all positive training

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Barked: Wed Oct 29, '08 4:18pm PST 
I see some information that "all positive" training will not work with Aussies and others that say that it will. My aussie takes commands well but if I am gone more than three hours he will find something to destroy. I try to correct the behavior verbally whenever I catch him but it is primarily something he does when no1 is home. I hate to crate such an energetic dog as he has a 1/4 acre fenced in yard to play in.

Aussie Tomboy!
Barked: Thu Oct 30, '08 5:44pm PST 
Don't view crating as a punishment, because it isn't. You should crate your puppy when you can't supervise him 100% of the time, because that way you don't set him up to fail by letting him learn bad habits. He can't get into trouble in his crate, and when you're supervising him, you can correct wrong behaviors and teach him the right ones.

Barked: Fri Oct 31, '08 7:56am PST 
I know you got a lot of feedback on this on the other thread. I find with my Aussie (and most I've met) that it dosen't take much to let them know you're unhappy with their action . Aussies love to please, but yes, sometimes they can invent their own games. Mine won't do anything distrustive when I'm away, only when I'm home!


I'm sorry was- that YOUR sock?
Barked: Sun Nov 2, '08 10:17am PST 
I must agree with the issue of kenneling. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using a kennel. You must look at them as a tool for training your dog, and also as a safety feature. My wife and I started kennel training with Baron the day he came home with us. The kennel should never be thought of as a punishment. You simply have to associate it with good behavior. At first give them treats everytime you put them in their kennels. We've done that with both of our dogs, and now "go to bed" is as simple a command for them as "sit". Also, they will eventually realize that once in the kennel its time to chill out, so whenever they are just to much to handle when you're in the middle of something its the perfect place for them. One thing I did notice with my dogs is that it is best for the kennel to be in a common room. Has anyone else had this issue? When we used to keep the dogs kennels in our spare room they would usually whine and wimper, especially Baron, and especially at night. So I moved them to a transition room just off the living room and it stopped almost instantly. It makes sense when you think about it though. Having the kennel in a common room, or whatever room you spend the most time in, I think, helps the dog realize that the kennel is a good thing.

Bird Whisperer
Barked: Wed Nov 5, '08 7:22am PST 
I find the onlt thing that works with any herding breed, my aussie included is positive training. They are such super sensitive and intelligent dogs that just want to please that I find even the slightest verbal correction crushes their spirits and kills any training effect it may have on a more hard headed breed.

As for destroying things when you are gone, does he have plenty of safe chew toys around like nylabones, and nylone dental bones? Proper chew toys can help. Dont be afraid of crate training. No dog should be kept in a crate for longer than about 4 hours. For shorter than that it is perfectly acceptable. make sure he has a good run and bathroom brake. Put a favorite toy he only gets when crated in the crate or a Kong filled with frozen canned fog food in there.

Never make a big deal of putting him in the crate or taking him out of it. Dont ever use it as a form of punishment. Put the crate in a favorite spot with a comfortable blanket on the bottom. Some owners cover the top and sides (not the front) with a blanket to make it more of a den. Dogs should love their crates and view it as their den and safe place. He may out grow the behaviour after a few months, and you can try letting him free again.

Another alternative is to leave him in a dog proof room such as the laundry room. With water, toys and a bed.

the fetch is- strong in this- one
Barked: Sat Nov 8, '08 1:28pm PST 

Don't forget that a tired Aussie won't get into as much trouble. The trouble is that Aussies are very difficult to tire out. A normal dog needs at least two 30-40 minute walks per day, and an Aussie needs 1-2 hours minumum. Walking may not do the trick, and they will get bored with the same activity like fetching a ball, so you have to mix it up. Keep in fun, and have fun doing it. wink

There is some great advice here regarding crate training. It will help add that once a dog is properly crate trained, you can actually leave the crate open, and they will go in all by themselves when you are home. I believe that a dog should never have the run of the house when you are away.

Also, while in training, fewer toys helps define what they can chew on and what they can't. Just picture 10 toys on the floor next to a pair of sneakers. Versus a nylabone and a pair of sneakers. When they go for the sneakers, make a Pssshht!!! sound or clap to distract them from the toy. Shaking change in an aluminum can also works amazingly well. Noises, clickers, and other sounds are less distracting to humans who hear "no" or "leave it."

Not all training is positive, but positive training is more effective and pleasant for the owner as well. So follow up all good behaviour with praise. Even if they are just laying around next to you.

Start taping Ceasar Milan's show and look into some of www.unclematty.com books.