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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My name is Chris and i have a mini Aussie named bosco he is 10 months old nd isnt fixed. i joined the site because bosco has a few behaviors that i am trying to change. i try to make sure all of his needs are meet from a food and excersize standpoint so that he isnt feeling restless or have excess energy. we usually go for about 3 10-15 minute walks a day and a 30 minute run ontop of playing fetch or some other activity

1st he is very anti social to new people & animals at first he was just ignoring them but as of lately he has started to get somewhat aggressive (in areas he knows like around the neighborhood we live) where he would run up to them bark and then run back to me and he will do this a few times before finally calming down. I dont want him to be overly friendly however i would like to know he isnt going to one day attack someone he runs up to he is a very cute dog and attracts alot of attention from strangers who want to pet him and as of right now he will just hide between my legs or behind me, but im afraid its going to turn into a more aggressive behavior.

2nd he can get somewhat aggressive with my girlfriend if we are playing around i.e. me carrying her or picking her up he will starting jumping and biting at her. or he will start crying if we a kissing or being intimate.

3rd he hates being alone and will follow me around everywhere i didnt think this was much of an issue until i began to think it was precursor to the 2 issues above. for example i usually will leave him in a gated area where he can look out of the front window and its almost as if from the time i leave till the time i get back he is standing on his back legs just waiting for me to get back and crying terribly until i get back in the house.

any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Chris.
 

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Hi there! I'll also send a shout out to @jclark343 @PoppyKenna and @Sabina88 who all also have Aussies.

First, how much mental training do you do with him per day? I would say an hour and a half of exercise a day is the minimum for an Aussie. In addition, walks are not very good physical exercise. Us two legs are sloooow.

Issue 1 - Aussies are known to be reserved with strangers. They aren't your happy go lucky lab, so that's not totally out of character for the breed. You say he is running up to people - is he off leash? If so, I would leash him up immediately. You do not want the liability of having him nip/bite someone. I would also prevent people from petting him. Just say "he's nervous, he doesn't like to be approached". Or if they don't get the hint, say he has rabies.

Issue 2 - You need to condition him that what you're doing isn't hurting anyone. So start by hugging your girlfriend and then clicking (or saying good boy, or yes) and tossing him a treat if he doesn't react. If he does, you went too far, and you need to go less intense for a while.

Issue 3 - That's an Aussie. They are called velcro dogs. My dogs follow me into the bathroom. Put their heads in the shower while I'm in there etc. You can work on conditioning him to tolerate being left alone. Put him in his area and step out of view for a moment. If he's quiet, walk back and treat him. Work on varying amounts of times and distances.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First, how much mental training do you do with him per day? I would say an hour and a half of exercise a day is the minimum for an Aussie. In addition, walks are not very good physical exercise. Us two legs are sloooow.

really 1.5 hours? seems like alot i but i dont really know do you actually extensively exercise your dog that much every day? is that just for full sized aussies or are mini aussies included in that as well

he probably gets about 30 minutes worth of trick/ command/behavior training. and i was walking him without a leash because since ive had him at 8 weeks up until recently he would run around near me while we went on walks and would take no interest in any one around us.

Issue 1 - Aussies are known to be reserved with strangers. They aren't your happy go lucky lab, so that's not totally out of character for the breed. You say he is running up to people - is he off leash? If so, I would leash him up immediately. You do not want the liability of having him nip/bite someone. I would also prevent people from petting him. Just say "he's nervous, he doesn't like to be approached". Or if they don't get the hint, say he has rabies.

he has been on a leash ever since he has started acting out. i always tell people that he is really and probably wont let you pet him but id like if i can make him alter less nervous when someone approaches him.

Issue 2 - You need to condition him that what you're doing isn't hurting anyone. So start by hugging your girlfriend and then clicking (or saying good boy, or yes) and tossing him a treat if he doesn't react. If he does, you went too far, and you need to go less intense for a while.

whats less intense than a hug? and im nervous that giving him treats will make him think going after her or what ever it is he is doing is a rewarding behavior.

Issue 3 - That's an Aussie. They are called velcro dogs. My dogs follow me into the bathroom. Put their heads in the shower while I'm in there etc. You can work on conditioning him to tolerate being left alone. Put him in his area and step out of view for a moment. If he's quiet, walk back and treat him. Work on varying amounts of times and distances.
Today 09:36 AM
 

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My Aussie and BC get an hour of hard exercise a day. Running, either hiking through trails, fetch/frisbee in the park, or chasing each other. They each get 45 minutes of walking in the morning, and 45 minutes after dinner. Mini American Shepherds are for sure included in that.

To make him less nervous, treat him for looking at people. I still wouldn't let them approach. He needs to change how he feels about people before you let strangers come up to him. ( @jclark343 - Forbes is a nice dog, but he still doesn't want randoms to pet him?). Be your dog's advocate!

Less intense could be arm around her, hand on her shoulder etc. You're not treating him if he does go after her. He only gets a treat if he doesn't react. So sitting/laying down/relaxing when you two people interact = good things!
 
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I totally thought I commented on this thread! I'm sorry.

Aussies can be very reserved and not receptive to new people. I've found it to be a treat I see more then not with Aussies. With him I worked on getting him to focus on me instead of people approaching. I bring a high value treat (cheese stick) and ask him to watch me. I allow him to look at the people, and reward when he looks back to me. If I see him staring too much I will ask for a 'watch me' and if he is too hooked on I will either stick the cheese stick in front of his face to refocus him or I will turn and go the opposite direction. I want him to understand that new people approaching is not a bad thing, that he's going to get rewarded for being good. He eventually learned that new people=cheese and now doesn't really bark at new people, he will just shy away if he doesn't want them to pet him.

It's so hard because they are beautiful dogs and people want to greet them. I will turn and walk away or tell the people I am training and either ask them to help, or step back. People tend to be a little more receptive to what you are saying when they realize you are training.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I totally thought I commented on this thread! I'm sorry.

Aussies can be very reserved and not receptive to new people. I've found it to be a treat I see more then not with Aussies. With him I worked on getting him to focus on me instead of people approaching. I bring a high value treat (cheese stick) and ask him to watch me. I allow him to look at the people, and reward when he looks back to me. If I see him staring too much I will ask for a 'watch me' and if he is too hooked on I will either stick the cheese stick in front of his face to refocus him or I will turn and go the opposite direction. I want him to understand that new people approaching is not a bad thing, that he's going to get rewarded for being good. He eventually learned that new people=cheese and now doesn't really bark at new people, he will just shy away if he doesn't want them to pet him.

It's so hard because they are beautiful dogs and people want to greet them. I will turn and walk away or tell the people I am training and either ask them to help, or step back. People tend to be a little more receptive to what you are saying when they realize you are training.
no i appreciate the advice as of lately i have been using his squeaky tennis ball on our runs to distract him if i notice he is fixating to much attention on something or getting a little farther away from me than id like i just squeak it and he is right back at my side. mainly if he see's a bunny or something he loves chasing them. he has been doing better with strangers but there is still alot more work to be done i know its something that will just take time but i will definitely carry some extra treats when we go on our walks and we arent moving so fast there are a few other dogs in the neighborhood and if i can tell they booth seem to be in a calm state i will slowly approach to see try to gauge how he is feeling. i will usually give the other dogs owner a few treats to try and give to bosco id say he takes them about 50% of the time but usually only when hiding between my legs.
 

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Big thing is to know your dog. If you see someone is approaching and he is not having it, remove him from a situation. If he is hiding behind your legs then do not allow the person or dog to continue to approach him. And reward like crazy for when he is greeting someone (My trainer always told me in those situations be a pez dispenser of treats, one right after the other). If he is greeting someone treats should be sliding into his mouth one right after another, making it an amazingly positive situation. Also, don't use your normal training treats, use something special. I've used puperoni's (I don't normally feed that crap but they LOVE them) or string cheese sticks. Something really special that they really like.

Also, are you walking him without a leash?
 

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Be your dog's advocate!
THIS. So much this!

I don't have an Aussie (yet) ;) I am looking at getting one in the near future. Their aloofness is one thing that attracted me to them haha. I have a lab x border collie that LOVES everyone. Too much.

Now, my dog is high energy. Our routine changes often but here's a typical day (I work 8 hours out of the home, M-F).

Morning, before work: Either a 3 mile run on the street OR an off leash walk in the woods behind my house OR a 30 minute game of fetch (tennis ball) or frisbee. Also, a 10 minute training session of whatever we're working on at the moment.

Lunch break: I come home for lunch (lucky, I know) and play another round of fetch for 30 minutes and another 10 minute training session.

After work: Another off leash woods walk/run... usually out for an hour or so. Another 10 minute training session before I make dinner.

After dinner: Fetch or frisbee for 30 minutes or so. Maybe some tug while I watch tv.

Having a high energy dog really is a lifestyle. This is a typical day but not everyday is like this. If I have appointments or the weather is crummy, she won't get as many outdoor activities but she will get more mental stimulation. Training also isn't always so structured. Sometimes, I'll take her to Petsmart to walk around and practice being good in a store, for example.

Weekends we spend days at the beach or hiking... I take her to dog friendly stores or restaurants. Changing the stimuli seems to 'tire' her out more.

I would say 90% of my free time is spent entertaining my (also velcro) dog :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
most walks are on leash however if we are running its usually off leash we can run on leash fine but i like that he actually gets to do more running if hes not tethered to me because he get a lot more back and forth in. as far as his special treats go he loves the black beans from chipotle so i usually go there when im out and have them fill up a container. i am really impressed with the amount of time you guys are able to dedicate to you dogs, it makes me want to try and give him a larger chunk of my day but i will definitely make a better effort at making his interactions with strangers a more rewarding experience.
 
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