Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Puppy Nipping, Biting, Roughhousing

by Charlie

Hello all, My 12 week old Aussie puppy loves to roughhouse and chew on fingers and never likes to just relax and play nice. I understand that he is a puppy with a lot of energy and this is expected; but I am curious if anyone knows for how long should this behavior continue before he may start settling down and play on his own (with his own toys/bones).

Without the constant attention he barks, whines, and nips and it has been difficult to manage thus far.

Also, if anyone has any practical training techniques to curb any of this behavior I would appreciate it.

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Puppy Nipping, Biting and Roughhousing
by: Anonymous

We know exactly how you feel. We have almost nine month female aussie. She started to settle around seven months but settled for her is still high-energy. She has to go for a walk every day and play fetch or soccer. She still has to be watched constantly or is eating the couch, stealing the remote or doing something else to get our attention. She also barks ALOT! especially if someone is leaving the house. For the nipping/biting we told her NO BITE many, many times a day and held her mouth closed. It took a long time but she is much better and my son can now play outside with her where he could not before because she would herd him. Bully sticks have been an great thing for her to chew on. she will carry it outside and bring it back in with her. She used to get in our face and bark but we ignored her and that has stopped. We use a tug a jug or cube for half of her food each meal and that is her job for the day. Good luck and hang in there it does get better.

by: Neil

I wasn't sure both my Aussie Jasper and I would survive his first year. Aussies are high energy and puppies are the highest. Each year it gets better (we are now working on year five) but it takes a long time for them to rid themselves of their puppy ways. It is however worth every minute. A lot of walks and playing such as fetch will help.

Puppy nipping, biting, roughhousing
by: Anne

Do you take him out for regular exercise?
Do you replace him nipping with one of his toys in his mouth?
You need to start him in a basic obedience you can establish that you are the boss, Alpha Dog. The trainer can give you some tips that may help also.
Do Not let him bite or nip anyone, including yourself. Always put something that belongs to the puppy, a toy or a bone in its mouth.
You do know that aussies were bred to herd and nipping, with the behavior of herding is part of our breed.
Good Luck with your puppy.

Anne Calmes
Gold Ring Aussies
Louisiana, USA

It will get better!
by: Karen

My Aussie was a terrible nipper especially during the first year. It is a trait of an Aussie to nip. I realized as long as there is a LOT of off leash exercise (especially running), she is a lot more relaxed and better behaved in the house. Running with other dogs really helps overall behavior problems. Walks are not enough. Try to mix things up with the dog park, dog daycare, or dog playdates with friends. My aussie went through training once at 6 months...she is now two and I am thinking about taking her back to another training session. The nipping instinct is still there, but she listens a lot better. Good luck!

The Chomping!
by: Anonymous

I feel your pain. My puppy Kylie (now 10 months) was vicious, if I told her no or corrected her (holding her down, turning away, etc) she would come back biting EVEN MORE. Then a friend told me to hold my arm out when she "comes back" so she has to bump into it, and snarl "Enough" it comes out very serious and deep sounding. I kid you not, 3 times and suddenly she was done. The friend, a former dog trainier for English Springer Spaniels, said that no is used for so many other things you had to use something else for the out of control nipping.

I didn't believe her at first and thought it was harsh the bumping her with my arm (I have a Mini), but I was floored by the results. Now she is so gentle with her mouth and very aware of it and "enough" has become the ULTIMATE in trouble word. Needless to say, she knows I mean business when she hears it.

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Questions About Training Your Australian Shepherd? Stop problem behaviors and transform your Australian Shepherd into a model Aussie.

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