Nipping Aussie

Posted by Leos-Mom
Mar 5, 2008
I have a three year old Australian shepherd neutered male that I got when he was 14 months old. When I first got him he nipped several people. He usually leaves a small tear in their pants and a bruise on their leg. Each time it happened, it was in a confusing or chaotic situation ( other people and dogs, lots of motion, etc.). I have owned and trained dogs for thirty years and have had other aussies, so I immediately started doing all the alpha dog things. We also began a program of socialization. He has been exposed to many varied situations, animals, and pjeople. I had others take him and give him commands which he had to obey. At the same time, we were training in flyball, agility, and obedience.

He is extremely bright and advanced quickly in all areas. The nipping stopped. He has never nipped me. I began showing him last spring. He did very well in flyball, but at his third tournament, he crossed lanes and chased a yorkie. when the yorkie stopped, my dog pushed him with his nose. The yorkie was not hurt in any way, but my dog was "written up". I have continued training him in flyball but have not shown him. we have attempted proofing in class with a stuffed animal on a line being moved quickly. My dog began to chase the "lure" and was corrected verbally and with a can with rocks in it thrown near him.

We began shwing in obedience and agility. He quicly earned novice titles with good scores and placements. In december we were training in my driveway when my adult nephew pulled up in his car and jumped out. Leo ran over and nipped him. A few weeks later, he nipped awoman who was running me through open obedience at a practice. I reacted by becoming even more determined with my alpha work. He now gets NOTHING that doesn'tcome from me. No one is allowed to pet him or give him a treat unless he works for it. I am also working on building his commitment to his job since he dropped his dumbbell to go nip the lady that was running me through.

Leo is a wonderful, affectionate dog in most situations. He loves people and gets along with other dogs. He defers to my older aussie and my friends' 11 year old boykin with no trouble. Even my friends who have been nipped by him love him. My take is that he is dominant and is telling people that he can control them. I don't want to give up showing this wonderful dog, but I also know that there will be people in the obedience and agility rings when we are working. I must convince him that he does not have the choice to nip them.
I am open to all ideas on how to accomplish this. :confused:
Posted by Blue
Mar 26, 2008
Hi there
How are things with your dog?
Posted by Leos-Mom
Mar 26, 2008
It's really hard to say how things are going since I have pulled Leo from competition for a while. I am doing everything I know to do. Frankly, I am disappointed with this site since I have heard nothng from the Kingdom of Pets trainers and yours is the only reply I have gotten. I was really hoping for some help and ideas.