Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Herding Bikers Or Skaters

by Denise
(Toronto)

My 16 month old male Aussie just started to bark and try to herd bikers and skaters. He seems so aggressive that he scares the unsuspecting victims and my family. This is so new, just out of the blue he wants to chase them, barking so loud that if he escapes from leash he would go after his victims.

How can I get rid of that trait? It's dangerous to bikers, us and the doggie; he can get hit by a car. If I see a biker in advance I can make him sit and he can behave knowing he will get a cookie. But if the biker surprises us he will act like a vicious dog.

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Herding Bikers or Skaters
by: W's mom

Our mini Aussie did this for a while, but I kept working with her. Like you, I offered an alternate behavior -- sit and get a reward (or several) and lots of praise. It has really worked well. A surprise racing bicycle or a particularly noisy skateboard will still cause her to lunge sometimes; but, I tell her no, make her sit and reward her for her sit. Sometimes she is uneasy as a bike or skater approaches, and now just automatically sits, expecting a reward of course. This auto-sit when uneasy or needing an alternate behavior came about by my giving her treats at the first sign of uneasiness or alert, along with having her sit. I always carry her very favorite treat for these events. They are usually much more preferable for her now than doing something unacceptable. I found this method by googling Patricia McCormick and buying a couple of her booklets. Not an ad; may not be your choice - just letting you know. Maybe continuing your training will help.

herding bikers or skaters or other dogs
by: Linda

We've got the same problem with out 19 month old aussie, M.J. But it's not new, he's always been like this. We've seen a lot of improvement through training, getting him to focus on us with "here" and treats, instead of the distraction. We still have problems though when we encounter other dogs... I like the idea of the auto-sit, I'm going to try that; and thanks for reminding me about bringing the REALLY special treats for dealing with these situations.

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