Marnie, I have. And it can be any of those things you listed (or a combination). The dog was not "damaged as a puppy" in fact she was raised very well, great home, very well trained but she was outgoing with some people and terrified (I'm talking pee and poop on herself) of others for no reason (these people did nothing to her ever, she would be terrified of them at first meeting before there was any context or even an opportunity for them to do something that might inadvertently scare a dog). I tried to help for over three years, it never got any better or worse, so I eventually "retired" the dog in a very quiet home with as few people as possible... calm older couple with extensive dog experience (K9 cop handler), no kids in the home, no other pets, out in the country.
Hi Leisje, I’m so glad you were able to find a good home for your dog. I hope she has become a valued pet for her new owners. The thing is, no one can ever know
if the dog is unstable genetically or traumatized at some point in her early life.
My border collie was insane in some people’s opinion. But I think I know part of the reason. I got her at 4 months old. She had never left the milk house where she was born. Her owners kept her clean and well fed. The kids groomed her but she was absolutely and totally unsocialized. Of course she would do the submissive peeing. When I tried to put her in an airline kennel to go to the vet, she bit the stuffing out of me (this was at 4-months old.) She jumped thru several screen windows and then moved on to jumping thru glass. She chewed and bent the wires on a chain link fence until almost all her teeth were broken. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to get rid of that dog. But eventually she outgrew it—all but the desperate chewing to escape from thunder storms. If thunderstorm phobia is a genetic disorder, she had it. Actually, everyone I know who has a border collie complains of extreme thunder storm phobia. But for the last 13 years of her life, a smarter and more obedient dog never existed. She may have been a little unstable mentally or maybe it is part of her breeding? Border collies are bred with extreme intelligence and the desire to solve problems. When their problem solving doesn’t agree with ours, that’s when the crisis arises. A door, a window, a fence were simply barriers to overcome and she always had the heart, even in great pain. Except for the fact that she cost me a garage door, a kitchen door, a car door, several screens and one window, a TV (knocked over) and numerous other stuff that is best forgotten she wasn’t a bad or worthless dog and she probably taught me more than any other dog I ever owned..