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Australian Shepherd Photo of the Week

Australian Shepherd Dog Photo of the Day

Lisa Laughlin

This is Zoey. She plays with the neighbor kids everyday and loves to play ball. She also loves to get on the bed when it's all made up nice. She likes to eat too much and bark at strangers. She is very emotional when she sees her grandparents and gets in your face for some love and pets. When your hand gets tired – she'll give it a nudge to keep petting her. She's the best dog ever!

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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 #21

Creating a Release Word

For some obedience commands, we'll want to teach the dog to hold a position or stay in one place until we say it's okay to move – or example, the "Sit-Stay" command. For these commands to work properly, we need to teach a release word. This is the word that lets the dog know the command is finished with.

It doesn't really matter what word you use here, as long as it's not too similar to another command word you want to use. "OK" is fine as a release word. When your dog is displaying the behavior you want (staying in one place, for example), just say "OK" and then walk off like you're not interested. Do this a few times and she'll begin to understand the meaning. We'll talk more about this when we discuss teaching the "Stay" command.

Treat Timing

One of the biggest mistakes people make with training is giving treats at the wrong time. You want to give the treat as soon as possible after the dog displays the behavior you're trying to teach. So when you're teaching "Sit," you should be saying your marker word and feeding the treat immediately AFTER her behind hits the ground.

This is crucial for letting her know what behavior she's being rewarded for. If you give the treat too soon, she may think she's being reward for standing up and will associate the word "Sit" with the action of standing. Likewise, if you give the treat too late and she's starting to get back up from her sitting position, she'll associate the word "Sit" with getting up. Make sure you have the treat in your hand ready to go and hand it over as soon as she does what you want her to do.

Next time: How Long Should Training Sessions Be?

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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care


Cartoon of the Week

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Dog Quote of the Week

Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog.

~ Douglas Mallock




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