Training and Care — Tip Of The Week
Excerpt from Our New
Australian Shepherd Lover's Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care
Herding and Nipping
It’s not uncommon for Aussies to pick up the habit of chasing people around and nipping at them, herding them like stock. Obviously this is a pretty annoying problem and can be quite scary for some people.
Dealing with this issue is a combination of exercise and good basic training. There’s no magic formula to stop herding. For starters, ensure your Aussie is getting that hour a day of exercise, and drill on basic commands like Sit and Stay. An Aussie can’t be herding people if she’s sitting in one spot. The more consistent your Sit-Stay becomes, the more problem behaviors you’ll be able to knock out quickly and easily.
Don’t get obsessed with trying to eradicate the behavior. Your Aussie is a herding dog – this is just one of those built in instincts. Remember, you want to try to work with instincts when you can, rather than battling against them. So make sure your dog’s instincts are satisfied by other activities like exercise, games and training, and you’ll find those instincts stop coming out in undesirable ways.
One other tip here – avoid making a big reaction when your dog tries to herd you, and tell everyone else in your house not to react either. If you run around, flail your arms and yell loudly, you’re only encouraging the behavior without knowing it. When your dog starts to herd, stay calm and tell her in a firm voice to Sit.
Next time: Housetraining Problems
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