Dog behavior training is something that all owners have to deal with at some point in their pet's development. Dogs can develop a variety of behaviors, many of which are not welcome and may need to be curbed as quickly as possible.
There are steps you can take to help your dog overcome these behaviors, both as a puppy and as an adult. If you have difficulty with training or have questions about what to do, a professional dog trainer can often provide insights.
By far the most common problem behavior is aggression. Unfortunately for pet owners, aggression is a natural instinct in all animals and dogs are no exception. They have an innate need to protect their territory and defend themselves from perceived threats.
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Australian Shepherds are quick learners and are eager to please. Always use positive dog behavior training techniques and you will strengthen your bond—and have a happy, well-behaved Aussie in the end.
Sometimes that can lead to snarling, growling, showing their teeth, lunging and even nipping. Aggression can develop for a number of reasons, including as a result of a medical problem, so you should always consult with your vet and/or a professional trainer for advice about how to handle it.
Barking and howling is another issue that may require dog behavior training. Dogs bark or howl for a number of reasons, from protecting their territory to sounding an alarm to simply looking for attention. Regardless of the cause, this kind of noise making can quickly become a nuisance so it's important to get on top of the issue before it becomes a problem.
Chewing and nipping are other behaviors that come quite naturally to dogs but can quickly become a nuisance and even dangerous if not kept in check. Puppies explore their world with their mouths so, as with human toddlers, they will go through a chewing phase. The important thing here is to ensure that they have acceptable items to chew on so that their attention and energy is diverted from chewing on furniture or nipping at people.
Another big issue that may require dog behavior training is separation anxiety. Often, when dogs are left alone for a long period of time they can become destructive or disruptive. They aren't doing this on purpose; they are simply expressing their unhappiness about being separated from their owners in the only way they know how. Training here involves diverting that attention and finding ways to soothe them until you return home.
Behavior training can be useful for any breed and at any age as all dogs can potentially develop behavioral problems, however, it can be a particular challenge for owners of active breeds like Australian Shepherds who need constant stimulation to keep them engaged. Fortunately, it is possible to develop methods for successfully training even these challenging dogs and helping them to become well behaved and obedient.
Hannah was adopted from Mending Hearts Rescue and she is 8 years old in this photo. As you can see, she has quite a unique color. She loves tricks and is quite talented!
No matter what your dog's age or energy level the important things to remember with any dog behavior training are patience and persistence. While some behavior may be annoying, it is still vital to understand the reason for it so that you can address it properly.
It's not as simple as having a "bad dog", there may actually be a deeper reason for your dog to be acting the way he is and if you can get to the heart of the issue you'll have a much better chance of stopping the problem behavior.
So if your dog is barking, chewing, jumping up, digging, nipping, biting, getting aggressive, or displaying any other kind of unwanted behavior don't despair. You don't have to live with it. With proper dog behavior training you and your dog can get past the problems and have a happier relationship.
That's all well and good, but what can you do about it?! Of course, that depends a lot on which problem you are needing to address.
We have a lot of articles about training your Australian Shepherd here. You can get started by having a look through those.
You can also search this website. (You can find the search box at the top of every page.) There are thousands of pages in our Q & A Forum, for example, that have questions and answers from other Aussie owners on a myriad of topics.
I have to also mention our official Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care Ebook. This is a resource that every Aussie owner should have and is especially good for those at a beginner to intermediate level of dog training.
If you are a visual learner or would just prefer to watch a video that shows you what you need to do, I highly recomment the The Online Dog Trainer program created by professional dog trainer, "Doggy Dan". Dan's program features hundreds of videos organized into sections that cover all aspects of dog training in a simple, easy-to-follow format. He also has a section on dog behavior problems that covers just about any issues you are likely to face. You can find out more about Dan's program here.
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