Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Aussie Trait Or Aggression?

by Karen
(Cleveland, OH)


What is the difference between the herding "nip" and aggression? Is nipping people a trait of the breed? It can be annoying when my Aussie nips my pant legs or nips when she knows I am leaving for work. Other than that, she is a very loving dog!

Comments for Aussie Trait Or Aggression?

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Nipping
by: Jean

It sounds like your dog is nipping and it is not aggression to me. My Aussie has always nipped my arm sleeves and not my pant legs so I was also concerned it was aggression. You need to spend some time with him when he does this. I know it is hard because if your dog is like mine, it always happens when you are on your way out the door or in the middle of doing something. I taught my guy that when I see the signs he is getting ready to start herding me (I can see it in his body language) I divert him to play ball (or something else your dog likes). Saying "Where's your ball?" snaps him out of his "zone" and we play for a few minutes. It still happens every know and then but not as much as it used to.

Hope this helps and best of luck!

Love Bites?
by: Kathy

My Aussie is fond of putting her paws up on the bed before I get up, and giving me the tiniest little nip in the tender flesh under my arm. It's barely a pinch and I marvel at her mouth's sensitivity.

I've never had another breed of dog do this, and I truly don't find it aggressive, just a small, attention getting device.

Maybe I shouldn't, but I kinda like it. :)

Kathy

nip
by: Gayle-- Big Run Aussies

She is trying to herd you to stay home. She does not want you to leave. Typical Aussie behavior-- not aggressive at all. She loves you.

Re: nipping
by: Kym

Nipping is definatly an aussie trait! Your dog seems to be showing you a little bit of frustration/anxiety. You don't mention whether or not your dog just started this behavior or whether you have had it since it was a pup.
You can try to exercise your dog before leaving the house. Maybe a nice run at the nearest park? a dog walker during the day? Doggie day care?
You can also try carrying a spray bottle with water and giving a command of 'leave it' then a squirt. If plain water does not work try adding a little bit of lemon juice or vinegar to it. I have had great results. Also, try not to make leaving a big issue, and change up your ruoutine. Go about your normal routine but don't get your keys(if this sets him off) get ready, do your stuff,grab your keys and do something else..read the newspaper, watch a program on t.v. play with your dog. Leave for short periods of time and then return. Make sessions longer each time. Get your dog a kong (a hard rubber toy you can fill with treats,food.) I fill mine with vitamains, kibble,peanut butter,yogurt,etc and freeze it. You dont have to freeze but it keeps them occupied longer throughout the day. ONLY give the kong when you are leaving your dog.NO other times! Your dog is just being an aussie. Bonded to you as a good dog should be! Good luck!

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