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He's 10 weeks old, and has been a pretty good dog so far otherwise. He isn't stupid; he can already follow basic commands.

Anyway, sometimes on walks he'll randomly start biting my heels, and nothing I can do generally stops him. He takes all physical measures as a challenge and continues the "aggression". My only choice is to physically restrain him on the leash, effectively choking him until he stops. When he bites, he draws blood and has even left a scar on my mother.

In the house when he starts the behavior unleashed, the only way to stop him and calm him down is to crate him.

I understand bite inhibition and we've been pretty good at stopping him from play biting and giving him less opportunities to do so...it's just the heel biting; nothing seems to work.
 

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He's herding, a primal instinct for the breed. Try NOT responding, ignoring him and find him and outlet for the herding instinct. What ever you do DO NOT get physical with him anymore, you're going to cause him to become fear aggressive (right now he's only playing).
 

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chocking a dog, of any age, can cause damage to their throat. I'd recommend moving to a harness to avoid this happening again.

This is pretty much the nature of a cattle dog - nipping at the heels. it is what they were breed to do.

Is he getting lots of offleash play time to release energy? Lots of mental stimulation (ok well, as much as a 10 week old puppy can take so very short sessions)?

How far are you walking him, he hasn't had all his shots yet so walks should be pretty short and in areas not highly frequented by other dogs. the rule of thumb is usually 5 minutes per month of age so no 15 or so minutes at a leisurely pace for 10 weeks.

Can you redirect with a toy (squeaky ball) or treat? can you physically hold him until he stops (rather than chocking him with the leash)?
 

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Just think how another dog would react. They would growl at him. You could try growling at him! (If you don't mind doing that in public, Lol!)
 

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Just think how another dog would react. They would growl at him. You could try growling at him!
Can't tell if serious.
 

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The best thing you can do is stop it before it starts. My dog would start showing signals that he was getting overstimulated and whenever he was overly excited he'd start biting at heels and as a youngster would also go for the face too. It was purely because he was a herding dog that was over his threshold. It was not aggression.

Look at your pup when he starts biting. What is going on at the time? What are the signs that your dog is about to go over his threshold? Trey was usually set off by sudden motion or a sudden direction change. A lot of herders have a strong impulse to control motion. With Trey there were always signs that he was about to go overboard. BEFORE he went overboard, stop the game or whatever is setting the dog off, and set the dog up for success. Reward appropriate behavior. Once they're so excited they're biting, it's not the best time to teach them anything. If he gets to that point and won't stop, it's time out time. Crate him till he calms down. Bite = the end of everything fun.

You also need to make sure the dog is getting enough to do and an outlet. I know a lot of dogs like to chase and bite a large ball (like a jolly ball or one of those big plastic egg toys).

Anyways, that's what I did/would do. I'll be honest that even at 13 years old, Trey would sometimes still try to sneak in a heel grab now and again.
 

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He's 10 weeks old, and has been a pretty good dog so far otherwise. He isn't stupid; he can already follow basic commands.

Anyway, sometimes on walks he'll randomly start biting my heels, and nothing I can do generally stops him. He takes all physical measures as a challenge and continues the "aggression". My only choice is to physically restrain him on the leash, effectively choking him until he stops. When he bites, he draws blood and has even left a scar on my mother.

In the house when he starts the behavior unleashed, the only way to stop him and calm him down is to crate him.

I understand bite inhibition and we've been pretty good at stopping him from play biting and giving him less opportunities to do so...it's just the heel biting; nothing seems to work.
ACD puppies do this..... No one should get an ACD puppy and expect not to have sore ankles now and again.

People talk about making him fearful, etc. by your aggressive acts. And that might happen. But more likely if he is that strong of a herder, you might just make him that much more intent on doing it. ACDs LIKE to win. Many of them will do ANYTHING they have to to accomplish that goal.

So you need to outsmart him rather than challenge him head on....

1) Teach him Leave It.... Even at ten weeks.... He should pick it up in a day or two at most.

2) Re direct when he gets in that state, toss him an acceptable toy. And you play an acceptable game with him. Some folks don't like this, but I REALLY like Tug with ACDs. MOST LOVE it. And when you tie it in with "leave it" you teach him control and self restraint. (self restraint is VERY important with ACDs because they LOVE to have at "it" )

3) Start him on "nothing in life is free"

4) Expect some sore ankles. The BEST reaction when he does heel you and you cannot re direct and before he is reliable on leave it, is to STOP dead in your tracks when he heals you. Do not say ANYTHING. You in action will teach him that his powers do not work on you.


ACD's are tough by nature. He is not being aggressive. He is herding... But YOU are being aggressive. He is hard wired to NEVER back down or give up. And he most likely has it in him to be aggressive.... Ever seen an ACD tangle with a wild woods cow that wants to fight?
Aggression begets aggression.....

Outsmart him (not always easy to do with an ACD) because you are not likely to outfight him.
 

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Additionally.... Puppy play biting and this heeling behavior are two entirely different things... So do not treat them the same.


Also...... ACDs are known for not tolorating Rough handling. MOST will stick up for themselves. And that turns out bad....


Remember... Outsmart him....
 

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Just think how another dog would react. They would growl at him. You could try growling at him!
Can't tell if serious.
Based on that posters older posts, I would say yes, they are serious.

It makes me laugh, when people think their dogs are naive enough to believe their owners are also dogs and will listen to a 'growl'.

I wouldn't growl at my dogs, they know I'm not a dog. Thank goodness because I don't have the right mechanics to behave like a dog so a dog believes me.

I agree with JohnnyBandit, redirect and outsmart with your ACD. (although that is hard too because ACDs are VERY smart dogs.)
 

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Cara did this when she was a puppy and I made sure to stop it while she was still small. However she would do it EVERY TIME anyone walked. So we would stop moving and completely ignore her and when she stopped I'd pull out a tug and play a fun game, but only after she had stopped. She eventually learned that every time she did it everything stopped and life got fairly boring until she quit at which point everything got fun and she was redirected to something appropriate.

If she was tired and being completely over the top she would be crated until she calmed down.
 

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It makes me laugh, when people think their dogs are naive enough to believe their owners are also dogs and will listen to a 'growl'.

I wouldn't growl at my dogs, they know I'm not a dog. Thank goodness because I don't have the right mechanics to behave like a dog so a dog believes me.
I growl at mine all the time.
I'm also dead convinced they think I'm a mental case and it's best to just look away xD
 

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I've mentioned this before about a cheap pair of rubber slip on boots. Now while I realize it's a pain in the butt wearing them but sometimes when a pup doing something natural (such as the heeling program) bites and draws blood it's painful and some people I'm sure kick out at pup (reflex action) and you can have a damaged pup. A lot of this silly stuff disappears as pup matures and work/training the pup takes place.

Please not claiming to have herding dog expertise but have had young pup latch on to hand and shook hand to get pup needle sharp teeth off and sometimes it's not helpful at all. Leather gloves used for serious pup play only.
 

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People talk about making him fearful, etc. by your aggressive acts. And that might happen. But more likely if he is that strong of a herder, you might just make him that much more intent on doing it. ACDs LIKE to win. Many of them will do ANYTHING they have to to accomplish that goal.

So you need to outsmart him rather than challenge him head on....
Exactly what I was thinking. Example: My dog likes to tug. She thinks it fun... until I start smacking her sides, grabbing her face, grabbing her tail, etc. Then she LOVES to tug. Her level of intensity is a direct result of me getting so physical with her.
 

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Exactly what I was thinking. Example: My dog likes to tug. She thinks it fun... until I start smacking her sides, grabbing her face, grabbing her tail, etc. Then she LOVES to tug. Her level of intensity is a direct result of me getting so physical with her.
I can send Kabota into zoomies doing that, and otherwise he's a very soft dog.

To the OP, you can't choke out herding behavior from a herding dog, though you could cause permanent thyroid/trachea damage. Lose the collar altogether and get a harness. Then follow JohnnyBandit's fantastic advice.
 

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Of all the obnoxious ACD behaviors my dog, Ma'ii, exhibits, biting heels has always been the one thing he's really good about. Only time he does it is right when we're taking off for a bike ride. He'll bark and nip at my ankle everytime. Telling him to "leave it" always does the trick.
 

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I can send Kabota into zoomies doing that, and otherwise he's a very soft dog.

To the OP, you can't choke out herding behavior from a herding dog, though you could cause permanent thyroid/trachea damage. Lose the collar altogether and get a harness. Then follow JohnnyBandit's fantastic advice.
Nope you are not going to choke the herd out of him..... But you may get bit in the process...
 

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*Sigh* why do i get the feeling this dog is going to end up on Criagslist or on pet finder :( but i will give my two sense anyway.

@bauer2012you have a loooooong road ahead of you buddy, best strap yourself in, you are going to have a..... eventful 2 yrs ;). what worked with Izze was redirection to her fave toy, a soccer ball, it didnt take long to show her that she could have lots more fun herding that then she could me LOL Wvasko i second the rubber boots, i actually read that idea on a website & used it & it worked! another thing that worked is a variation of revv up/ cool down kinda; where i actually USED my feet to play with Izze & then told her to leave it, then substutited the soccer ball, i rinsed & repeated & taught her leave it that way.

the rate you are going you are going to do two things- either you are going to make the pup afraid to herd at all which would make for a very distructive (they will release their frustrations of having their natural instincts snuffed on something else... usually your yard or your sofa) or you will make the dog 'harder' i dont know if you read up on this breed at all but they are bred to meet force WITH force, & have the courage to stand its ground against a charging bull so i doubt your intimitation techniques will work anyway. below are a few links with further info in ACDs .... please check them out.

www.australiancattledog.com/

www.acdca.org/index.php/acd-breed-information

www.tomlewis.ca/bluespirit/thebreed.html

these shgould get you started, remember you may find yourself overwhelmed at times & i would find some good ACD breeders in your area that might be able to help you (wondering why you cant go to the breeder you got the pup from... if it was a breeder pup) but if you find that you just cant, please find a responsible home for the little guy, its not his fault, its genetics :(
 

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*Sigh* why do i get the feeling this dog is going to end up on Criagslist or on pet finder :( but i will give my two sense anyway.
That's pretty rude and a pretty big jump to make from a post asking for help. :/
 
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