Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Our Aussie Is Starved For Affection And Timid

by Jodi
(Lafayette, Indiana)

We just got our Aussie. He is almost 2 years old. He has been living at a farm for his entire life, and has not been trained at all. He is very needy and pushy when it comes to affection. We love it that he's so affectionate, but I believe he's doing this out of a form of being scared and trying to show dominance. (He pushes himself onto our laps even after saying no.) I've been working with him about letting me go through any entranceway first and I also do not feed him until after we have eaten, or we have went for a walk, or maybe played ball. He's not picking up on the dominance issue. (Still dominates my husband and any visitors but in a very timid way.) Any suggestions? I want him to be happy and not scared and confused!
Thank you!

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Comments for Our Aussie Is Starved For Affection And Timid

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Re: dominance
by: Anonymous

It very well could be dominance, but it sounds like he needs reassurance and he is insecure. He is looking for reassurance in your family.
The door thing and feeding thing is good, they are both dominant issues, but it sounds like he is thriving for the attention. If he was a farm dog or a 'working' dog, most of these have never had physical attention. They are working dogs not pets. He doesnt know what has happened and why such a change.
I would give him some time. You are on the right track as far as feeding time, and following rules.
Stick to what you are doing. Make sure he obeys the household rules, he gets PLENTY of excersise, and you stick to your guns. Make sure he only gets the attention when he is ASKED for it. On your terms. Make sure not to coddle him and feel sorry for him, for this will make the issue worse. Ignore him in his 'needy' time and try to redirect him. He will in time get over this and continue to be a great family friend!

Needy and Affectionate
by: Liz

I have 2 Aussies - a male blue merle and female tri-color. They are almost 2 years old and neutered/spayed when puppies. My female is constantly needy, pushes the male out of way to get attention. She nips at my clothes, jumps up on me, doesn't listen to "no", "down", or any commands when she wants attention. The male usually takes her down and she will stop for a few minutes. We use a spray bottle to stop the nipping, but sometimes she just won't stop. I am at my wits end! After seeing me for awhile, she will stop, but if I sit down she is on my feet or trying to get into my lap. I have NEVER owned a dog like this and her anxiety is overwhelming to me and visitors. I hate to resort to meds, but my clothing gets ruined every time I go anywhere. If you find a solution, please post it.

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