Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Puppy Play Biting and Fighting

by Michael
(Girard, OH, USA)

I have 2 Aussie puppies (sisters from same litter) They play together and then start wrestling and nipping. Then it turns to biting and shaking. Then the running and pouncing starts...

I know some of this is normal but how do I tone it down?

They are 13 weeks old and have been together since day one.

They have plenty of toys, chews, bones, outside time in a large pen (25'x25') and a large indoor area (kitchen area (12'x16').

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Consistency Will Be The Key
by: Anton

As you said some of it is normal, but when it starts to get aggressive that's where you have to step in as pack leader. They have to look to you for what is and is not going to be acceptable. You have to be consistent. Whenever they cross the line you have to interrupt them and have them focus on you. Pick a word you can use for a command like "Enough" that they will learn means "cease and desist."

You can use this as an opportunity to do obedience training. Come, sit, down. Have them each go to separate places if you like—especially if they are not complying.

If you are consistent about how far they can go, like the instant it turns to biting and shaking, they will soon learn where the line is. If one stops and the other persists the offender may have to have a time out for a few minutes. You want to interrupt the behavior and the energy level. :)

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