Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Joker a.k.a Twister! Where Is The Dog Whisperer When I Need Him... LOL

by Ranee, Ricky and Joker (a.k.a Twister)
(Irwin, PA)

WOW. That's about all I can say right now. We live in the part of PA that got hit with tornadoes last night. That coupled with this pup's overall behavior have made us decide that the previously named "Joker" should really be named Twister.

I don't see signs that Twister been mistreated by his previous owners--in fact, what I'm seeing is a pup who's pretty much been allowed to do whatever he pleases. He's a typical Aussie... very drivey, intelligent and active but emotionally pretty well balanced except when it comes to the crate. (But who can blame him--crate has been prison for him up till this point.)

So what I have here is a semi-rotten (in a mischievous way) almost adolescent Aussie with MULTIPLE undesirable behaviors I need to work on--and several that need to be dealt with pronto.

1) He does nip HARD--no bite inhibition whatsoever. He nearly drew blood on my son last night.

2) He DOES need to accept a crate for short periods. Right now he barks himself hoarse for HOURS.

3) He's never been off-leash outdoors. Now that he's experienced the freedom of running free in the yard (10 foot fencing) he refuses to come to me to go back indoors. (Right now, because I live above the family business, he must be leashed coming and going in and out from our apartment.) Of course, in no time flat he realized what a great game it is to "make us" chase him. No surprise either that he figured me out QUICKLY when I tried to trick him into recall by hiding the leash and offering a treat so I could grab his collar. LOL

4) He's been permitted on furniture (which I don't mind when a dog is invited first) but this fellow will defy the OFF command and even nip when I make him get down. (He's not permitted on furniture at all right now, but that doesn't mean he's going to accept it yet.)

Where is the Dog Whisperer when I need him? ;-)

We did finally manage to tire him out--and I managed to get a couple pics I'll post in the group Photos. He's a dashing little dude, but my camera phone doesn't do him justice.

Suggestions VERY welcome on how you've dealt with this type of behavior in an Aussie. I've done a lot of reading the last week about how Aussies often need a different approach to training, but I can't seem to quite integrate that fully with the basic obedience work I've always done. For instance, I'm pretty sure he's going to realize he can make me get up and correct an undesirable behavior when he misbehaves. I do ignore and redirect when possible, but when it comes to the nipping (for instance) or as he's done with refusing to come to the leash, how do I keep this busy little mind from making it all a game?

Ranee, Ricky (fur-less kid) and Twister (formerly named Joker)

Comments for Joker a.k.a Twister! Where Is The Dog Whisperer When I Need Him... LOL

Click here to add your own comments

by: Nonnie

How old is your puppy? I don't remember if you said in your previous post.

I would get Twister to an obedience class ASAP. Trainers can give you pointers and specific ways to work with your Aussie. Check out the PetSmart if you have one. The classes are reasonable and we found our trainer to be extremely knowledgeable. She recognized some behavior and explained it to us with tips for how to use / or change the outcome.

She gave us insight into the various personalities of our two Aussies and their actions toward our two other dogs. We have learned what different types of whine or bark means. That alone was very helpful.

Good luck - your puppy will become a great member of your family with some work.

what's in a name?
by: Anonymous

change his name, first of all. If you don't want him to act like a "twister" don't name him that, they become their names.
depending on his age, maybe try agility classes, to get some of that energy out.
these dogs are very smart, and are people(owner)pleaser, so let him know what is acceptable, and reward good behaviour.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Australian Shepherd Q & A.

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & CareGuide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care
Questions About Training Your Australian Shepherd? Stop problem behaviors and transform your Australian Shepherd into a model Aussie.

Read More icon

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Ask a Dog Veterinarian Now

We have partnered with JustAnswer
so that you can get an answer ASAP.