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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Alpha Female During Walks

by Matt

Our blue merle, Charlotte, is fantastic but for one problem: she acts out of control with other dogs during our walks. She ranges from aggression with some dogs, to an overly anxious need to greet others. The dogs that she "makes friends with" get tired of her because she will randomly go after their legs, or nip at their sides. She seems to see other dogs as herding objects. Any suggestions on modifying her behavior towards other dogs during walks? Thanks in advance.

Comments for Alpha Female During Walks

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herding sheep
by: Anonymous

Find some sheep to herd! Local farm

Crazy walks
by: Anonymous

We have a black tri. Thought we were the only ones with this problem. She barks, jumps, and whatever else on our walks. I don't think there is a solution. We just hold the leash tightly.

"Watch me" command
by: jcrply

One method is to use the "Watch me" command (the dog must be taught the command before you use it on walks :-) Patricia McConnell has a little booklet about just this problem and she recommends this method. You can buy the new edition at Amazon. But you can get a good description of the method from the following from her website.

If your dog already knows the "Watch me" command, you're almost there. But it's an easy command to teach if you use really yummy treats that the dog does not usually get to have.... like meat or cheese or whatever is your dog's favorite. Start with other dogs who are far away and do that a lot (many walks) before you gradually get closer to other dogs. If you turn a corner and suddenly come face-to-face with another dog, turn around immediately and quickly walk the other way... until your dog has worked up to such close encounters. It's going to take a lot of time and patience on your part.

by: Henrietta

Our Tri has the same issue but his is more a fear aggression. I always keep little treats with me and when we are approaching another dog I have him focus on me (treat). I would also go off to the side and let the other dog pass constantly telling Nash to watch me no worries. It really seems to help and now we are almost to the point where we can just say no worries and keep on walking. Some days are better than the other. Good luck

link to booklet
by: jcrply

Here is the correct link to McConnell's book "Feisty Fido."
It address just this one topic.

Give them a distraction
by: Tracy Weidman

My Aussie, Naish (ironically pictured this week on the Aussies Owners Manual) does the same thing but when able to meet the other dog is fine. I call him "the mouth of the south". He does really well if he walks with something he loves,like his tennis ball or a stick, in his mouth. It gives him something to do.

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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

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