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Australian Shepherd Photo of the Week

Australian Shepherd Dog Photo of the Day

Eris Tonin

This is my 2 year old tri-blue merle Aussie named Khaya. This pic was taken in Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec. Khaya will take any opportunity to run through tall grass! She loves the feeling of the grass through her fur. Here she is taking a little break, and her smile says it all.

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Training and Care — Tip Of The Week

Australian Shepherd Lover's Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care
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Excerpt from Our New
Australian Shepherd Lover's Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Excerpt #75

Nipping and Biting Cont'd

Here are a few techniques you can use to stop dogs from nipping. These are best applied while your dog is a puppy, but they will work with an older dog too. It might just take a little longer if your dog is already used to nipping on a regular basis.

  1. Cut off games with your dog the minute she starts to nip. Simply say "Ouch" in a loud voice (exaggerate if you need to) and then cut off the game and walk away. This lets her know that nipping is not an okay part of a game, and in fact if she nips the fun will end right away.

  2. The muzzle hold is a great technique for dealing with nipping and can also be useful for stopping various other problem behaviors. When the dog nips, simply wrap your hand around her muzzle to hold her mouth shut. Don't squeeze – just wrap your hand around so she can't nip. You're not punishing her, you're just letting her know she shouldn't be continuing the behavior. Leave the nostrils open so the dog can still breathe. When you first start applying the technique, use it for about five seconds. If five-second holds don't produce any changes in the dog’s behavior after a few days, increase the hold time to ten seconds or more.

  3. Nose taps can be a useful technique as well. Just like with the muzzle hold, the aim here isn't to cause pain or punish the dog. It’s simply to let her know she shouldn't carry on the nipping behavior. Combine this with the word "No" to get the best effect. When she nips, say "No" and then give her a light tap on the tip of the nose. This simply distracts her away from nipping.

Experiment with these techniques to see what gets the best results. You can use Technique 1 in combination with either Technique 2 or 3, but avoid using Technique 2 and 3 (muzzle hold and nose tap) at the same time. Choose one or the other. The muzzle hold will generally be more effective for most dogs.

Aggressive Biting

The techniques above shouldn't be applied to a dog who is biting out of aggression. If you try to put the muzzle hold on a dog who is genuinely aggressive, you’re likely to get hurt.

Instead, you should refer to the Aggression Section earlier in this chapter to figure out why your dog is acting aggressively and how to deal with it. Aggressive behavior is not something you should take lightly. You might have to be open to the idea of hiring a professional trainer – some aggression problems can't be solved without a very specific knowledge of the psychological problems that can influence a dog's behavior.

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Dog Quote of the Week

"The dog’s agenda is simple, fathomable, overt: I want. “I want to go out, come in, eat something, lie here, play with that, kiss you. There are no ulterior motives with a dog, no mind games, no second-guessing, no complicated negotiations or bargains, and no guilt trips or grudges if a request is denied."

~ Caroline Knapp




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