New pup owner needs a little help

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by vesper, May 6, 2008.

  1. vesper

    vesper New Member

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    hello. Last thursday i got a adorable mini Australian Shepherd (almost 3 months old)and named her Layla. She's a very active and sweet dog. Instinctually, she tries to herd me in the backyard by nipping at my feet and laying down to wait for me to move so she can nip me again. However, sometimes when she doesn't want me to do something or she wants me to put her down she'll snap at my arm or hand. I was told that when a puppy is playing too rough that you can hold her down on her back and until she stops squirming and tell her no. Supposedly it represents something similar to what her mother would do, but when i do it she yelps as if i'm hurting her and when i let her up she backs away from me like she's scared. I definitely don't want her to be scared of me. She hasn't even been in my house a week and doesn't understand "No" or anything else for that matter. Help? :(
     
  2. Just a few things:

    Find a puppy class and sign up NOW. Start as soon as they will allow you.

    Do a web search on bite inhibition and read up on how to work with her on this.

    Go to Yahoo.com and join the biggest Australian Shepherd mailing list. Also find the website for the Australian Shepherd Club of America and look for information there.

    Talk to your breeder and see what help you get from that area.

    Read about herding dogs and herding behaviors.

    Aussies are very active dogs with strong herding instinct. You should stay in training class with this puppy on a regular basis for at least a year, and 18 mos would be better.

    Herding dogs can be a lot of fun, but that drive needs to be harnessed in a positive way so you can enjoy the dog and vice versa.

    Good luck, and get busy, you have a lot of reading and work to do.

    :D
     
  3. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    That method has to be started very early in their life .....otherwise it just frustrates them and makes it worst . Check with your breeder if she did this .
     
  4. vesper

    vesper New Member

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    Well, All i've been doing for days has been researching. That's what brought me to that method, and i didn't know if that was considered cruel or if it was a reasonable method.

    I signed her up for puppy classes a few days ago, and she starts next week.

    Her breeder is in MO, and i got her here in town from Petland.

    I had a golden retriever before that was way more docile, and i never really had to deal with this kind of situation.
     
  5. Very good luck to you. Puppies that come from pet stores come with many MANY built in issues.

    I would not bother trying to contact the "breeder", as people who raise and sell puppies as a cash crop do not care what happens to them once the cash is in hand.
     
  6. Gempress

    Gempress Walks into Mordor

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    Welcome to Chaz! You've come to the right place to get advice.

    I'm going to add my 2 cents here. Pet stores are definately not the best place to get a puppy. However, that certainly doesn't mean that your pup is doomed because she came from a pet store. Just be aware that your pup probably did not have the benefit of early training and socialization. Her parents may not have had the best temperament, either.

    That means that you're going to have to take *extra* care in training and nuturing your puppy in order to make up for those possible deficiencies. The puppy class you signed up for is an excellent start. I also suggest you Google "puppy socialization", and work on socializing your pup. I never had to put up with heel nipping, so I'm not sure how to correct that. But I'm sure there are plenty of herding dog owners on here who can guide you.

    Good luck! Feel free to ask if you have any more questions.
     
  7. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    Petstore says it all !! NO dog from a puppy mill gets what should be done with a new litter !! You might want to get " How You Can Raise A Puppy You Can Live With " and try to start from the 1st week . I wish you the best !! Let us know !!
     
  8. vesper

    vesper New Member

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    I'm sure that's not true in every case. And she's not doing it to harm me.. She's just trying to play. I'm just worried about when she grows up because she might harm someone on accident.

    And you're right Gempress.. just because she came from a pet store doesn't mean she's doomed. Nor does it mean that she came from a puppy mill. She's a great dog and is in perfect health. I just don't know how to correct certain behaviors.
     
  9. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    Welcome to Chazhound! For future reference please do not buy puppies from pet stores because they come from places called puppy mills where dogs do not get socialization, training, proper care or attention, vet care or grooming. They live in cages or pens their whole lives. buying puppies from pet stores is giving money to these people to allow them to continue torturing dogs. What's done is done though, so just keep this in mind for next time. What this means for you is that you don't know the parent's temperaments or health conditions that could have been passed on to your dog and the puppy has not gotten any socialization. If you got her under 8 weeks she may not have learned much bite inhibition either.

    So as for biting, it's normal stuff. I would not do what you are doing because you do run the risk of causing her to fear you or fear being handled. the theory behind it is also flawed, dogs will not force other dogs onto their backs, the dog rolls by himself. Next time you guys are playing and she nips you should try standing up, crossing your arms and turning your back on the pup. She will learn that is she bites the game must end.

    Now I've never dealt with or heard much about how to deal with herding behavior. I wonder if walking toward the dog would do anything. Try that, don't pay attention to her but when she begins to herd walk towards her with your head turned up away from her and walk tall. I'm not sure how it will work but it's worth a try. You could also try waiting it out, if she herds stop dead in your tracks and just stand there until she looses interest, you're no fun to herd if you won't move. I don't know how long she'll wait though. Again pay no attention to her when she does it.

    Like what? Depending on what it is she wants you to stop you could be dealing with issues that need to be solved in a different way such as resource guarding or not being socialized to touch which will take a slow gentle approach to fix.

    As for wanting to be put down, try and put her down BEFORE she is bothered enough to nip. What you don't want to do is ignore her body language telling you "put me down" and then put her down when she bites, she'll learn biting works and you don't want that. So watch her, if she seems like she wants down listen before she bites. Also get her to like being held. Before you give her a treat pick her up and give it to her while she is in your arms. When she finishes put her down. When you take her out hold her and carry her out (maybe not every time but at least some time). Before dinner hold her. Hold her before any good thing so she learns it means good things are going to happen. If you want to hold her, stick to short session for now so she does not learn that being held goes on until she is upset, you don't want her to associate negative feelings with it.

    As for research, on the internet you'll find good sites and bad sites. Books are often very helpful but again you will still find books by uneducated "trainers" who may damage your dog (such as Cesar Millan) or by down right cruel trainers (Richling, Koehler etc.). So I'm gonna suggest some books:
    The Culture Clash-Jean Donaldson (general book on dog behavior, training, understanding etc. Awesome book, my favorite, but some people have trouble reading it)
    The Power of positive Dog Training- Pat Miller (great for teaching basics)
    For the Love of a Dog-Suzanne Clothier (about dog emotion and a great book on the dog-human bond)
    Bones Would Rain from the Sky-Patricia McConnell (great one about dog emotion, very interesting!)
    The Other end of the Leash-Patricia McConnell (one body language, very important)

    I think all those books are great ones to have, definitely get a few or all of those.

    None of my dogs will know "no" :D It's too general a command for me and is WAY over used. I prefer to say what they can do instead or have a specific command to stop what they are doing. If he's interested in something "bad" I'd say leave it, if he's going to run out the door I say wait, if he's chewing something up I say drop it, it tells the dog exactly what you want.

    It sounds like you really care, I'm glad, people who care are easy to help and willing to learn so I wish you and your pup well!
     
  10. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    Not to offend, but she almost certainly did come from one. No good breeder in their right mind would let some store sell their puppies for them to people they do not meet or allow their pups to live their lives in a pet store cage. You are lucky she is healthy and has avoided the maggot diseases, parvo and distemper, she may end up being perfectly healthy but she may end up with genetic health problems once she is an adult. I hope she stays in good health though, I know many do.
     
  11. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Very true. Breeds that have breeders code ethics that breeder have to sign will stipulate that you NEVER sell your pups to a pet store. NO good breeder will ever dog that.

    Don't feel too bad about it, many of us chaz members got dogs from pet stores before we realized where they came from, and that dogs from good breeders are almost always cheaper!

    Personally I would never hold a pup down, its a VERY serious threat. Dogs tend to only do it when they intend serious harm to the other. (as in maim and or kill) Some mother dogs seem to be able to do this with pups, but usually its the pup offering the belly roll to the mom and freezing vs the mom actually pinning the dog.
     
  12. vesper

    vesper New Member

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    Yeah, i just watched some of the videos about those since the topic was brought up.. and now i feel horrible for supporting something like that. Layla is an adorable pup but i can't even imagine what her family went through. I hope she stays in good health like she has now.. and continues to react positively to my training efforts.

    And i didn't know that that position was considered a threatening position. I was just reading about it as a disciplinary action, but nothing more. I definitely will not continue to do it then (Though i've only tried it once). It seems that the only discipline i can give her is saying no and puting her in her crate. I dont like the idea of spraying water in her face either.

    Oh and Maxy24, Thanks for all your advice and i'll definitely try turning my back next time. As far as putting her down.. It's usually in the middle of the night when she wakes me wanting to go out to do her business and if i put her down she pees immediately afterwards.
     
  13. just wanted to wish you the very best with your pup vesper.

    You have her now, so there is nothing more to do about that. The fact that you have been made aware of why NOT to buy animals in a retail store is worth a lot.

    Find a puppy class.

    Be kind, consistent, and demanding in a positive way with your pup.

    Make the right thing to do the ONLY opportunity for her.

    Prevent mistakes by using crates, expens, baby gates, etc.

    Read the stickies here and in the puppy section on puppy training, mouthing, house training, etc.

    Find a class in your area and start training as soon as they will let you.

    If vaccines are up to date, have your puppy out and about to visit and socialize with people in different places as often as possible.

    And of course you must post photos soon so we can see the adorable little thing.

    :)
     
  14. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Oh, having had herding breeds for years, including an Aussie, one game that is fun AND seems to satisfy their herding drives is to invest in a number of large balls of various sizes.

    Throw them out into the yard, and run around with her, kicking them (like soccer) for short distances and "herding" them into one particular place. She'll get the idea and have a blast "herding" her toys :)

    BUT . . . . when she is heel nipping and herding YOU, the game is over if she won't be diverted back to the balls. You don't want her herding kids, bicycles, etc., should she ever manage to get loose - and trust me, it can happen no matter how careful you are. Plus, it's no fun walking the dog when she's wanting to herd passers-by. Or cars.
     
  15. vesper

    vesper New Member

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    Herding the balls is a good idea.

    And she is adorable : )

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    I've taken her to dog parks to socialize her before, but the vet said that i should probably wait to continue taking her until she gets her last set of shots a few months from now. She is up to date already though. She is very good with other dogs too though sometimes she tries to herd them as well and she's so fast that few of them can catch her. Oh, and she's very good with people as well. Everyone in my neighborhood and family love her, and she meets someone new almost everyday. I think she loves being the center of their attention.

    Oh and she only woke me up 1 time last night. Which is a record because every other night she's woken me up 3-4 times to do her business.
     
  16. Paige

    Paige Let it be

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    Give her an activity where she is aloud to herd. One of those big yoga balls is nice if she isn't afraid of it. She can control it's movement till the cows come home.

    Besides my dog Miley I have only had herding breeds. My Sheltie and two Border Collies all were taught by getting up and leaving the game. Therefore they no longer have any control over you which is what they are doing. It's cute and harmless in pups but it is horrible in adult dogs.


    *Lol Renee some times we write the exact same thing. I didn't read the entire thread.:p
     
  17. PAWZ

    PAWZ Agility Junkie

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    Just a word of caution the North American Shepherd or "Mini Aussie" is the bane of the Australian shepherd breeder, going to an aussie list with questions about a "mini" is like chumming shark infested waters there will most likely be a feeding frenzy. Unfortunately since your pup is more than likely a mill puppy there is a good chance she actually has other breeds in her besides aussie. Alot of "mini" breeders, especially millers, will cross small aussies with poms, paps and the like for size, throwing alot more problems behavior and physical into the mix. Looking at the last shot it appears that there might be some pap in there
     
  18. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    OMG, that face would sure be hard to walk past in a petstore! Too cute!

    I'd also suggest not going to dog parks for a few more months, but actually because they're not great for socialization - too many unruly dogs that may scare her, and while she's young you want very few scary incidences.

    But I'd definately enroll in a puppy training class as soon as you can, most classes will allow puppies who are UTD on shots even if they haven't had their last set. Puppy class is a much more controlled environment than the dog park, you have a trainer who knows when something is getting out of hand, and knows how to fix it.
     
  19. Jynx

    Jynx New Member

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    vesper,,I think your fibbing when you tell us that little girl is an ankle biting shark :))))

    She is WAY TO CUTE to be anything other than the sweetest little thing out there :)))

    Good luck with her, I have a couple of aussies, shoot me but I like those mini's, and there is nothing cuter than an aussie puppy :)))
    diane
     
  20. vesper

    vesper New Member

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    haha. I'm trying to visualize what an austi-pap would look like, but i can't. I tried looking for some pictures but i couldn't find any..

    Yeah, i thought she would be afraid the first time i took her to the dog park, but she was in the small dog pin and whined and whined when i made her leave. She loves being around other dogs. She loves being around all new things really. The only thing i've really noticed her being scared of is passing cars in my neighborhood. She tends to hide behind my legs and whine when they go by.

    Oh and she does practice her herding on me. It's adorable, but i dont want to to cause problems later. Yesterday on our walk there were some ducks on my neighbors lawn and she had a great time herding them for a few minutes before they flew away.
     

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