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Update to new Aussie pup (LONG)

Hello again. If your read my first post you know that I'm a SAHM with a 16 month old DD and a 6ish month old Australian Shepherd puppy. She is doing great so far. DH and I have basically decided that training her new things is easy. She's so smart and picks up on commands quickly. She is totally potty trained. She picked her spot in the corner of the yard and runs outside, eliminates and returns quickly. She is crate trained and with a little guidance and the command "kennel up" she will go to her kennel happily. She is learning not to jump on the back seat of the car on car rides and has done really well! She knows "lie down" and does it about 75percent of the time. She is really good at "leave it" and I can set a treat in front of her face and she won't even look at it until I prompt her.

The issues we're struggling with are bad habits she has already developed prior to coming to live with us. She jumps. She has already improved a lot and is really only jumping when someone comes in the door. This is especially annoying when we have guests. We tried simply turning our backs to her and that wasn't enough. Now we turn our back and redirect with "sit." She gets no praise or attention until she stops jumping and sits. Is there a better way to do this? Suggestions welcome.

She also has the puppy bite going on. I'll go to pet her head and she'll start nibbling at my hand. I've tried replacing my hand with a chew toy and telling her "don't bite" firmly. So far I haven't seen a huge improvement with this. She used to nibble at DD a bit but has pretty much stopped and only licks her. She is a very gentle dog.

Begging for food is another issue. While my grandmother is a kind hearted person, she did not follow our wishes that this dog not be fed table food. My grandmother has maltese and feeds them off of her lap while she eats...blek! We have been making her leave the dining room and the kitchen when we're eating or preparing food. If she won't leave we put her in the kennel while we eat. We praise her for going in the kennel so I don't think she associates it with punishment or anything. But this puppy begs all the time for food and has taken food right out of DD's hand. I am going to schedule a vet appointment today to get her checked and make sure she's getting enough to eat. We need to take her anyhow. She never seems overly hungry and is fed at the same time every day.

Leash training is progressing very SLOWLY. She pulls like crazy. My dad lives with my grandma temporarily and was apparently "working" with her but he also admitted to hitting her for jumping Angry so I have the feeling this may be some of the problem.  DH is the primary dog walker. I work on basic commands and training during the day and when he gets off of work takes her for a good mile or so walk. Any good resources on leash training for an older puppy? I've never dealt with a leash puller before.

I've anxiously waiting on a couple of clickers I ordered. I haven't clicker trained before but I've read this breed does especially well with them. Does anyone know any really good resources on clicker training? I know the basic idea behind it but any experience and advice is appreciated. 

 Thanks for reading my novel of a post!

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Re: Update to new Aussie pup (LONG)

  • If you haven't done so yet, check the FAQs for all of the above training tips you're looking for. I'm almost certain at least some of them are in there.

    We use an Easy Walk Harness on our Boxer. It's a harness that you hook the leash to IN FRONT of the chest, rather than on the back, which immediately causes the dog to be veered sideways if they start pulling. It's very helpful, but it's not the entire solution. Another harness by the same company is the Gentle Leader, which is actually a loop that goes over the dog's nose to turn their head to the side if they try to pull. 

    Keep working on a command to "watch me" or "look" AND "heel" or "walk with me" while out on walks. Forcing the dog to keep looking at you (or YH, whoever is walking) means she can't just try to surge forward. Also, immediately saying "eh eh!!" and stopping dead when she starts to pull will quickly show her that walks will not continue with tension in the leash. Alternatively, turning her around immediately (about face/180 degrees) to go back the way you came when she's pulling at something in particular is good to show her that focusing on something and pulling will not get her what she wants; she has to remain calm and keep slack in the leash.

    Redirecting her biting with a toy is a good idea. You can also just stop all interaction all together. She'll eventually learn that teeth on skin = no attention whatsoever (that means no negative attention either!).

    Keep working on the jumping the way you are. It can take time for them to learn to be calm in exciting situations (our nearly 2-y/o Boxer can still be hit or miss on jumping on people when they come over). 

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  • image LuckyAngel07:

    If you haven't done so yet, check the FAQs for all of the above training tips you're looking for. I'm almost certain at least some of them are in there.

    We use an Easy Walk Harness on our Boxer. It's a harness that you hook the leash to IN FRONT of the chest, rather than on the back, which immediately causes the dog to be veered sideways if they start pulling. It's very helpful, but it's not the entire solution. Another harness by the same company is the Gentle Leader, which is actually a loop that goes over the dog's nose to turn their head to the side if they try to pull. 

    Keep working on a command to "watch me" or "look" AND "heel" or "walk with me" while out on walks. Forcing the dog to keep looking at you (or YH, whoever is walking) means she can't just try to surge forward. Also, immediately saying "eh eh!!" and stopping dead when she starts to pull will quickly show her that walks will not continue with tension in the leash. Alternatively, turning her around immediately (about face/180 degrees) to go back the way you came when she's pulling at something in particular is good to show her that focusing on something and pulling will not get her what she wants; she has to remain calm and keep slack in the leash.

    Redirecting her biting with a toy is a good idea. You can also just stop all interaction all together. She'll eventually learn that teeth on skin = no attention whatsoever (that means no negative attention either!).

    Keep working on the jumping the way you are. It can take time for them to learn to be calm in exciting situations (our nearly 2-y/o Boxer can still be hit or miss on jumping on people when they come over). 

    Thanks for the advice! I LOVE boxers. GORGEOUS dogs. We strongly considered getting boxer and then decided we wanted a shelter pup but ended up getting our Australian Shepherd.

    We bought a harness for her when she was smaller but it was never used and she outgrew it by the time we got her so I just donated it to our local animal services. DH and I have tossed around the idea of getting another one for her but she doesn't pull as much for him so we just haven't done it. I think we'll try the pivot turning 180 degrees and see that works and then revisit the idea of another harness. 

    Thanks again!

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  • For the jumping issue, giving no attention until she is sitting nicely is a technique that has worked for me.  Also, if she tends to jump on people when they come in the door, it might work to teach her to go to her "place" before you open the door.  Her "place" can be anything you designate.  For my dogs, it is their dog beds in our living room.  We taught them the "place" command and use it mostly when we are eating but also when people come to the door.  They cannot leave their place until we release them.  You could couple this with ignoring any jumping and/or using the "look/watch me" commands and an incompatible action (such as telling her to "sit").

    The "place" command may also help with the begging/food issue.  Tell her to go to her "place" any time you are eating.  The place can be within sight of the table so she can still see you (and you can see her) but not close enough for her to be fed from the table.  If the issue is people feeding her from the table when you are not there, I personally would not leave the dog in their care, but that is a personal decision.

    For the pulling, I also have had success with turning around 180 degrees when the dog pulls or stopping in my tracks and not moving forward until the leash is slack (and preferably, the dog has returned to my side).  I also rewarded good loose-leash walking by giving treats from my hand straight down at my side so the dog learned that the only position that got treats was walking right next to me.  It definitely takes time, but it was 100% worth it - it makes walking my dogs a really pleasant and relaxing experience.  GL!

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  • image LatteLady5:
    image LuckyAngel07:

    If you haven't done so yet, check the FAQs for all of the above training tips you're looking for. I'm almost certain at least some of them are in there.

    We use an Easy Walk Harness on our Boxer. It's a harness that you hook the leash to IN FRONT of the chest, rather than on the back, which immediately causes the dog to be veered sideways if they start pulling. It's very helpful, but it's not the entire solution. Another harness by the same company is the Gentle Leader, which is actually a loop that goes over the dog's nose to turn their head to the side if they try to pull. 

    Keep working on a command to "watch me" or "look" AND "heel" or "walk with me" while out on walks. Forcing the dog to keep looking at you (or YH, whoever is walking) means she can't just try to surge forward. Also, immediately saying "eh eh!!" and stopping dead when she starts to pull will quickly show her that walks will not continue with tension in the leash. Alternatively, turning her around immediately (about face/180 degrees) to go back the way you came when she's pulling at something in particular is good to show her that focusing on something and pulling will not get her what she wants; she has to remain calm and keep slack in the leash.

    Redirecting her biting with a toy is a good idea. You can also just stop all interaction all together. She'll eventually learn that teeth on skin = no attention whatsoever (that means no negative attention either!).

    Keep working on the jumping the way you are. It can take time for them to learn to be calm in exciting situations (our nearly 2-y/o Boxer can still be hit or miss on jumping on people when they come over). 

    Thanks for the advice! I LOVE boxers. GORGEOUS dogs. We strongly considered getting boxer and then decided we wanted a shelter pup but ended up getting our Australian Shepherd.

    We bought a harness for her when she was smaller but it was never used and she outgrew it by the time we got her so I just donated it to our local animal services. DH and I have tossed around the idea of getting another one for her but she doesn't pull as much for him so we just haven't done it. I think we'll try the pivot turning 180 degrees and see that works and then revisit the idea of another harness. 

    Thanks again!

     

    a standard harness is not effective for training against pulling. Harnesses are  very similar what the dogs in the Iditarod are outfitted with so it's the easiest way for them to pull. 

     

    The easy walk harness which pp mentioned is different because the leash attaches to the front of the harness and uses easy leverage to redirect behavior instead of pulling against it. Another great tool is the gentle leader. It works like a horse halter and again uses simple leverage to redirect behavior. 

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  • I am sorry to say I didn't read through the whole thing, mainly skimmed, then went back through for parts to help with lol. BUT I have my own Aussie!! So here's my advice - wait it out. They are BEYOND smart. I can't even begin to describe how smart they are. Aussies are very goal oriented dogs, who are also herding dogs, hence the nibbling - but that is a puppy trait as well. We just got a new puppy (Pomachee) and she nibbles on us and our Aussie all the time! Teething stage!! When our new puppy nibbles or bites us we yell "OW" or "OUCH" really loud and she's caught on that she isn't supposed to bite human skin. Aussie love to chase/herd anything running/moving, so be careful with kids. Our Aussie nips at the back of legs, that's what her breed is bred for, when she sees you, a kid, a dog, a cat, cows, ducks, etc, running. We have got it so she won't jump or nip US while jogging. But we don't stop her from doing it at the dog parks. She is a herding dog - we can't justify disciplining her for something that is in her blood line. We noticed that our dog wasn't getting enough food and that's why she was begging. Once we started feeding her enough and regularly she stopped caring so much about our food. And we also taught her "out of the kitchen" which means she gets off the kitchen floor and lays on the carpet in the living room. 

    Our dog jumps at people too, especially when they come over. She just wants attention. We are still working on it with her but most the people we have over we warn them and let them know they have our permission to bring their knee up to block her until she sits for their attention. She is learning that she doesn't like not receiving attention and getting the instead, so she started sitting. One guest however shoved her off of him and slammed her into the ground - needless to say he hasn't been over since and we've haven't spoken since that night. 

    Puppies are work in general - I have had multiple dogs that have been raised from puppy to passing. And Aussies are very hyper - high spirited- loving dogs, who really just want attention. If you take the time to work with your pup she will turn out amazing. Boyfriend and I have to both give the same commands and teach her the same things otherwise, like every other dog, she gets confused. So thankfully we are on the same front with praise, discipline and commands/training. 

    One last thing - Our Aussie is very co-dependent of us, and loves to keep track of us. And picks up on things, she knows when it times to go jogging when I put on certain shoes, she knows my boyfriend and I are leaving for work when we put on our uniforms. You can tell she knows by her different behaviors and reactions. And she is very very protective. I see you have a little one, that will be awesome for them to grow up together. She will be an amazing protector. 

    Sorry my reply is so long!  

    Good luck!! And if you need any more advice feel free to ask me! My Aussie is about 3 or 4 now :) 

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  • Jumping - what you're doing works.  Just make sure when you do give her attention again, don't get her riled up so she gets jumpy again.  Calm petting.

    Biting/nibbling - I push into the dog while giving a verbal correction.  Doesn't hurt the dog, but throws them off.  Nibbling/biting = end of playtime. 

    Begging - perfect time to work on leave it. I also taught my dogs to only take food on command, since I don't want them stealing food from my daughter.

    Leash - short leash.  Dog gets enough leash they can walk next to me comfortably without tension on the leash.  Then stand there and wait until the pup is calm.  Take a step or two.  Take more steps if the leash is slack.  Stop and wait for the dog to calm down if she pulls.  No, you may not make it off the driveway for the first day or two.  But if you're consistent and only move forward when the leash is slack and the dog is calm, you will quickly be able to go on walks with a dog heeling beautifully. 

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  • Get a gentle leader or prong collar.  She will stop pulling.  Gentle leader does not train but controls.  Prong collar must only be used as a training tool.  Don't get it unless someone in store can show you how to use it.

    Tell her eh eh! sharply and loudly if she nibbles your fingers and pull back quickly.  Do this each time.   

    If she begs, put her up.  Begging equals no time with you.  If you need to, crate her, then let her out.  You won't get much eaten, but she will figure it out sooner or later.  If she knows lay down, tell her to go lay down on her bed.  She'll learn begging is a no go.

    Jumping... Have you tried startling her when she jumps up?  Something negative?  Like if she jumps up, a sharp and loud Eh eh! and a loud foot stomp?  She's no longer a puppy.  If she's not getting your easy signals of turning away, she may need a more invasive method.   

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