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Australian Shepherd Photo of the Week

Australian Shepherd Dog Photo of the Day

Owner: Rochelle Runge   Photo: Lauren Kelly

This is Phantom my male Aussie at 1 year and 5 months old. We hiked to the top of Mount Megunticook in Camden, Maine. The hike was 3.48 miles – a challenging climb but Phantom had the time of his life and the view is specular!

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Training and Care — Tip Of The Week

Australian Shepherd Lover's Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care
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Excerpt from Our New Ebook
Australian Shepherd Lover's Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Excerpt #19

Creating a Behavior Marker

Before you can teach your dog a command, you need to teach her how to know when she's done the right thing. Again, there's no point in saying "Sit" if your dog doesn't know what it means. The only way to teach her what it means is to get her to repeat the behavior, over and over again, and associate the word with the movement.

But how does she know which movement is "Sit"? Is it when she sits down, or when she stands up again afterwards? That's why we have a behavior marker. This is our sign, to let our dog know she's done what we want.

There are two types of marker you can use:

  • A sound. Usually this will be what's called a "clicker," and there's a whole world of information out there on training with a clicker. You don't need a clicker for basic training, but it can be useful to start using one if you want to teach your dog some advanced tricks. This is the training method they use at places like Seaworld to teach dolphins, orcas and the like to do routines.

  • Using a word. This works just as well as a clicker, and it's free. Use a word like "Good," "Good dog," "Good girl/boy" or "OK." In my opinion "Good dog" is best because it avoids any confusion – otherwise you may be having a conversation with your friend and say "OK," only to find your dog thinks you're giving her approval for doing nothing.

Next time: How to Set Up Your Behavior Marker

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Cartoon of the Week

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Dog Quote of the Week

Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.

~ Roger Caras




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