Here are two great videos on training your new puppy. Our recommended crate can be found HERE. We also recommend integrating Bell Training into your potty training venture. Watch for our next post on teaching your puppy to ring a bell to let you know he needs to go outside to potty. Enjoy!
Teaching Your Dog to COME!
Here are two great videos - the first is a video on teaching your dog to come, the second is purely for inspiration on how amazing these creatures are and what they are capable of learning. The more time you spend with your pooch, the more their potential is unleashed. Enjoy!
Illustrated Guide to Australian Shepherd Grooming
Check out this great illustrated guide to grooming your aussie. It is a bit overkill unless you are showing your aussie. Overall, I find aussies simply need a good brushing here and there to keep their coat mat free and shedded out. Feeding a great dog food like TLC Whole Life Dog Food, goes a LONG way to aid in a healthy shiny and easy to manage hair coat. Generally speaking, the more grain (such as soy, wheat, and corn) you have in a dog food the worse off it is not only for your dog's hair coat, but also in regards to their general health. Stay tuned for our next post on choosing a suitable dog food for your aussie.
Be sure to go slow and make grooming a positive experience for your dog or puppy so you will both enjoy the process. Happy Grooming!
Below is a fairly detailed video on grooming your aussie if you are interested. Enjoy!
Male or Female - that is the question.
We have found that many people want a girl puppy, but listen to what Hogan Kennels says about girls vs. boys. You may change your mind.
Many people believe that female dogs make better pets...female preference seems to be ingrained in these people. Most calls for pet dogs have people wanting a 'sweet girl'. They don't think females display alpha behaviors like 'marking' and/or 'humping'. They believe that they are more docile and attentive and do not participate in fighting over dominance. This simply is not the case.
In the dog pack makeup, females usually rule the roost, determine pecking order, and who competes to maintain and/or alter that order. The females are, as a result, more independent, stubborn, and territorial than their male counterparts. The females are much more intent upon exercising their dominance by participating in alpha behaviors such as 'humping'. There IS a reason people utilize the technical dog term of 'bitch' in a negative way-and it refers directly to the behaviors exhibited by the females of the dog world. Most fights will usually break out between 2 females.
Males, on the other hand, are usually more affectionate, exuberant, attentive, and more demanding of attention. They are very attached to their people. They also tend to be more steadfast, reliable, and less moody. They are more outgoing, more accepting of other pets, and take quicker to children. Most boys are easily motivated by food (how true!!) and praise, and so eager to please that training is easy. However, males can be more easily distracted during training, as males like to play so often. And no matter what age, he is more likely to act silly and more puppy-like, always wanting to play games. Boys are fun loving until the day they die.
Females tend to be more reserved or dignified as they age. Witness the human equivalent of the twinkling eyed Grandpa still playing catch at age 70, while Grandma quietly observes from the porch. And while the female will usually come to you for attention, when she's had enough, she will move away, while boys are always waiting for your attention and near at hand. Females are usually less distracted during training.
Neutered males rarely exhibit secondary sexual behavior such as 'humping', or 'marking' and lifting of legs. Once the testosterone levels recede after neutering, most of these behaviors (if they ever existed) will disappear. Boys who were neutered early (by 5 months of age) usually don't ever raise their leg to urinate.
In the end, a spayed or neutered Aussie rarely exhibits gender specific behavior. Aussies in general are happy, exuberant yet easy going dogs that LOVE their people. They are fun loving characters that will keep you laughing and put a smile on your face.
Biting Pant Legs & Ankles Chasing your moving feet and biting ankles and pant legs is a 100% natural dog behavior! But it's not much fun for you. Let's apply the four steps of problem-solving to find a solution:
1. Identify the specific problem. Here, biting ankles and pants legs.
2. Define what you want the puppy to do instead. The answer to this question is *never* "Stop doing the problem behavior." You could suppress the behavior, and the dog could choose to do something even worse! Save yourself a ton of frustration -- and your dog a ton of confusion -- and choose a preferred behavior. In this instance, I'd say, "Walk nicely next to me."
3. Manage the situation so the undesired behavior becomes unreinforcing or impossible. Why is the puppy doing it? Because it's natural to chase and bite moving things.
So step one, if the puppy pounces, STOP MOVING. As soon as the puppy pauses, click and treat -- reinforce the pause in activity. Start walking... stop the moment his tetth touch your anknles or clothes. Never again take a step while the puppy is biting you.
If you don't have time to do that, then MANAGE the situation and put the puppy somewhere where he can't bite you! Or take a different route! Don't get frustrated by your lack of planning and blame the pup.
If you find that the puppy does it only at certain times -- when he's overstimulated or tired, for example, or when you first get home or when you put the leash on -- manage the situation. Identify the triggers and plan for them.
4. Train the preferred behavior. Teach your pup it's fun and reinforcing to walk by your side. Reinforce heavily for any steps at your side -- this is a great foundation for loose-leash walking.
In this method, the dog has learned walking with mom is fun -- more fun than biting ankles and pantslegs.
It is never, ever necessary to yell at, growl at, shake, muzzle grab, or otherwise physically punish this behavior. (Gee, I bet those behaviors make the pup anxious to walk at your side during loose leash walking. NOT!) ) Be proactive, not reactive. What has the pup learned if you use physical corrections?
That type of correction says, "I am bigger and stronger and you must do what I want." Is that what you want your pup to learn? If your pup is ever going to get large, or if he's ever going to be around children, physically-challenged people, or the elderly, I don't think you do. Teach what you want -- don't react and punish. If you have to react, YOU screwed up and let it happen. Don't punish the puppy for your poor planning.
Happy Training :)
(Article Credit Melissa Alexander - www.clickersolutions.com)