Home » Fear and Anxiety » When to say goodbye?

When to say goodbye?



Update “There is so way I could now part with Ranger and we have managed every situation in our path. my little sister and he have a mutual understanding that involved tennis balls and treats and this makes her the best in his eyes. When she comes over now he doesnt drop his tennis ball at our feet he goes right to her. It will be a long journey with him but one we are prepared to take”


This is my fear reactive little guy ‘Ranger’. I love this 13 month old border collie like he was my child. He has come a long way however I can never trust him around children. I read a book once on fear reactive dogs from a well respected trainer who said that at some point she had to re home a dog even though she worked really hard with him…. he was better off somewhere else. My 5 year old sister is coming to stay with us for a few months and I’m faced with the heartbreaking decision of trying to manage the situation or sending Ranger back to his breeder who is happy to take him. I cannot say enough great things about good breeders, and she is one of them. I’m trying to resist making a decision however time is ticking by. . . . to part with my soul mate or risk it. Welcome any advice…..


8 thoughts on “When to say goodbye?

  1. Wow…a difficult decision indeed. I have a nine year old brother and I know if he ever came to live with us (we also have two reactive GSDs) we would use management, management, management and work like heck to get them to be okay with one another. It would take a lot of hard work and patience and probably the intervention of a private trainer, but we would give it a go. If it doesn’t work out, we would cross that bridge when we got there. Beautiful photo, I don’t envy you your position. Please keep us updated on how it goes!

    • Thanks for your thoughts. At this point we are thinking management. He loves her if she has treats and food so they are the rules for interaction. At 5 yrs old I have to trust she will obey them. He is only scared of her when he has a chance to think. It’s worth a try and at least if it doesn’t go well there is somewhere for him to go.

  2. We are dealing with the same, our reactive border collie is 6 months old. I would love to chat privately via email about what is and is not working for us and our “project puppy.”

  3. Such a hard decision. 😦 I don’t know what he’s like with kids and what the situation is, and how you are planning to manage, but I would think that it’s important to not risk anything happening accidentally, and having a worse outcome for him – could your breeder take him for the few months when she’s coming to stay and you get him back when she’s not staying?

    • Hi Em,
      Thanks for your comments, I wrote this post quite some time ago and im leaving it here to see where we have come from. I should probably amend it to say that. When It came down to it I couldn’t part with him and would never consider it again. We managed the situation with my little sister and have had her stay with us for weeks at a time since then. He has grown to like her as her appearance always means tennis ball or treats :). At this stage I would never risk another child near him but that is how we manage.

      • Oh duh I hadn’t even thought that it was old. I’m just a moron 😉 I’m so glad you managed it all and it’s all fine- that’s a great outcome and awesome to hear he’s come so far. And I wasn’t suggesting you weren’t going to be sensible about it- I can just imagine how hard the decision would have been. So glad it all worked out with this situation at least 🙂

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