Training and Care — Tip Of The Week
Excerpt from Our New
Australian Shepherd Lover's Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care
This behavior goes back to the Aussie’s original use as a herding dog – they had to be aggressive enough to work a herd of animals and get them moving in the right direction. They also had to be able to defend the herd from predators. So they have a strong instinct to defend those they’re loyal to against perceived threats. Whereas guarding toys and food is usually a dominance issue, if your dog has a habit of getting aggressive and ‘defending’ you when strangers or other dogs are around, it’s more of a normal Aussie guarding issue.
Tips On Muzzles
Some owners try to resort to the ‘quick fix’ for aggressive behavior by buying a muzzle for their dog. While a muzzle can be useful for keeping your dog under control in certain situations until you’ve dealt with the bad behavior, you do still have to focus on training and solving the underlying problems. The muzzle only works to stop the behavior when the dog is wearing it – as soon as you take it off, you have the same dog with the same behaviors.
Aggression is a serious issue, so don’t be afraid to get in touch with a professional trainer sooner rather than later.
Other General Tips on Aggression
We’ve covered some of the specifics of dealing with different types of aggression here. These are the main ideas you should be taking away from this section:
Being established as the pack leader is essential for confronting aggression problems. If your dog doesn’t respect you and follow your lead, you don’t have much chance of fixing these problems yourself. You’ll need to either use the tips in this book to establish yourself as the leader or hire a professional trainer who can help you achieve this.
Don’t forget the value of spaying and neutering for helping reduce aggression issues, especially if your dog is male.
Next time: Destructive Chewing and Chew Toys
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