Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Training Puppy Not to Nip

by E
(Salt Lake City)

I recently got an Aussie puppy and he is now just over 8 weeks old. Over the past week, he started to nip at our pant legs and ankles quite a bit. We have tried yelling ouch loudly and saying no bite and also holding his mouth shut when that doesn't work. We have also tried turning away and ignoring him when he does this but that doesn't seem to work. This typically happens first thing in the morning after he has eaten and then again in the evenings - to the point that we have nicknamed him "Devil Dog" because he gets so crazy. We are crate-training him, however he's in there for less than 4 hours at a time and we are always home for lunch to take him out, feed him, play with him, etc. Is this normal behavior for Aussies? Any tips on how to get him to stop this? Aside from the nipping he is an incredibly well-behaved puppy - very smart (already sitting, coming and staying on command) and we've had very little trouble potty training him. It's just the mornings and evenings when all he wants to do is bite people (not his toys that we try to distract him with.)

Thanks for the help!

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Re: Nipping
by: kym

You can try spraying him with a squirt bottle and saying 'NO'. Some aussies like water and this has no affect on them. If this is the case,put a little lemon juice or vinegar in the bottle.Start with a small amount and increase if nessesary. This will not hurt him! This is very typical of aussie behaviour. Try finding a local facility that offers classes in both obedience and agility or something similar. Both of theses classes will help you deal with your puppy. Everyone loves a well behaved dog and the agility will help with the pent up energy. He is still a little young,but do your research now with a reputable trainer. Good luck with your new addition!

Nipping Puppy
by: Marilyn

Typical of the herding breed, of which the Aussie's are. I had the same problem with my guy, now approaching 3 years. I think I just lucked out in getting him to 'STOP' this behavior, and only see it occasionaly now and only if he is overly excited about seeing me. He will grab my pant leg & try to drag me down the hall, which often results in grabbing a little nip of skin at the same time. Your best bet is to seek out info from trainers of the herding breed. Plenty of exercise definitely takes the edge off the urge.

Good luck!

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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care