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Aussie pup a terror!

Posted by xminion (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 16, 11 at 9:31

Our aussie puppy is very mouthy. Likes to nip at shoes when you walk or pull on shoelaces. When he gets really cranked up he'll start putting toes in his mouth, etc....

I'm very firm with him and he doesn't pull those mouthy moves on me too much anymore, but he's gone over the top with my husband.

Is there any particular way my husband can get across the message to him that he means business?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Aussie pup a terror!

Only when he 'means' business. Hubby is too passive and the pup realizes that fact.

Get hubby a book on how to be firmly dominant. Cesar Millan does that training well.


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RE: Aussie pup a terror!

You can also have DH offer the pup a chew toy when he gets mouthy. It'll be a distraction plus it will give him something to chew on instead of your feet.
Some of what you're seeing is instinctive for a herding dog, but you don't want it to turn into bad behaviors.

Be sure the pup gets lots of exercise and is allow to run often. Not forced running, as in jogging with an owner, but running free at a dog park or large back yard.
I'd also suggest you read up on the training and care of herding dogs. There are training exercises that will help burn off his energy and at the same time let him do what comes naturally to him.
Also consider signing up for an obedience class since they're great for both socialization and training.

The following article has good basic advice on the breed.

How old is he?

Here is a link that might be useful: Aussie's


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RE: Aussie pup a terror!

Agree with annz. Correct your pup without getting emotional and then give him a toy he is allowed to play with and tell him to play with that. This wya you are not only telling him what not to do, but you are guiding him in what you want. Praise him when he plays with his toys, give his toys a name and tell him to go get them when he starts coming around for attention.

These dogs are bred to work 10 hours a day, best to find him a job and walk him often...Good luck


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RE: Aussie pup a terror!

I find that it is important to show your emotions clearly. If the dog is upsetting you, then exaggerate the pain. They have to learn that the consequence is because of action that they took. Physical punishment doesn't do much, they'll never get that you swatted them because they nipped your foot. Deliberately ignoring them and acting upset usually worked faster for me. I mean turning my back to them, acting like I was hurt and upset with them - then I would drop one arm with my hand to below my waist. My dog would want my attention and would almost always touch my hand with her nose. That gentle tough was her attempt to figure out if all was ok. I would then pet her or hand her a toy. I only got loud and yell-y when she tried to nip again. Eventually she figured out that she was pissing me off and stopped nipping.


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RE: Aussie pup a terror!

Exercise and more exercise is what every herding breed puppy needs! Also, as mentioned, training classes will add structure to his routine and give him the sense of accomplishment and direction that all herding dogs crave. All puppies go through a teething stage, and many of these problems will resolve themselves after the first and second year.


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RE: Aussie pup a terror!

Thanks for all the support. We've been reading up and working with him. Annz-he's only 3 months. He's gotten more aggresive with my husband, though! He's one tough cookie!

He's jumping up and biting him on the nose and lips and has drawn blood several times - at only 3 months! He knows his commands, but when it comes to 'mouth closed' he doesn't focus on it very long.

We have a large backyard, another dog comes to play and they run, run, run, together. I'm home most of the time and play and work with him, also.

My husband thinks it's some Alpha dominant thing going on as to why he's much more agressive with him. He even trys to hump him!! At three months!

Personally, I think the dog is a little 'touched' in the head (perhaps from inbreading?). This is our first venture with an Aussie. We've never seen anything like this dog, and I dread his upcomming 'teenage' years if we can't get his mouth under control.


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RE: Aussie pup a terror!

1. He needs to be walked with intermittent training (5 minutes Fun training/15 minutes walking/ 5 minutes training/ 15 minutes walking).

2. You need to teach him what is called "bite inhibition." He needs to be consistently corrected from mouthing in the way his mother and siblings would correct him: YELP loud when he mouths (even if it is not hurting). Stop playing with him or interacting with him at all (as trianglejohn describes) if he mouths. Ignore bad behavior and only interact/pet/play if he is appropriate.

3. Do not blame the dog for his lack of training. Did you research the breed before you bought him? Aussies are spirited, high energy dogs. This is a very labor intensive breed on the owner's part. I have friends with Aussies in agility and they need to run/work the dog intensively an hour a day, minimum.

4. Forget about your "dominating" the dog. Since you are home all day, it should be easy to sign up for a puppy kindergarten training class, which will teach you how to train him.

5. Reading and trying to apply what Cesar Milan does (without learning basic methods of dog training yourself) is like reading or watching someone drive a race car and then getting behind the wheel yourself. His methods in particular are not appropriate for puppies or for people who have no idea how to train a dog.

Ian Dunbar is a world renowned dog trainer, behaviorist and vet. If you plan to read anything, I recommend his web site.

Good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ian Dunbar


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RE: Aussie pup a terror!

The most important lesson I learned in obedience class was to say "good girl". I know, it sounds so simple. The teacher really stressed how important it is to guide your dog towards good behavior. Help them be the dog you want them to be. Pay attention to how many times you're saying "No" or "Bad Boy" versus how often they hear "Good Boy". Build the situations so that your dog gets praised.

I think your puppy is being a puppy. They want BIG interactions. They want to play rough and can barely get enough. Run til exhausted, rest a moment and then run again. I would give him something to bite onto - like one of those rope bones - play tug-o-war for a while, or fetch with it. Just keep his mouth busy while he's playing.


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RE: Aussie pup a terror!

Soak his food to mush, add peanut butter or sweet potatoes, stuff it in a Kong, freeze it overnight.

That will keep him busy an hour! I never knew dogs can suck until I gave my lab frozen kongs!


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RE: Aussie pup a terror!

My daughter has 2 Aussies and is thinking about getting a third! They need A LOT of exercise and mental stimulation, especially as puppies.

You spend more time with him so have been able to develop a relationship with him. Perhaps your husband could spend more time with him doing "productive" stuff that includes training. He also needs to learn how to be around this dog.

I would read Ian Dunbar rather than Cesar Milan, who is a "television personality". An excellent book that is easy to read and understand is "Culture Clash" by Jean McDonald.

Praise the good, even if it is hard to find. It will gradually increase. Ignore the bad.

Carry something it is allowed to chew with you at all times and give it to the pup any time it starts mouthing.

Have you tried clicker training? It will give you speedy results using a very hands off approach to training.Check out Karen Pryor's website for more info.

Aussies require a huge amount of exercise. As said in an earlier post, they are herders, bred to work all day, every day.

They are also the most lovable, cuddly, entertaining breed I have encountered. I love visiting my daughter to get a chance to spend time with her dogs. However, I would never have one myself as I cannot make the time and energy commitment required.

Good luck.


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