Dog training tools
Pumpkin has finally gotten the gist of performing a sit and down stay as I move completely around him. He still has his moments of getting up, but is easy enough to replace. This dog has proven to be a typical hard-headed Aussie. When he REALLY wants his way he bulldozes through and there's no getting him back unless caught or he makes the decision to do so.
He normally gets along with every dog he meets, though he's no marshmellow if another dog confronts him. It doesn't normally go beyond snarls and growls along with a paw over the shoulder. He will back off immediately if I intervene with a harsh tone.
He now knows sit-up and stay, twirl to the right and has the beginnings of a shake. Though he barks a lot during play (especially to instigate play) he hasn't picked up on the speak; even when I have him next to the girls as they do it.
I believe he's finally housetrained; provided I get up at 5:30 am and get him outside. He has spent the past month urinating on the area rugs on the main floor of the pet retreat. Luckily, he hasn't chosen any of the toys from the shelves as his own. He'd rather steal a toy from the girls when they walk away from it. That so reminds me of my past Aussie, Sydney. She got in horrific fights with Cherry, my Springer. I broke 2 toes breaking up those fights. They rarely came away with a scratch.
Pumpkin still has issues with heeling but he's definitely getting better. So far I've resisted using a Comfort Trainer, but when it comes to working on distraction proofing I believe I'll go ahead and introduce it.
Pumpkin - 2 year old, male, Australian Shepherd.
Miriam Fields-Babineau is the author of 42 pet books and is an animal actor agent.