Australian Shepherds
Traditional Australian Shepherd Bad Habits and How to Fix Them

Traditional Australian Shepherd Bad Habits and How to Fix Them

We have all been to that one friend’s house where their dog seemed a little out of control. They jump on you, can’t stop barking, hump your leg, or worst-case scenario: they bite you. It can be a real problem and expense to a pet owner! While I am talking about Traditional Australian Shepherd Bad Habits and How to Fix Them, many of these would work for other dogs too.

Traditional Australian Shepherd Bad Habits and How to Fix Them

Australian Shepherds have high energy and get bored easily. Add in a strong herding instinct and it could be a recipe fro trouble if you don’t know what you should be looking out for and how you can handle it.

Traditional Australian Shepherd Bad Habits and How to Fix Them

We literally want to nip things like nipping in the bud. Let’s look at the worst of the potential problems.

Australian Shepherd Jumping

Jumping up on you might not seem like a huge thing when your dog is only 40 to 50 pounds unless you are a toddler or small child. That can push you over, injure your head, and basically traumatize you for life. Although you might not mind your dog jumping up on you in greeting, it would be unfair and confusing to allow your dog to jump up on you, but then punish him for jumping on others.

So, how do we Handle Dogs that Jump up on People?

Most puppies and many dogs have the habit of jumping up on people. This is actually their way of greeting people and trying to reach the individual’s face. For puppies, the facial area is the chief point of contact between them and other dogs or people.

To teach a dog not to jump, be firm and consistent, but show no anger. A raised knee when the dog jumps and a firm “No jump!”, can be most effective in training a dog not to jump.

If this method fails to work, try holding the palm of your hand out so that when the dog jumps up he will bump his nose against it. At the same time command in a loud voice “Down!”  Dogs have very sensitive noses and will not purposely risk many such bumps.

Did you know I have an Etsy Store coming for Aussies and Service Dog fun things?

How to Train a Puppy Not to Jump up on People

The Monks of New Skete Monastery, Cambridge, New York, have been breeding, raising, and training dogs for more than thirty years. When it comes to ways to train a puppy not to jump up, they suggest kneeling and putting the palm of your hand flat out in front of the puppy’s face when you sense he is about to jump. This effectively blocks the jump; it also disposes him to respond to a sit command.

To give your puppy an alternative to jumping up when greeting you, crouch down to his level when he runs to greet you; guide him into a sitting position. Pet him and talk to him in greeting, telling him “Good boy.”

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Leash work for your training

To train a puppy not to jump up when greeting guests, practice bringing him up to people while on a leash. Lead him into a sit-stay several feet before reaching the person. Then have the individual approach. If the pup tries to jump toward the person, give the leash a quick jerk and order “No jump!”  

Repeat the process until your puppy learns not to jump. Be firm but encouraging, and offer praise when he doesn’t jump. Of course, this procedure is effective only if the puppy already knows the commands “Sit” and “Stay.” It really is one of the easy-to-fix Australian Shepherd Bad Habits.

Training a dog not to bite, bark or jump isn’t all that difficult. It just takes a firm but understanding hand, and a commitment to consistency. Every dog and puppy should, and can, be a joy to be around.

Traditional Australian Shepherd Bad Habits and How to Fix Them with leash work

Australian Shepherds and Herding

While in general there is nothing wrong with having your dog try to move you from one area to another, it is if they are using their teeth to do it. Nipping is a big no-no. 

The trick is to try and keep the dog focused on other things and calm. It is also a great idea to keep them busy – as their minds seem to constantly be looking for a task to do. Playing a game of fetch is a great idea – if you make them sit for you first.


As the old adage goes, “Dogs are man’s best friend.” However, there are times when people just couldn’t understand why their beloved dogs behave in a different manner. Hence, it is extremely important to know the underlying reasons why dogs sometimes behave differently.

If you allow your puppy or dog to nip, it is a short jump in their minds to biting. That is the big baddy – and often comes out in the worst time. Of all the Australian Shepherd Bad Habits, it is the one with the greatest repercussions: you could have your dog taken away and destroyed.

I hate that wording: destroyed.

Murdered for a simple accident is more likely – and it is so incredibly preventable!.

Dog behaviors are actually responses that are mostly triggered by environmental and social factors. Hence, to control these responses, the owner should teach his dogs the proper way to respond to such elements.

Dog Bite

Statistics show that almost 5 million people in the U.S. are victims of dog bites annually. This is almost 2% of the total population in the U.S. What’s more, dog bite cases rank as the second most common cause of emergencies in hospitals.

So, the question is: Why do dogs bite?

According to the experts, the main reasons why dogs may bite are the following:


When somebody plays with his or her dog, the tendency of the dog is to get excited, and because dogs don’t have hands to use when playing, they have the tendency to use their mouth to grasp things. When this happens, there is the tendency that the dog might accidentally hurt people.


Dogs can be very possessive, so, whenever he wants to protect something that he owns, he will bite whoever threatens to take it away from him. Hence, when people get near the dog’s property, the dog’s tendency is to bite to make the person leave his property alone.


When the dog is not feeling well, he does not understand why he is feeling that way. Therefore, when a person, even if it’s his master, touches him, he may think that it’s the person who causes the pain and so his tendency is to fight back by biting.


Dogs get fear too. That is why when somebody startles him, the dog’s only known protection for itself is to bite back.

So, the best thing to avoid these situations is to leave the dog alone. The problem with so many people is that they have this tendency to always play around with their dogs without learning how and when the dogs should be left alone.

Like humans, dogs have feelings too. When these feelings are all mixed up, their only known protection for themselves is to bite because they cannot understand the situation logically. Therefore, people should know that in order to avoid such circumstances.

As they say, it really pays to know everything.

Biting & Nipping Behavior Can Kill Your Dog!

Dog bite injuries are alarmingly the most common condition that we humans suffer from as a result of contact with dogs. In the United States alone, there are between 1-2 million people bitten by dogs each year.

Most bites landed on children with boys more likely to get bitten than girls. (guess girls are smart enough to leave them alone!)

Fortunately, most of these bites are not serious or life-threatening and fewer than 5% become infected. However, with more dog bites receiving numerous bad press lately, more and more anti-dog legislation was introduced in the United States. In some states, it’s even illegal to own certain breeds!

You must teach your dog never to allow him to bite anyone, including yourself! Your dog must not grab you at your hand in whatever situations including during play and training sessions.

He should also never mouth or nip you when you are petting, grooming, or trimming his nails. Be consistent in your correction and make doubly sure that every member of the family follows it.

It’s not difficult to train young puppies not to use their teeth. Each time your puppy grabs your clothes or skin, tell him in a deep firm tone, No bite, (use whatever you want to associate this correction with) and pull your puppy away from your hand. Correct his nipping behavior whenever he does it, regardless of any events.

If you got a persistent biter, grab hold of him with one hand on his collar and close his mouth with your other hand, wrapping your fingers around his muzzle. Hold it there and say No bite in a deep firm tone.

This is so not necessary if you work on your Australian Shepherd Bad Habits as they start to emerge.

dog confiscated for biting

Distraction often works

Offer him a chew toy instead. Let him know that he can land his teeth on the chew toy only and not on you.

While older dogs have more difficulties learning the new rules, it’s still possible if you are consistent with the training. If you are unsure of your dog’s behavior when you bring him out to the public, be sure to put him on a leash and muzzle if necessary.

Constant correction will make teaches your dog not to use his teeth in any event. If you’ve problems to teach your dog not to use his teeth on people, seek professional help and advice immediately. This is not only to safeguard the interest of the general public but also your dog.

Remember: All it takes is one bite, and your dog could be put to death (euthanized). No ifs, No buts  Plain and simple. I know you love your dog, so teach him not to use his mouth on a  human today!

Australian Shepherd Bad Habits: they will not listen

Here is the big trick to that – tire them out. Even little kids who are hyped up on sugar won’t pay any attention to you.

Remove that excess energy with a quick game of fetch, a walk, or even a romp at the local dog park. Then they will be ready for your treats and praise – you can continue your training in earnest!


To help you keep this simple: I have a FREE Printable training chart!

Dog Training Chart

You got this!

Honestly, these highly intelligent dogs want to please you – they just need a little guidance and you will have the best friend you hoped for!

Check out these other great tips for dogs:

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