Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

10 Week Old Aussie Doesn't Want To Come And Does Things On Purpose To Upset Me

by Arwen Brooks
(Scotland )

My Aussie Skye is 10 weeks old, and I love her to death! Except she tends to purposely do things to get her way. When she wants to go out, and we have just let her out she will try to pee on the carpet so we will let her out again. Sometimes I will tell her no, and she looks at me and decides she is going to try it anyway.

Just the other day I was trying to get her to stop eating cat food, and I would clap my hands and tell her no. She didn't listen so I had to grab her by her scruff and pull her away. I would tell her no with a stern voice when she looked at me, but she continued to go back to the cat food. She did not want her own food.

I would also like some advice on come. She only comes when she wants to. I'm pretty sure she knows what come means, but she would rather dig in the garden or eat poop than come to me.

Comments for 10 Week Old Aussie Doesn't Want To Come And Does Things On Purpose To Upset Me

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She Will Learn In Time With Positive Training Approaches
by: Anton

Hi Arwen,

While it can seem like it, Skye is not doing things purposely to upset or manipulate you. She is only 10 weeks old. Rather than just letting her out to pee and finding that she has not done so and still tries to do it when she comes back in you will need to teach her about house training. At 10 weeks she does not understand. It is your responsibility to be vigilant and take her out at key times, like after she wakes up, after meals, and if you see her giving indications she needs to relieve herself. Take her outside to her "spot." This must always be a positive experience. NEVER use punishment when accidents happen.

I'm concerned about the cat food as the formulation for cats is very different than what is appropriate, or safe, for a puppy. I would recommend putting the cat food in a place that is impossible for the puppy to get to in the first place. I had this problem as I had an Aussie and two cats. One option is to have the cat's food on a raised area, out of reach of the puppy. Same for where we put the litter box… We got a hook latch for a door to a spare room. This way the door was open enough to let the cats in and out to access the litter box. This worked well once my Aussie, Levi, was bigger than the cats and couldn't fit through the opening.

Keep in mind that Skye is still very young and it is not likely that any of her behavior is willful disobedience to spite you. It's not that she is not listening, it is that she is not understanding what you are saying and using stern tones or even raising your voice will not help her learn. It may instead cause her to fear you. I would also recommend avoiding doing things like grabbing her by the scruff and pulling her away as well. It's more likely to invoke fear and damage your relationship with her.

If she did not want her food, make sure you are offering her high quality food that is designed specifically for puppies. There are things to be aware of related to feeding frequency, amounts, and whether to leave the food out.

As far as the "come" command goes, she is much too young to have mastered it along with a consistent recall. You said that "she would rather dig in the garden or eat poop than come to me." The trick is to get her to WANT to come to you. But how? You have to motivate her to want to come to you with rewards. Treat rewards. Rewards of praise and play. She has to associate coming to you with good things.

For these, and all the other behavior issues that will come up over the years, I recommend you get ahead of the problems with training from foundational principles. You can find information about our Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care here. I also highly recommend the comprehensive ground-up video training program offered online by "Doggy Dan" a professional dog trainer. You can check out his site with access to his entire program including hundreds of categorized videos for 3 full days for only $1 here. That will give you plenty of time to see how his program can really help you. After that he has plans including a monthly plan that give you access to professional dog training 24/7 for far less than it would cost to hire a professional one-on-one.

It's well worth it to get ahead of these problems and have a well trained, well behaved dog as well as having a strong positive relationship with her—rather than constantly struggling piece-meal with problem after problem for years to come.

All the Best to You and Skye,


Understanding Pups, become a pup.....
by: Anonymous

I love Anton's response, agree 100%, I put my cats food on top of the dryer, they love to jump and kept my Aussie at bay, and the cat's litter box in another room..... no problems, pups need to go potty every two hours, when they are young, so outdoors and praise, praise, when they do, and mine is now 13 years old and when there is an upset in the house, grandchildren come for a visit, whatever, any change, she will urinate, I have never once scolded her for it, that is how they deal with upset, so they do not do it on purpose, and it is so sad that people think that they do, they are animals, we are their pack, and they sometimes must feel alienated.... Yours is just a pup, but hang in there, have lots and lots of patience, it can be frustrating but put yourself in that poor pups place, it is now living with humans and not it's maternal pack.

Patience and training.
by: Mark


At 10 weeks your puppy is not going to know these things. By a book on the breed and study it. Aussies are very trainable and very intelligent. It takes time, patience, and persistence. This would go for any animal. Skye is a beautiful dog. He/she will respond to commands soon enough, but it takes time to teach them. Use potty training pads until you can get he/she to go outside. Use small treats and simple commands at first. Try enrolling in a dog obedience class. These dogs are a wonderful breed, but again use patience and be persistent in training.


Mark H.

by: Anonymous

I would have her on a leash inside and outside. Do tons of recall with rewards and play. I've had aussies for 20 years and recall is the most important!! Puppy should never be more than 6 feet away. Tons of crate games and motivational games!!

by: Anonymous

I find this disturbing. kudos to those with great advice for the dog owner. All I have to say is REALLY? R u kidding?

by: Anonymous

Trust me, your puppy is smarter than you. Aussies are brilliant dogs.

Been there
by: Rochelle

Your pup is only ten weeks old. The most productive approach to working with Aussies in general is a positive, and consistent training method. I highly recommend the book The Puppy Primer to help you with this. I would also recommend a higher level of engagement with Skye. Instead of just letting her out to pee, teach her what she should be doing while on a lead. When she squats to pee, pair this action with a word you want to use (go potty!) then give her a training treat and praise when she is done. Instead of grabbing her by the scruff to keep away from the cat food, learn about redirection techniques and reward her for making the right decision (avoiding the cat food). To teach come you'll need to start with the basics. Does she look at you when you say her name and do you praise/treat her when she does? If you continue with punishment you will run the risk of her avoiding you when you call her. Aussies are very quick to make associations - positive or negative. You want to form a strong bond with her early for the best results. Stay consistent and she'll come around.

Just normal puppy stuff
by: Shannon

I agree with everything that has been said on these issues. At ten weeks old, your puppy doesn't know what you want, what she is supposed to do, or that clapping hands and "NO" mean not to do something--dogs aren't born speaking or language. Stopping her from doing something is only part of the process; you need to reward her when she does what you WANT her to. If you clap your hands and she looks away from the cat food (or whatever) praise and give her something else to play with our chew on. It sounds like you need to engage her more and be more interesting to her. And realize that you are dealing with a puppy.

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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care