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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Aggressive Australian Shepherd Puppy Please Help

by Tori

This is when we first brough her home

This is when we first brough her home

OK, so I have had my puppy (Maya) for a week and a half now. She is 9 weeks old and all she does is bite and attack our cats as well as our other dog. She seems to be doing it playfully. But I have tried being firm with her and telling her no and rewarding her when she does something good. But she doesn't like to be petted or picked up or cuddled and when I try to give her a treat to reward her if I don't give it to her right away she starts frantically looking for it on the ground or just walks away. I have never had a puppy like this. Please if you have any suggestions as to something that would help me out I would greatly appreciate it!

Tori Snell

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Aggressive Puppy
by: Ontario, Canada

I suspect that your puppy is learning to play and establish herself in the pack. Have you thought about taking puppy head start training classes? I have a purebred Aussie and before we could bring her home we had to attend their puppy classes and we have continued on with training privately with great success. Always be consistent, keep training sessions short, stay calm and in control, do not over praise, always end training on a positive note and forget punishment. Calmly correct the undesired behavior; punishment is a distraction. Example, if you want her to stay place her in the sitting position and have her wait, if she goes to move say uh, uh and calmly walk her back to where you placed her, say stay. Verbal correction needs to be done at the time of the incorrect response with physical action and immediately after (1-second rule). Repeat as many times as necessary don't give up as she will think she can wait you out. And always, set her up for success work close to her to start and when she is successful start extending the distance. Rewards are for good choices and given immediately; by holding back the reward for several seconds you are confusing her. Try changing up the reward as well give a treat maybe next time her favorite toy and extra special treaty for a great success.
Like children no 2-dogs are the same, ours is quite different than our border collie we had to learn different handling techniques.

by: Gayle-- Big Run Aussies

Wow! You really have your hands full! Your pup probably wasn't socialized with people and cats. you can still return her to the breeder, although you probably already are totally in love with her. First of all, our cats have always had a safe place where the dogs can't go -- somewhere blocked off where only the cats go. Our laundry room has a hook closure that is just wide enough for the cats to go in, but not dogs. That's where we keep their necessaries -- litter box and food. We block off our living room until pups realize that they just don't go in there and being that Aussies are very boundary oriented, the training works.

With time and love your pups will get used to you touching her and petting her. Continue with the treats. Make sure you handle her feet, ears, etc and praise her for letting you do it. Keep everything low key and very short. She may just be having a hard time adjusting to a new situation. Make certain that you take her with you everywhere to socialize her. Have other people handle her and give her treats.
If you have more questions that are more specific, please email me at

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