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Behavior Issues, 6 Month Old Australian Shepherd
(Hendersonville, NC, USA)
I love our little Folly girl. Now 6 months and 22 lbs. She was spayed about 3 weeks ago. So we've had the normal puppy issues (chewing, biting, etc.) pretty well contained, but are having a few other bigger issues...
She's food obsessed and while we try to put her outside when we eat, if it's raining or something, or you're just trying to snack, she drives us crazy and will steal food, children's food, other dog's treats etc. "leave it" is not sinking in with her! I've discussed her food amounts she's receiving with the vet and she's getting the upper end of the required amount. Also, she will "get in her place" but won't stay.
Also, while our older dogs (both age 11), Beagle and Jack Russell are tolerating her (usually), suddenly she's becoming more aggressive with them. She won't let them on the couch or on a certain chair, dog bed, etc. She nips the JRT (I know the herding instinct), but my little dog is already a nervous dog, and they'll full on fight occasionally. Do I let them work this out? Obviously, the Aussie could hurt her now that she's getting so big.
The other issue is the jumping and biting at our clothing. We seem to be getting a handle on this, but she'll still do it especially with the kids (age 11 and 17). Just wondering if this is going to be an ongoing fight.
I know it sounds like I'm complaining, but she's such a smart dog and wants to please me (does much better with me than my husband or kids), but she needs to understand that they can be the boss too. My husband is frustrated and wants me to get rid of her. I think it's just been a while since we had a puppy so he forgets this part of the process.
We've made great progress on several things by incorporating training learned on this site and she gets at least 2 30 minute intense exercise sessions a day, one in the yard with balls and frisbees and one 3 mile walk or hike.
I try to take Folly as many places as possible, but her behavior is making it difficult to handle her when out and about now that she's larger and stronger.
I'd appreciate any advice or encouragement!