My male BC Jack seems to be having some behavioral issues. We don't know much about his past. He seems to cower in the presence of some men and others he seems to really not like at all, he growls and barks pretty fiercely. He is ok with most women. We just had an incident the other day when my fiancée was walking Jack and our neighbor's intact black lab ran up to Jack and snapped at him. Jack was very scared and didn't make it peep. Now whenever Jack comes near a bigger dog he growls and barks. He is fine with smaller dogs.
Is there anything we can do to help our boy? I don't want Jack or anyone else's dog getting hurt. Our boy is still an intact male. We are getting him neutered next month.
How old is Jack and how long has he been with you ? I'm sure there will be others who have experience with this and can offer great advice. I am not sure if I would neuter until you have made some progress with his fear issues. Fearfulness can sometimes increase when you take away the testosterone. It has also been my experience that neutered males are more often the instigators of trouble with intact males for some reason and I have heard many others who have experienced the same. I am not really sure why this is but perhaps it is fear or threat based in which case neutering might not help the situation right now.
Without actually being there with you to see how Jack reacts to any situation it is very difficult to give any kind of advice. I would suggest you set an appointment with a certified behaviorist to help you through jack's issues.
Not only can the behaviorist give you some hands on help but the issues will more than likely be resolved much more quickly making everything better for you and Jack.
What area of the US do you live? There might be a member who knows of someone who can help.
One Border Collie Is Never Enough
While there are ways you can work around this, you definitely want an R+ behaviorist who can read your dog and work with you in person. For now, I would walk in the opposite direction of any houses with loose dogs. The more times an incident is repeated the harder it will be to break the mindset.
Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
Poor Jack he sounds just insecure and lacks confidence. If you have men about I would instruct them to not even acknowledge Jack, This will hopefully build up trust and jack may get curious if he does the men are still not to touch or look at him. I know it is hard for guys to listen to instructions, lol, but it is important. When ever he is fearful he needs space.
Same as with dogs let him have his distance do not allow unwanted dogs to visit him.
The more he feels he can trust you to get him out of a situation or better still not allow a situation the more confident he will feel with you.
As far as neutering goes I am in 2 minds. In some ways I think it might help. If he is pumping out testosterone as an adolescent it could be making the situation worse.
I have witnessed a very nervous adolescent male taken from a multi household situation where he was being bullied by the other intact males and the new owners did fix him and it made a difference.
Knowing how much his testosterone is affecting him, or affecting other dogs towards him I cannot say, that would be needed to be some what observed
Thank you everyone for your input. I really do appreciate it. Jack really is a very good boy. He just has these few issues that we need to work on and then I think he will be even better. I have never met a more loyal and loving dog then Jack before in my entire life. He deserves my love, loyalty attention to this matter and I reassure you all he will get it.
These behaviours are not that unusual in BC they are a softer dog, and certainly you can see timid.
If you look at the history of the breed, many of the BCs did not meet many new people they lived quite a secluded life.