some and we were told this is what they do with working boarder collies). She does snarl at them if they come near her when she is eating, and did fight back a little when one of the cats took a swipe at her. I am wondering if anyone can give me suggestions (and perhaps some insight into boarder collie - we don't know much, but are learning) and how (and if) we can get everyone living nicely together.

Lucky Rescue
September 17th, 2004, 06:10 PM
The intense staring and herding behavior is genetic in border collies and cannot be trained out. This is part of their behavior to control sheep and is deeply ingrained in them. These are dogs who need a job to do, and a great deal of exercise. If your dog doesn't have an outlet for her energy and instincts, problems can ensue.

As for her snarling at the cats when she is eating and they come near, many dogs will protect their food from other animals. I keep my cats away from my dog when she eats and suggest you do the same.

You should not allow her to approach the cats for now, and teach her a solid "Leave it" to avoid conflicts. Border collies are highly intelligent and learn very quickly.

Also do not allow the cats to taunt or harass her.