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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

4 Month Old Aussie Won't Stop Nipping

by Fran

Any other possible suggestions for a puppy that won't stop nipping or will this just take time? We have tried the pushing away and saying "no". We have tried to redirect his attention. We have tried yelping as if we are hurt. We've tried putting him down on his back and when he calms down we praise and rub his belly. Nothing works for long, he catches on quick. We have plenty of chew toys.

Comments for 4 Month Old Aussie Won't Stop Nipping

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by: Nonnie

Your puppy is just that ... a puppy. He is also getting his permanent teeth and needs lots of things he can chew. Keep several of the chew toys near you for when you pet or play with him. When he nips tell him "No" very firmly - not yelling, but firmly and then give him one of the chew toys. I have even put my hand around the snout and hold it for a few seconds, saying "no biting!". Also find something that he can chew that will keep him occupied for a while.

Good Luck - your puppy will learn, they are the smartest breed I have ever seen.

Biting pup
by: Ranee

My 5 month old aussie just left a nasty bruise on my son's cheek, so I know what you're talking about.

First...never put your face down to the dog's level and don't let him jump. (My son's mistake.)

These guys ARE very smart--but also stubborn and often WAY over the top in energy.And as pups, I think a certain amount of natural ADHD applies too. LOL Failing all else, you could try sliding your hand WAY back into the back of his mouth near the throat the next time he opens his mouth to nip/bite. (You could get bit, but if you're quick enough, you can usually get your hand in far enough that he can't close his mouth.) He should gag and draw back quickly after one or two tries....I've had this work with some very aggressive adults over the years, so give it a try. Remember, don't move quickly or be too rough--but do get your fingers to the back of his throat--even tickle it a bit.

Re: Nipping
by: Anonymous

Your aussie is just doing what it knows to herd. You are doing the right thing by trying new and different options. But also keep in mind of the activities taking place. Aussies do tend to get riled up if there is alot of excitment,distractions and/or people. Try to make sure he isnt getting overwhelmed. He may just need some quiet time.Different things work for different dogs. My aussies were easy except for 2(I have had many). The one female was TERRIBLE about nipping! The only thing that worked for her was a strong grab of her muzzle (hard enough to make her whine/wimper)and give her a very stern NO BITE! She did eventually catch on....The other was a very independant,strong willed blue merle male. THe only thing that worked with him was a squirt bottle. Water however, was not enough (for he loved it)but nothing a little vinegar or lemon juice wont take care of!! Start with plain water and a dollar store squirt bottle. When he nips, give a firm NO BITE! and squirt him in the face 1 or 2 times. He should stop.Praise him. If the water does not bother him, try a little bit of either the lemon juice or vinegar.You can strengthen if needed adding a little at a time. IT WILL NOT HURT HIM! (He will smell though) again with a firm NO BITE! THis works very well especially with a dominant dog. After awhile, he knew what that bottle meant! Anytime his behavior got out of control I would pull out that bottle and thats all it took!!

Timje out for nipping
by: Mike

My Aussie was nipping at my kids a lot. My vet recommended that the kids yelp loudly, then I say NO. Then put the dog on time out in another room for 5 minutes. I personally tied a leash to the laundry room door. My dog learned that nipping meant he would be removed from the family. It worked really well. He is now 8 months old & the problem is pretty much gone.

The vet recommended NOT using the crate for time out because you want the crate to be a safe place.

biting aussie

my 5 1/2 month old aussie named tippy wont stop biting and scraching. we say "no" and "sit" but she doesnt listen. When ever shes around kids she gets too exited and jumps and nips. were tryng to train her but she doesnt listen. my grandma and grandpa and thinking of giving her away/selling her, shes a good dog just wont stop biting. were trying the chew toy thing right now but shes leaving big bights and scraches on us that end up bleeding i dont want them to give her away so please help!!

Big aggressive bite
by: Anonymous

My 4 1/2 month old Aussie bit my step-daughters face. She should have had stitches but they are concerned about infection so thy just taped it shut. She is a timid girl who my Aussie seems to target with very aggressive lunging, biting and barking. When he bit her she was standing very quietly in the kitchen. She was not playing or yelling. I am extremely upset and worried that this is not a one time issue.

Self biting
by: Anonymous

When my pup gets too riled up with biting I get her on the floor in a laying down surrender position and put her back leg in her mouth. She bites her own leg for a second then stops. It's also terribly funny.

Don't worry, she's plenty flexible.

Sometimes I shout "Ow!" And she calms down. Other times I'll grab her snout, or try the fingers in the mouth thing. All of it works and she has calmed down on the biting a lot.

10 week old pup
by: Anonymous

Hi, I have a 10 week old female Australian and her nipping is making me a little crazy ! I have tried everything from grabbing her snout and saying no to a tab of hot sauce on her tongue when she goes to nip. I am finding whenever I have been saying no or trying any of these methods to prevent nipping or her biting the back of my legs it seems to make her nip more ! I have gotten 3 really good bites from her now. Any advice on what I should be doing now ? Thanks

What else can I do?
by: sarah E.

I have a 3 month old male Aussie. I have never owned an Aussie before he is my first. He nips all the time when he's excited or just being playful. My main issue is that i have a few nieces and nephews all under age 6 that can't pet him or he nips and barks at them and he is always nipping and barking at me as well and of course as his owner that's a big no no but i cant seem to get him to stop. I've tried every method I've read online on multiple sites and nothing seems to help. It's actually a little frustrating that nothing seems to work. Does anyone have any suggestions or advice on what to do to break this nipping problem?

5 1/2 month old Aussie, Dolly
by: Anonymous

Our female Australian Shepherd is a very smart puppy; however when it comes to our 5 year old son, our puppy Dolly can get aggressive. I thought it might be because they run and act out a lot playing tug of war! But after reading everybody else's comments, now I am not so sure. Dolly has ripped and tore almost all my sons clothing, because of her nipping and I am not impressed. I am definitely going to be trying holding her snout and putting her in the basement alone for a time out to see which method works best, because like others I am at a point where I think getting her was a BAD idea (even though she has become a part of our family). Any more advice would be greatly appreciated.

Aggressive male 6 month old
by: Anonymous

Has anyone tried a shock collar and if so what kind of results have you gotten. We have a very aggressive 6 month old blue Merle male and are at our wits end.

On nipping
by: Anonymous

I have a 10 week aussie puppy that nips and gets agressive just like all the comments here. Ive tried all the above tricks except grabbing the snout and lemon juice in water. I have made a couple if duscoveries that really help. First one commentor was right they get wound up and stressed. They do need down time with few distractions if not a time out. More pushing leads to more agressiveness. What i did realize is we are all very tall and he is small. I finally out of desperation got in the floor to his level (watch your face and dont let your kids do this.) Using my body to block most access to what he wanted I repeated commands. Inpersisted in this until he gave up. It took persistence bit every morning we have training sessions. Training continued this way using body blocks. Sometimes i would sit in my knees and fold my arms across my chest and look at him sternly. The combination of these act dramatically improved his behavior but has to be repeated with stimulous and new activity. Paired with being put on his back and time outs for snarling and more agressive biting )(2-3 min)all has made this a lot better. Aussies are not for the faint of heart or for people too busy with jobs to train. Keep in that in mind. Dint forget exercise... Very important. Use simple commands and dont say NO to everything. Use variations for different things. Aussies are (you know it) very smart. So words like leave it... Down... Are perfectly ok to substitute for No. Just make each nee command be for the same thing. Good luck. I was happy to have found this site. I felt like i was doing it all wrong. Now I see I have many of the right ideas

by: Anonymous

I have a 4 month Aussie. She is a great puppy but I am having problems with her biting me when I am outdoors with her. We are in puppy classes and the trainer said to stand still when she does it. Works at times but other times she tears my Clothes. I'm a bit frustrated because I'm concerned it will not go away and get worse as she gets older. My previous Aussie I had for 15 years never did any of this. Help!!! I'm open to any and all ideas.

on the use of shock collars
by: Anonymous

I confess I resorted to the shock collar. However I bought one with a sound option, buzz (vibration) and actual shock.
At first the vibration and sound really got his attention. It stopped him in his tracks. After awhile he looked at me as if to laugh and ignored it all. Eventually we tried shocking, nothing. Just nothing. Ok, so a couple of helpful things here folks... you gotta get your Aussie before he gets excited. That's right.
ANTICIPATE ANTICIPATE ANTICIPATE.... I used a "clicker" kind of concept. I put noisy things in a medicine bottle and shook it to get his attention. Every time he looked at me I said focus and gave him a treat. Now I say focus... BEFORE a situation THEN tell him ignore. Or I say good boy for looking at me, and give him a treat. This works especially well on walks when you want to keep walking without him barking his head off at some dog or stranger, and it works for all kinds of stuff.
My dog is no angel but a squirt bottle works for the rest. If you don't already have it get yourself the GENTLE Leader leash. It will change your life with your dog I promise.
Dont be afraid to leash your dog if he is too hyper. Leash your dog if someone is coming over. When your dog walks up to fences with yapping dogs, go up to the fence and do his training right there! Yes it works. (The owners may give you questioning looks but just explain) Most dogs will walk off disinterested. Use your "focus" technique to keep walking past the dog fence with the yapping dogs. Your Aussie will learn to maintain confidence in you that its an okay situation. He will be silent eventually. With the GENTLE LEADER he will stop pulling. If you pull him away from a situation, he will learn that is "bad" and makes you uncomfortable. Then usually he will respond with bad behavior. This is all I have learned with my now 4.5 month old puppy.
I GAVE UP on the shock collar and now use a combination of these techniques.

Finn likes to Bite
by: Anonymous

Hi I am also having this same biting problem with my 14 week old Aussie puppy. He goes crazy on me first thing in the morning and later at night. We take him out on plenty of walks and lots of play with other puppies. Our trainer also said turn around and give no attention. Then when that didn't work she said leave him on a leash and every time he bites go into a powder room with him on the other side of the door for 5 -10 seconds. This doesn't work either. I am going to try the water bottle that someone suggested. Hopefully this will work. (though he does like to drink from the hose when i water the garden) thinking i will need the lemon juice

Nipping Solution
by: Anonymous

My fiance and I have a 10 week old Aussie Puppy who doesn't nip or bite anymore. The trick? When she goes to bite, yank her ear quick and hard to elicit a yelp and in a loud, low and growly voice say "NO BITE". When puppies misbehave in the litter around their mom, the mom nips the ear to get them to behave. Now when my Ruby goes for a play bite all we have to say is "no bite" and she gets the picture and switches to licking instead. Her barking, however...

Thanks to the Nipping Solution!
by: Anonymous

I have a 13wk female, she is biting like crazy! My other Aussie pulled your pant legs but I don't remember all the biting. I have been saying NO, Stop, pushing her away, yelping, and holding her down.
I definitely am going to do the ear thing! I think that will work. She is so good during the night and if she's sleep so is so sweet. I play ball and other toys in the backyard to tire her out but the biting me and my feet are getting too much to handle!
To all the other folks, they are the best dogs/companions when they are grownup :) hang in there.

Biting and Nipping
by: Anonymous

I have a 5 month old Aussie, Phoebe. I have been fairly consistent on her training; sit, lay, stay, go play, come, hush. Lately she has been nipping at my Shi-Poo when he is playing with other dogs. The snout thing works very well. I am not against physical discipline (not beating don't get me wrong) and I have even included a slight pop on the snout. It has worked the best. She is now to a point where she will look at me for permission to go play (hence the go play command). On that, before she is allowed to play I will make her sit and lay at my feet while enforcing the stay command. Then, I will change my tone of voice and tell her to go play. It works amazingly.

Nonnie yea
by: Anonymous

I just put my hand around my mini aussie's about and said, "no no, Scout, no biting!" like 4 times and she kept biting. That's how I ended up here.

Sort of a relief!
by: Lynne

I'm so glad I found this comment section. I have an 8 yr old Aussie (Louie) who went through a destructive phase (think shoes and books) and spent a lot of time herding the cats. I knew I was lucky but I didn't know how lucky until I got a new Aussie puppy(Levon). He's 6 months old now and he's an absolute terror. He is NOT mean, not aggressive in the dangerous sense. Has never snarled. Just hard-headed. If he doesn't like something, like me taking his collar, he will turn around and grab my arm with his teeth. Never breaks skin, but has left a bruise. The energy level if off the chain. Very smart, too smart, a problem-solver, much like my Australian Cattle Dog. I think he does not see me as the leader and as he is growing I am seeing him assert more dominance with the other dogs. That worries me. I am going to be taking your suggestions and trying them out and getting back some obedience classes for us both. I don't want him to become a dog that I am afraid of, and I don't want to be a bad mom to him.

Nipping and too much excitement with other dogs
by: Chewy_The_Aussie

My 3 month old Aussie has my arms all scratched up from his sharp baby teeth. I have tried the ignoring him and saying ouch, didn't work. I have tried the re-directing his bites to his toys, not working. Even though he has learned the "drop it" command when playing fetch. But it seems he doesn't want to listen to the "no bite" command. But i read today "The Art of Raising a Puppy" that closing his snout and saying no bite then opening the palm of my hand for a lick, and once he lick reward him with praise and maybe treats might do the trick. Which i think was a suggestion in an earlier post up. So i will trying doing that and will update with my results. Thank you all who have posted this brings some confidence to me because all this time i thought i was alone in these topic with my Aussie...

3 month old miniature aussie
by: Tracy

Me and my husband have a 2 year old miniature schnauzer and a 3 month old miniature aussie. The Aussie will not let my other dog eat or drink thats my first worry 2nd she barks at me and my husband constantly, when I use a stern no and shake my finger she will raise her gums and bark more. She has tons of toys and constantly nips us and anytime we use a stern no she barks at us raises her gums and tries to nipp us again. What can we do my poor schnauzer doesn't know what to do she is a very gentle dog. We are getting to our with a end as well.

Responding to "hot sauce"
by: DP

In regards to the post using hot sauce (never a good idea!) and other aggressive techniques you are encouraging aggressive behavior. The solution we've found with our 4 month old (thanks to our wonderful breeder) is to "stop the action." As soon a our "Jack" starts winding up we put on his collar and use a special leash that wraps around his belly to make him sit. Then we work with him - first take him out for a few good laps around the yard, then settle him "petting and saying 'no' when he nips. We've found that he is nipping to try to tell us he wants something--not just herding. This is our first Aussie, but it appears he is using his "nip" to communicate where he wants us to go, and what he wants us to do. He also does no lick like other dogs--he only nips. So I am trying putting a small bit of squirtable "treat" on my fingers to encourage licking when he's happy instead of biting. We have already learned that any attempt to hold his mouth or overpower him causes him to act more violently, so I would highly discourage those techniques. Hot sauce is especially bad because it lasts longer than a dog's memory. I doubt they really understand why their mouth is burning minutes after an event. It also can be harmful as the amount is too difficult to control. Never, ever train a pup with an aggressive approach. The aggression will end up being part of their "lesson," and that's the last thing you want! Appreciate all of the good tips here! In the end, we learn with every pup, as they are all different. But kindness teaches kindness, no matter what the breed.

Nipping Aussie Pups
by: Anonymous

I have a 3 month old Aussie and she stopped nipping. I taught her with several combinations. First they are still a puppy. When I play with her I always make sure I have a toy to redirect. Say no. Don't say there name when you are saying no. Their name should only be used when you want them to come and be with you.

The best thing I have found is to have a little bucket with a lid and something in it that makes a sound like a tin can. Start walking, when your puppy starts to bit at your heels rattle the bucket, say no firmly. If the puppy leaves up use a soft voice and say good boy or girl. Aussies catch on very quickly. Be consistent and you might need to do this for a week but it really works. Never hit them, you don't want them to be afraid and that can lead to other problems.

Nipping and snapping like an alligator
by: Anonymous

Our 9 week old Mini Aussie Shepherd is teething, but he has been biting and nipping at us. He also snaps like an alligator and you can actually hear it. He’s little now but it’s concerning this will continue. We have tried ignoring it, distracting him with a toy, squirting him with water, and have just begun holding his snout shut. I have noticed that he seems like a tired child who is over tired. I have bought a metal doggie pen and when he acts out, I lock him in. Usually I leave the gate open but shut it when he acts out; biting and nipping. He usually falls asleep within minutes. I realize that when he’s tired he’s worse. We are planning obedience training. After reading these posts I realize we are not alone but realize this is obviously a problem we hope we can solve.

Aussie nipping
by: ME CHapman

I have a 3/4 Aussie 1/4 English Mastiff. When he gets excited he nips my hands. I hold his mouth and tell him "No Bite" and he just keeps doing it till he calms down. Sometimes I hold onto him and don't let him move till he calms down and then he grabs one of his toys or a stick off the ground and runs around trying to get me to catch him. I won't chase him, I just let him run circles till he gets tired.
We now have a Golden Collie with just as much energy as he does. But he still nips at my hands. But now I tell the other puppy to get the toy from him and she chases him around instead of me lol.
When I got him he was 11 months old. I don't think his old owners knew how to make him stop nipping their little kids. And they no longer wanted him.
Other than the nipping he's a great dog. He rarely barks. But is very very needy.
We live on a farm and he has all the room he needs to run and play. But as soon as I'm outside with him he starts nipping on my hands.
I may try the squirt bottle since he hates water.

10 Week Aussie
by: Dena

He also has a mouth full of teeth and twice a day he goes into spaz attacks runs in circles and biting out of control. All other training has been so easy, At 9 weeks almost 100% poddy trained he also sits and shakes his paws.

3 Month Mini Merle Boy
by: Kailey

My 3-month-old Aussie puppy will not stop nipping or barking. I have tried the ouch method and that doesn't work as well as the back of the throat method and that still doesn't work. I want to nip this in the bud as he still is young. Any other piece of advice would be greatly appreciated!

Train Train Train
by: Anonymous

I am not expert, but I've found a few tricks that have really helped with our 4-month-old Aussie's nipping and biting. First, we started training from 8 weeks. He knows Sit and Stay very well... not that he always listens. I find if you can get him in a sit (even when he is riled up, grab the collar, put your hand on their bum and say "sit") and quickly command "Stay" (it might take a couple tries) but once you have them in a stay, keep them there for 30s to a min, and then release them with another command. This works 99% of the time for us. It gets his mind off herding and to listening to what I am going to say. Bonus if you have treats on hand.

The mental reminder that he is still a puppy and each week will get better helps. Need to also remember that they don't just become good dogs... you HAVE to be willing to work, be patient, and stay positive. New behaviours will arise and it is being able to work though them together that will really help your pup be loyal and loving to you and your family.

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