Training and Care — Tip Of The Week
Excerpt from Our New
Australian Shepherd Lover's Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care
How to Deal with Fights
When you first introduce the two dogs, watch them carefully. Needless to say, have them both on leash at first until they look comfortable. They're likely to chase each other around and play fight, which is fine – just watch for growling or body language that indicates fear or aggression, to ensure a play fight doesn't become a real fight.
If you have two males together, you have to be especially vigilant. As soon as you see a sign that their behavior is moving towards a serious fight, clap loudly and shout "Hey!" to bring their attention onto you. This simple technique can help you avoid numerous fights. After you get their attention, move straight into a training session for both of them.
Again – prevention is key. Trying to stop a fight once it has started is much harder. If they really latch onto each other, you may have to spray them with a hose and physically pull them off each other. (Not recommended as you may end up in the middle of it – only do this if one of the dogs is at serious risk of injury).
Remember toys and food often trigger fights, so clear these away when they aren't in use. If there's a particular toy that always causes a fight between them, keep it hidden in a top cupboard and only bring it out for one-on-one play.
A last word of warning: always make sure each of your dogs spends more time with humans than they do alone with each other. Letting dogs spend too much time together may cause them to withdraw from the human pack, making them more rebellious and harder to control. Try to tilt socialization towards time with people as much as possible.
Next time: Introducing Your Aussie to Other Breeds
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