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Old 01-09-2009, 03:26 PM  
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Blue Heeler owners- Help!

So I have a heeler puppy. Beautiful sweet girl may I add, and I will add pics when I get on my computer later..but anyways she has a few set backs for a 10 week old pup. sometimes when I pick her up and she doesnt want to be picked up she will growl , but I did put her right on her back and growled trying to show I am alpha, that worked everytime(shes done it about 3 times). Well sometimes her and my adult dog will get along great and sometimes she will just start stuff with him or he will annoy her and she starts fighting with him (sometimes its not that bad). I havent had a pup in a while so I dont know is this what they normally do when theyre fed up? Start going after them barking and yapping and stuff? Sometimes its play, sometimes its rough growling. And then today they somehow got into it and she made my adult dog bleed right under his eye, she must have got those puppy teeth into him! I need advice because in this Military town I dont want to give her away because people toss out dogs like trash here so I want to try and make it work so any advice is great, thanks!!
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:44 PM  
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My best advice for you is to get the help of a trainer now. A 10 week old puppy showing that much dominance is going to be a huge issue for you later. Its also nice if the trainer/behaviorist can come and watch your homelife. You may be unknowingly making things worse by how you interact with both dogs.
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:46 PM  
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I'm surprised that the adult takes that from her, usually they put the young ones in their place pretty quickly. Perhaps the fact that she is a female, he's cutting her some slack.
I think you're on the right track in handling her yourself and making sure that you are alpha.
I haven't owned heelers, but I know that they are high energy with strong personalities. She will need lots of exercise and things to keep her puppy brain occupied or she will look for trouble
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:47 PM  
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yeah thats very true... I would like to rehome her but its hard for me =[
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:48 PM  
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yeah my dog isnt that assertive..like he'll go back at her growling but i dont think he even bites her because she doesnt yelp or anything.
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:59 PM  
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Please get yourself some help with her.Those dogs are very gritty and stubborn and their nature is to not back away.I had one that was aggressive as well.As other poster said you have to make sure they stay busy and burn that energy.Good luck with her,keep us posted!
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Old 01-09-2009, 04:05 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joustinggirl View Post
My best advice for you is to get the help of a trainer now. A 10 week old puppy showing that much dominance is going to be a huge issue for you later. Its also nice if the trainer/behaviorist can come and watch your homelife. You may be unknowingly making things worse by how you interact with both dogs.
I am going to agree.. there are techniques that work that some of us could explain to you, but not being there, they may or may not be effective. They are different dogs to train - and really require a very strong, confident (as in non-abusive, just in case someone misreads those adjectives ) handler.. A trainer will be well worth the money to teach all of you how to deal with the pup
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Old 01-09-2009, 04:23 PM  
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Strongly agree with above post
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Old 01-09-2009, 04:26 PM  
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I also have a blue heeler, he just turned one in November! These dogs are EXTREMELY smart but EXTREMELY hyper. They need a job and training, Cody(my blue heeler) never recieved the training he needed and now as much as I love him he is an extreme annoyance at times too. Also if they are going to be around horses, have them trained!!! Alot of heeler owners are finding out they are not the best of horse dogs because they heel the horse like cows and latch onto their tails and legs. I researched alot of info on heelers and this one quote said, "with heelers there is very little gray area, you either love them or hate them." I have found that to be very true. They can be very affecionate one moment and then growl and bite you the next, or so mine does, but like I said he has had no training. Best of luck with yours!!! Training is important and you have to be the alpha dog to the heelers!
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Old 01-10-2009, 10:28 AM  
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ACD puppy

You definitely need help to manage your little girl. You will find that the the 'girls' have extensive rule books. Only they know the rules, which can change at a moment's notice. She will only get worse as she gets older, and may well become dangerous. Look up the "Nothing in life is free" method of dealing with training- more commonly known as NILIF- and get her started on that immediately. There are several Australian Cattle Dog lists that you might want to subscribe to in order to get more feedback. And please find a local trainer who can help you get a handle on managing your girl. ACDs (Cattle Dogs/Heelers) are marvelous dogs who were bred to herd wild cattle, and they are tough enough to handle anything that comes along. They are also strong, determined, athletic, opinionated, tough, and loving. You've got to get a handle on your little girl before she takes over- it sounds like she's got her sights set on being queen.
My oldest ACD will be 11 this year and I have done rescue, so have some experience in dealing with these remarkable dogs. Good luck.
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Old 01-10-2009, 04:55 PM  
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I agree with everyone else, a trainer is required & NILIF is a great method to start with imediately to get some respect from your girl
I have always had ACD's our old boy was PTS last year at the ripe old age of 16 & was one hell of a dominant male, I'm heavily involved with ACD rescue in Australia & am the sole ACD rescue person for the state of WA ( largest state in Aus. )
ACD's are a very strong willed & naturally dominant breed, if they don't respect you then goodluck trying to get them to obey even the simplest of commands & worst case scenario they'll give you a decent bite to show their disgust!
A well trained ACD will have respect & enormous love for their master & would work until they dropped if they were asked, but the same dog could refuse to sit for anyone else they are very much one master dogs, they love their family but worship their master.
They are definately not a breed for everyone ( hence why Australian pounds are full of them ! ) but for those that are willing to put in the extra effort to train them they are a once in a lifetime mate
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Old 01-10-2009, 05:00 PM  
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www.barkbusters.com

There are all over the place, they are great, and as payment, thye ask you to donate to your local ASPCA.
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Old 01-10-2009, 05:07 PM  
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I agree with the other posters that a trainer and NILIF will be well worth the investment (no investment in NILIF). Even though it may seem tough to come up with the money, one vet bill or hospital trip would cost a whole lot more than some time with a knowledgeable trainer.

Try to find a trainer who works with the breed (or at least similar breeds) and even better to find one that can come to your home on occasion. They may cost a bit more than the local PetSmart trainer, but you get what you pay for, too.

Nows the time to take care of these issues, she's already getting big enough, so best to deal with it now!
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Old 01-10-2009, 05:54 PM  
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Exactly why I'm not a heeler person =)
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Old 01-11-2009, 12:40 PM  
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Training is really, really important, but it won't do much good if you don't learn to be the pack leader over her. She naturally assumes that role herself. It's why I opted for a male... because I've had a female before. We weren't friends as dogs and humans should be until she was 2 years old.

You won't ever be able to own another dominant female dog either, just by the way. If you find yourself thinking of adding a 3rd dog down the road, don't... she will do the same thing to it.

With dogs like this, I really like the lady from "It's me or the dog" over Milan, simply because she teaches the owners how to stand up for themselves more so than focusing on the dog's rehabilitation. Her training is assertive, yet reward based, along the lines of "Nothing Free".

Flipping her over on her back does nothing unless you're willing to keep her pinned until she gives you a big sigh of relentment. With my first heeler, it took over an hour for her to submit. If you let them up any sooner, it's a pointless method. She also didn't respect me any more at all after that, so I never bothered again.

Getting physical with them is a joke, you just can't get through to them. Grabbing them by the scruff of the neck they find insulting, but it is not a determent.

Now this is all in regards to the dominant females, males are a different story. My male all it takes is a dirty look now and he's under his best behavior. The worse dominance thing he's ever done is blatantly pee on my spot on the couch when I scolded him for stealing a shoe. Like, right in front of me. Jumped on the couch, turned and looked at me, and peed, right there, on my spot. After that we came to an understanding. Had he been a female, the fight for control would still be going on, since he's only 6 months old. Being male in a house full of females, he has a place and he knows it now. It's me, Ricca the Shepherd, then him. Ricca though...let's him walk all over her because she's completely in love with him. But that's a whole other story.

Try to find a female trainer if it's possible. A male trainer will give you a whole other kind of dog, until she's back in your home and the trainer is gone. Dog's know gender, and gender plays a role in breeds like this. So to bypass that gender nonsense, find a woman trainer who knows how to assert herself and who can show you how to gain the upper hand.

But I'm telling you, if you can make it through training and get her where she needs to be in the pack, you won't ever have a better dog or companion animal. The bond that forms after they're about 2 years old is just unreal. But, you've got to train for control, form a bond of respect, and fight through the adolescent bull before that goal is possible. It's hands down totally worth it though if you can survive it. It also makes all other dogs in your future a piece of cake.

Anyone that fancies themselves a dog trainer specializing in dominant dogs should try a female Heeler. They're worse than the most dominant Shepherd or Dobie. So ideally, find a trainer with Heeler experience.
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:03 PM  
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Exclamation Blue Heeler Owners Help

I rasie ACDs and have had them for the last twenty years or so. I agree that you should get a trainer, but make sure that your trainer knows the breed. They are exceptionally loyal and usually bond with one person, so you need to make sure that that one person is you and not a trainer. Good luck.
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Old 01-12-2009, 03:59 AM  
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JL, check with a cattledog rescue group in or around your area. They may know of a trainer, or be able to help you themselves. They are the greatest dogs you will ever have IF you learn how to work with and train them.. If I didn't already have four dogs - two of which are rescues - I would take her for you..
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Old 01-12-2009, 09:31 AM  
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Our heeler will be a year old next week and she is the best dog I have ever had. One thing different about her is that she is so strong willed. There were numerous times when she was a young pup I thought we made a mistake in getting her. She was stubborn, hyper and would destroy everything. She is still stubborn, not so much hyper and she will still destroy stuff if she gets bored. But, she is wicked smart. We have been going to obedience classes at Petco and working with her at home a ton. What I have found they need is a consistent and firm handler. She needs something to do or she will create stuff. There are a ton of toys out there that help their minds develop and require thinking on the dog's part.

I would encourage you to get in touch with one of the pet stores or your vet to find a good trainer. Good luck and let us know how it is going.
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:35 PM  
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I know this is going to sound really weird, but my boxer pup did the exact thing when he was smaller and well to fix that when we would play and he got to ruff, id bite him not hard but he does listen to me EXTREMELY well now. lol.
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Old 01-13-2009, 06:17 AM  
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Please listen to the excellent advice given here. Cattle Dogs are wonderful, but as mentioned, not for everyone. The first one I ever had, was VERY dominant toward me, but submissive toward everyone else. Once I finally established alpha, (at about 10 wks) she would have died for me. She was not accepting of strangers, but loved the family. My husband at the time, worked second shift, and came home every night at the same time. I was awakened every night at the same time, to the sound of her barking, snarling and jumping at the door. And then the whisper of "its okay, its just me", and then silence. I never was afraid to be alone as long as she was there.
I just recently lost two, one at 16 1/2, and one at 17 1/2.
Cattledog.com is a good place to start for more information. Please, if you feel you must rehome her, find someone with experience with the breed. Anything less is not fair to her.
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