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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Dominance Issue With Women

by Stephen
(Maple, ON, Canada)

Hi, I'm reaching out to the community in near desperation for suggestions on how to deal with our 14wo male Aussie who is making going for walks almost unbearable for my wife and daughters (he isn't as bad for me).

We have had him in a harness since we got him (the connection to the leash is on his back) and he has taken to chewing on the leash to the point of tugging it (like he does with his ropie) while walking and will NOT let go, even when he is stopped, told to sit (he lets it go, then immediately picks it up again). When you try to remove it, he will growl or nip.

A pet trainer has suggested he does this to move your hand down the leash as biting the hand is a big no-no, yet doesn't work to stop him. We have also tried soaking the bottom part of his leash in lemon juice, vinegar and even cayenne peppers and this may stop him initially, but he still persists.

I am finding that if/when I stop when he does this and tell him a firm NO, he will stop (maybe it's my bass voice), but even when my wife does this (as deeply as she can) it doesn't change the behaviour.

He is exercised several times a day (brisk walks range from 20-45 min) and reviewing Anton's book has yielded no other ideas.


~ Stephen

Comments for Dominance Issue With Women

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Bully Aussie
by: Anonymous

My son has two males and one of them displays this same behavior towards the other and me, and all females. My son has no problem with him. I am consistent and do not give in.
It is a battle of wills. Hoping for some good feedback.

Leash grabbing
by: Anonymous

My boy is nearly two yrs old, and still does this occasionally. It is maddening! It's a puppy tactic and he should outgrow it in time, but it must be corrected firmly. I, female, grab his collar right at the snap and give him a shake and a firm NO! As soon as he sits quietly I reward him. I would have him on a collar, not a harness, you have no control there. Firmness and infinite patience is what works with these guys.

Leash problem

Sounds like you are using a loose leash... I'd suggest trying a retractable one... there will be no loose leash where he can get a hold on it... good luck with your pup...

Clear expectations and patience
by: Anonymous

Our 1 1/2 yo Aussie has a tendency to grab the leash when I want to jog with her (I am hoping for a future running companion). I feel that it is a combination of excitement and misunderstanding. Aussies are herding animals and their mouths are a big part of how they do their job (nipping at a sheep's heels).
She is very food reward motivated but I have not had to use it with her for this problem.
Training your Aussie very thoroughly on the "drop it" command or even the "leave it" command might help and patiently, little by little each day work on it. I would not move forward for the walk unless the leash it not in the mouth.
Decide together what the plan is... which commands will be used... and even the tone and inflection of the command.

Teach Drop it
by: Anonymous

Teaching drop it and leave it is a great place to start. Your ladies in the house need to work with him as well when you are teaching Drop it and leave it. This will reinforce that no matter what, the rules still applies.

by: Karin and Lajla

My girl use to do that what she was younger , especially when I was running with her. For me I did not think it was a dominant behavior, she was just overexited.
My solution was to come down, take it easy myself and try not to get upset because then the behavior got worse. Sometimes I dropped the leash and let her walk a little bit in front of me ( when I was in an enviroment where that was possible)
When we both had come down I just took up the leash without making to mush fuss about it and continue my run/walk.
I also let her carry her tennisball from time to time.
That was working really well, it was like she got a job to do instead of biting the leash. As you know, dogs just do one thing at the time and carrying the ball kept her bissy
Looked a bit funny but at least it worked.
She is now six years old and havent have that behavior for many years.
Hope this will help.
Yes and one more thing:
I dont expect my dog to be in a heel- position when taking long walks or running in a harness. She is allowed to be a bit in front of me as long as she is in a loose leash. That has helped to I think.

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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

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