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Thu Sep 28, 2017, 11:32 AM

Anyone have an Australian Cattle dog?

Last edited Fri Sep 29, 2017, 08:41 AM - Edit history (1)

I've had this 5 month old puppy for about 2 weeks. He's half heeler and half husky. He is sweet and makes great eye contact but play bites big time so my hands and arms are covered with scabs. I read online to make a yelp like a mother dog to stop this. He will stop if I yelp or say no but will instantly do it again. I have a gazillion things for him to chew on.

He will sit on command and is so good around my cat. If he nears my cat and I say no, he will listen.

I'm out in the country so he can run all day if he wants but when I'm hiking with him he keeps jumping up on me no matter how many times I say no. I say no - he stops - runs around and comes back and jumps on me. Yesterday, a man in my small town saw me with my puppy and came up to me saying he had the same type of dog and was I having problems with the dog jumping on me. The guys hands and arms looked just like mine. On a leash, my puppy is great but when he's running , he becomes a psycho. Maybe he is trying to herd me being he's part cattle dog.

Any suggestions???


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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply Anyone have an Australian Cattle dog? (Original post)
womanofthehills Sep 2017 OP
hopeforchange2008 Sep 2017 #1
d_r Sep 2017 #2
lastlib Sep 2017 #9
milestogo Sep 2017 #3
livetohike Sep 2017 #5
TexasProgresive Sep 2017 #4
haele Sep 2017 #6
Major Nikon Sep 2017 #7
TeamPooka Sep 2017 #10
FSogol Sep 2017 #8
womanofthehills Sep 2017 #11
haele Oct 2017 #14
Corgigal Sep 2017 #12
mythology Sep 2017 #13

Response to womanofthehills (Original post)

Thu Sep 28, 2017, 11:42 AM

1. Makes me think of my sister's sweet smooth collie

That girl was generally pretty quiet, but when she ran, she could not not bark. Any playtime that involved running was a loud affair.

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Response to womanofthehills (Original post)

Thu Sep 28, 2017, 11:52 AM

2. when he bites a finger

instead of pulling the finger away give it to him and let it produce the gag reflex at the back of his throat.

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Response to d_r (Reply #2)

Thu Sep 28, 2017, 03:24 PM

9. This

Tickle the roof of his mouth with your finger until he gags. Eventually he will figure out that that isn't so much fun.

The water pistol is also a good idea to discourage him from jumping on you. But you have to keep it handy whenever you're around him. As someone else advised, you have to be consistent with it. EVERY instance of bad behavior needs to result in a squirt in the face to be effective. It'll take a long time, but he will eventually lose a lot of that exuberance.

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Response to womanofthehills (Original post)

Thu Sep 28, 2017, 11:58 AM

3. My dog is aussie-malamute

and he did a lot of nipping as a puppy. Some breeds herd by staring but yours and mine breed by nipping. So it's a natural behavior but it has to be stopped.

One method of negative reinforcement is spraying the dog in the face with a spray bottle full of water. Doesn't hurt and they will make an association between nipping and getting sprayed.

Helps with the jumping too.

Good Luck.

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Response to milestogo (Reply #3)

Thu Sep 28, 2017, 12:22 PM

5. I used a squirt gun full of water. Just a small dollar store

one. A squirt at his nose stopped the nipping in less than three days. He nipped, or tried to nip and then a full squirt at his nose. He is eight months old now and part ACD/Australian Shepherd/German Shepherd.

Be consistent and try not to get frustrated. I tried everything else. My other puppy is an ACD/Aussie mix and she did not nip like that!

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Response to womanofthehills (Original post)

Thu Sep 28, 2017, 12:20 PM

4. He's not half healer but half heeler. That's important because

Heelers nip at the heels of the animals they are herding. Other herd dogs use eye and style.
snip:
SueR
Breeds are generally divided into three types - those that are more natural gathering dogs (like the Border Collie); those that are more natural driving dogs (like the Aussie or ACD); and those that are more natural tending dogs (like the German Shepherd Dog, Briard, Beauceron).

Some breeds work silently, like the Border Collie. As you have noted, the Border Collie tends to use "eye" and oftentimes displays a very stalking, slinking posture (some folks call it "style". Other breeds work in a more upright posture (like the Aussie) and some breeds use their bark (Shelties sometimes are like this).
snip:
SouthOfSouth
Cattle dogs (aka "blue heelers" - although often red) have been bred to work beef cattle, using both bark and bite. One of the kindest sheepdogs I have seen was an ACD, but gentleness with stock is not usually regarded as a breed characteristic, and they are not a preferred breed for use with sheep.
http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=32087

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Response to womanofthehills (Original post)

Thu Sep 28, 2017, 12:39 PM

6. If he's part heeler, he's going to nip. It's in his nature.

My girl Shari of happy memory was an Australian Cattle Dog/Yellow Lab/Shepard of some type mix.

A bit psycho - she had a couple weird birth defects (her pupils were in the inside corner of her eyes, and she couldn't hear high frequencies) that affected the way she could anticipate action around her, so even though she was a sweet, loving girl, she'd over-react occasionally.

She was a herder, and a nipper to get you going the way she wanted you to go- so I had to keep an eye on her when there were young kids or other dogs around. I managed to train her to "mouth" more than snap by turning my hand into a fist and leaning in if she started trying to bite it. Couldn't stop her from the nip, but I could at least ensure it wouldn't be as harmful.

Haele

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Response to womanofthehills (Original post)

Thu Sep 28, 2017, 03:02 PM

7. I've owned similar type dogs for decades

Most working dogs just aren't as well suited for a companion dog unless you are willing to make a commitment to spending time training and keeping them occupied. Properly walking them on a daily basis is a good foundation of obedience for any dog, but is even more important with working dogs. By properly walking them I mean keeping them on a short leash and requiring them to stay on your heel. In short, working dogs need a job to do in order to keep their bodies and more importantly their minds occupied. Teaching them to fetch is also an excellent way to keep them occupied. If not that, then some other trick that is infinitely repeatable and requires them to solve problems. Just a little bit of time doing these things each day will go a long way towards solving any obedience problems.

Another thing that is more true of working dogs than others is they very easily reach a point of excitement saturation where they will be incapable of following commands. The trick is to not let them get to that point or have some method of bringing them back to sanity.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #7)

Thu Sep 28, 2017, 06:50 PM

10. This. Cattle dogs are smart and need tasks. I used to send mine to the market to do the shopping

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Response to womanofthehills (Original post)

Thu Sep 28, 2017, 03:08 PM

8. Take him over to the local day care center and see if he rounds the kids up.

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Response to womanofthehills (Original post)

Thu Sep 28, 2017, 09:23 PM

11. Thanks everyone - you made me laugh!!

I like the idea of spraying the little guy with water. I'm definitely going to start that in the morning. I don't know why I didn't think of that - glad you guys suggested it. He has crashed right now. It's hard for me to tickle his mouth with my finger because he never goes for my fingers but the side of my hand - but now that I'll be spraying him, hopefully that will end.

I guess I need to work with him on playing fetch - I started today but he hasn't gotten the idea yet of bringing it back to me. He is really smart so I can probably train him to do it with a treat. God - now you guys say I have to think up jobs for him??????? He has made me wake up earlier and keep my place cleaner because everything has to be put away - I learned that after he ruined three pairs of sandals. I guess I'll start walking him on a leash till he stops his jumping on me. Great suggestions!!!!!

He is definitely a challenge, but he's so so cute.


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Response to womanofthehills (Reply #11)

Sun Oct 1, 2017, 07:54 PM

14. Find someone that has sheep or goats.

Depending on where you live, there might be an enterprising group of 4-H or FFAs that hire out the use of their sheep, goats or geese to the public for herd dog training and "weekend work". With careful vetting of the dog's personality and close oversight, of course; no bad dogs -or bad dog parents - allowed.

Haele

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Response to womanofthehills (Original post)

Thu Sep 28, 2017, 09:34 PM

12. I have a corgi dog

they too are part of the herding family. Those small bites are bred into certain breeds to move our cattle, sheep or whatever to another part of the field. Give them something to carry, they do outgrow it some what but you have to teach them that you don't need to move anywhere right now.

Read up on herding dogs, some of the brightest group of doggies around.

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Response to womanofthehills (Original post)

Sat Sep 30, 2017, 03:00 PM

13. ACDs can be really stubborn

 

And huskies can be destructive if they don't have enough stimulation (and they need a lot). One thing that helps is being firm with them. I don't mean hitting them, but an authoritative tone. They will learn and the husky side likes the pack aspect.

My stepdad's previous heeler would throw a hissy fit if we took him to get the mail and there wasn't a piece of junk mail for him to carry. So much so that we took a piece from the day before just in case.

The current two aren't usually quite as demanding, although they will do anything to defend their yard from intruders. Unfortunately that includes the black cats with the white racing stripe. The boy has been sprayed close to 10 times.

But also a 5 month old dog is still more or less a puppy in their brain even if they are getting bigger and stronger. Give him time and steady reinforcement and he'll come around. But as warning, the husky side may never outgrow the urge to dig out and explore. My husky only gave it up when he tore his second ACL and had trouble digging.

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