Not long after his noise sensitivity and hiding issue manifested that I wrote about HERE, we thought Dex was beginning to show signs of aggression. Upsettingly for me, it also seemed to be aimed primarily at me. He would be lying near me chewing a bone, or even sleeping upside down in another room – and would suddenly come flying at me growling or barking and would sometimes tug at my clothes. Within seconds of this apparent madness, he’d be back to my normal dog again. For a while, it was so frustrating as there didn’t seem to be any reason for it. I could simply walk across the room and would suddenly get accosted. He never bit me, but it was a bit scary. Then one day, I had the light bulb moment.
It was fortunate that Dex was in my son’s bedroom while I was in the lounge, as the few seconds it took him to get to me, made me realise what was going on. It was hot and I decided to open the lounge window. As I opened it, it made a horrible noise and I just had time to think “I must oil those hinges” before a distressed, snarling dog came flying at me. Bingo! This has something to do with noise. It didn’t answer all questions, but it was a start. However, once we had this base to work from, everything fell into place. Trial and error showed there was a 2ft ‘danger zone’ in front of the lounge window. If he was in the room with me, the growling would start as I approached this zone. This is what I mean when I say, a lot of problems occur because of a Collie’s ability to anticipate. Anybody can open any window in my home, with the exception of the lounge. He’s far worse with me when it comes to this window, which I’ll talk about another time – however, we now have a work around.
I’m sure dog trainers will say I’m doing everything wrong, but this works. People aren’t joking when they say Collie’s can learn an enormous vocabulary. All I do now, is tell him. I say, “Dex, I’m opening the window.” He will immediately come to my side and escort me to the window. He will go very still and watch intently while I open it. Once done, he’ll now wag his tail and return to whatever he was doing. Friends think I’m mad. But telling him is a hell of a lot more simple, than having a snarling dog charge at you, at 30 miles an hour! And in case you’re wondering, yes – I did oil the hinges 3yrs ago. And no – it didn’t make any difference at all. He just has a window-ism issue!