Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Grabbing Other Dog Around Neck And Cheek

by Melanie

I adopted a Australian Shepherd pup, she's 5 months old, from the pound last week. We also have a 1 year old German Shepherd. My question, when I let them outside together, they get along, and play, I know she has the herding in her, but when they start playing, she is always wanting to grab him around the collar, neck or his cheek. He doesn't get upset, just tries to get away. We are afraid she might get close to his eyes. How do I break her of this habit? Help Please!

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Alpha dog
by: Anonymous

Your German Shepherd is the alpha dog as it has lived with you longer. You must instill this in your Aussie ASAP. We had the same issue between our Aussie which we got as a puppy - 10/2009 and our teacup poodle who weighs 4.5 lbs and will be ten years old this September.

The teacup poodle MUST be the alpha dog. We set that pace by making sure the the teacup poodle gets EVERYTHING first. We greet her first, feed her first, she goes outside to potty first, play with her first. Everyone who comes to our house has to do the same. The Aussie is not allowed to sneer, growl, snap or tale any other action against the poodle. We use the LEAVE IT command.

That was almost a year ago. We still have an occasion when we have to repeat the command, but it is far less often - once a month or less. Our teacup poodle is no longer afraid of our Aussies.

Good luck

Puppy play
by: Anonymous

Thats just how they play. When we got our Aussie puppy she seemed so rough, grabbing the other one by the neck & cheeks. The older one would come in all covered in puppy slobber. If she didnt want to be bothered anymore she let the puppy know..Hey I'm Alpha dog here & you need to stop!

Re: Face biting
by: Anonymous

Your aussie is doing what comes naturally, but any puppy will attemp to do this. Sometimes it is a matter of what the other dog/human allows. You may want to try excersising her in another way first to take off the edge. My aussie used to do this to my border collie/aussie and my german shepherd. You need to give her a command 'Leave it' as stated above (I use this as well) and take her away until she calms down. You can also use a spray bottle or squirt gun to get her attention from a distance. (Some aussies love water) if this is the case you can add some lemon juice or vinegar to the water. It will not hurt her. WHen she sees the spray bottle she will stop. Your other dog is being very good with her right now but you dont want this to change, and it very well may, when he has had enough. It is your job to be alpha and let her know what is acceptable and what is not.Hope this helps.

Re: continued face biting
by: Anonymous

Keep in mind that a 'time out' works wonders too. If she gets out of control such as: not listening, getting too rambunctious, etc. There is nothing wrong with a 'time out' same as children. But DO NOT put her in a kennel for this. If she has one this is her 'safe place' not to be used as punishment. A 'down stay' away from the other dog or distraction would suffice, or leashing her works well too. Start with short time outs as she IS a baby...

Grabbing around the neck
by: Anne

I had two aussies a month a apart and one of the boys
would do that to his half brother. Well it ended in tragedy as the one grab the other by the neck and broke his neck...grant it they ere older, 5 years old, but none the less they got too rough and that was the result.
So please establish that you are alpha dog. Correct it whenever they get too rough and you see your other puppy go for the German Shepherd's neck.
Let them play, but please supervise their play time.
Good Luck!

Anne Calmes
Gold Ring Aussies
Louisiana, USA

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