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She has two kinds of bites. First is when she is a bad mood. She uses it as a mechanism to get away from people. Happens once or twice in a week and it is not a big issue so far.

Sometimes she bites when she is a great mood. For example, seeing me returning from work. She bites the jacket and sleeves. She also jump as high as my face and tries to bite my face! Or jumps all the way to get hold of the collar. It is clear she does out of excitement. I am worried she might do the same thing with strangers. How do I stop her biting?
 

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Can't help you; Tollers don't bite and that is my only experience.

My niece has a mini Australian that seems to be quite neurotic. You didn't get yours in SLC by any chance?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
the first would worry me a lot more than the second
I might agree. Just that the second happens more often (almost several times a day) than the first.

Can't help you; Tollers don't bite and that is my only experience.

My niece has a mini Australian that seems to be quite neurotic. You didn't get yours in SLC by any chance?
Nope. I am in NJ.
 

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Can you provide more information? How old is she? What do you mean by the dog is in a bad mood? What is the exact situation when she bites - what happens before, what happens during, what happens after?

Until you have a handle on the issue, you'll want to manage her so she cannot bite anyone. (I'm sure you know that.)

In all likelihood you will need to see an in-person, rewards-based trainer, but there may be a simple explanation if you can provide more info. Also, where (in general) in NJ? (in case someone can recommend a trainer)

One additional comment: All dogs can bite. Biting might be more common in some breeds (e.g., herders and retrievers both tend to be mouthy), but there are no breeds that don't bite.
 

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Can you provide more information? How old is she? What do you mean by the dog is in a bad mood? What is the exact situation when she bites - what happens before, what happens during, what happens after?

Until you have a handle on the issue, you'll want to manage her so she cannot bite anyone. (I'm sure you know that.)

In all likelihood you will need to see an in-person, rewards-based trainer, but there may be a simple explanation if you can provide more info. Also, where (in general) in NJ? (in case someone can recommend a trainer)

One additional comment: All dogs can bite. Biting might be more common in some breeds (e.g., herders and retrievers both tend to be mouthy), but there are no breeds that don't bite.
When its time to go to sleep, she would try to sleep at random places. Either in front of a door, a fridge or under the dining table. When I try to take her out, then she bites. Sometimes I ignore the bite, sometimes I just let her where she is and sometimes I use a water spray to stop the biting. I dont really spray but when she sees the spray in my hand she is scared and stops biting immediately.

I also have separation anxiety with this dog. (see my other thread). She sleeps from 8.30 when we leave for work through 12.30 or 1. My wife gets home around 2.45. Between 1 and 2.45 she keeps chewing the leather sofa, or the comforters that we keep the sofas covered with or whatever else she finds. I could certainly use a trainer for both situations and any recommendations welcome. I live in the Edison area in NJ.
 

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When its time to go to sleep, she would try to sleep at random places. Either in front of a door, a fridge or under the dining table. When I try to take her out, then she bites. Sometimes I ignore the bite, sometimes I just let her where she is and sometimes I use a water spray to stop the biting. I dont really spray but when she sees the spray in my hand she is scared and stops biting immediately.
If you mean that you are physically moving her by "When I try to take her out" stop it. Also stop threatening her with the spray bottle. Either let her sleep where she is or teach her a cue that means "follow me" and then lead her to where you'd like her to sleep. You can also teach a "place" cue and use that to send her to the appropriate place, but it's probably easier to start by getting her to follow you.

You'll also need to be consistent with her. If sometimes biting results in her getting what she wants and sometimes it results in her getting punished, the world is probably a very confusing and scary place for her - that's not helping the situation.

Check out Kikopup and Donna Hill's youtube videos for training instructions.

I also have separation anxiety with this dog. (see my other thread). She sleeps from 8.30 when we leave for work through 12.30 or 1. My wife gets home around 2.45. Between 1 and 2.45 she keeps chewing the leather sofa, or the comforters that we keep the sofas covered with or whatever else she finds.
Chewing on things doesn't necessarily mean separation anxiety and my understanding of SA is that behaviors typically begin soon after the dog is left alone, not hours later. She sounds more like a young dog who hasn't learned what is appropriate to chew and what isn't. At seven months, my "good" dog was still crated during the work day. My three-and-a-half year old is still crated because he can't be trusted. If you don't want to crate the entire day (and I'd have no problem crating for seven hours although it would be good for a younger dog to have a mid-day break), you can use an expen or a puppy-proofed room. Leave some safe, appropriate chews with her and when you're home work on teaching her what things are appropriate to chew. I will say that my younger dog tends to find trouble when he needs a potty break, so that is a possibility here.

How much physical and mental exercise is she currently getting?

I could certainly use a trainer for both situations and any recommendations welcome. I live in the Edison area in NJ.
I'm in southeastern PA and unfortunately not familiar with trainers in north Jersey. Some sites with rewards-based trainer directories include
https://www.petprofessionalguild.com/
https://www.karenpryoracademy.com/
https://peaceablepaws.com/trainer-referrals/
https://www.academyfordogtrainers.com/find-a-trainer

More resources about selecting a trainer:
https://avsab.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/How_to_Choose_a_Trainer_AVSAB.pdf
http://www.dacvb.org/wp-content/uploads/How-to-select-a-trainer-A-guide-for-owners.pdf
 

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When its time to go to sleep, she would try to sleep at random places. Either in front of a door, a fridge or under the dining table. When I try to take her out, then she bites. Sometimes I ignore the bite, sometimes I just let her where she is and sometimes I use a water spray to stop the biting. I dont really spray but when she sees the spray in my hand she is scared and stops biting immediately.

I also have separation anxiety with this dog. (see my other thread). She sleeps from 8.30 when we leave for work through 12.30 or 1. My wife gets home around 2.45. Between 1 and 2.45 she keeps chewing the leather sofa, or the comforters that we keep the sofas covered with or whatever else she finds. I could certainly use a trainer for both situations and any recommendations welcome. I live in the Edison area in NJ.
If you're waking her up from a dead sleep, yeah, she may bite because she's frightened. Some dogs really, really hate being suddenly woken up and can have some pretty crazy reactions. I wouldn't do that anymore. Instead, try gently calling her name to bring her out of her sleep, and then luring her to the place you would like her to go with a treat, wether thats a dog bed or a couch or your bedroom. Don't threaten her with a spray bottle.

A young dog chewing up a sofa or blankets isn't really separation anxiety...it's just a young dog getting into things they shouldn't because they don't know any better. A dog-proofed room or a crate will fix this problem.

It's also common for some dogs, especially young herders, to be mouthy when excited. When she starts mouthing you out of excitement, withdraw your attention. When she calms down, try again. Or, what I did was have a toy by the door handy, because my dog FLEW at me and would grab clothing and skin with excitement. I shoved a toy in his mouth. Problem solved. So now I just yell "get a toy" when I see him coming, and that gives his mouth something to do while he wiggles with excitement.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If you mean that you are physically moving her by "When I try to take her out" stop it. Also stop threatening her with the spray bottle. Either let her sleep where she is or teach her a cue that means "follow me" and then lead her to where you'd like her to sleep. You can also teach a "place" cue and use that to send her to the appropriate place, but it's probably easier to start by getting her to follow you.
When I say physically move her, I carry her to the crate. She seems fine most days but sometimes protests. Also we used a treat as a cue. Worked fine for couple of months. Not any more.

Chewing on things doesn't necessarily mean separation anxiety and my understanding of SA is that behaviors typically begin soon after the dog is left alone, not hours later. She sounds more like a young dog who hasn't learned what is appropriate to chew and what isn't. At seven months, my "good" dog was still crated during the work day. My three-and-a-half year old is still crated because he can't be trusted. If you don't want to crate the entire day (and I'd have no problem crating for seven hours although it would be good for a younger dog to have a mid-day break), you can use an expen or a puppy-proofed room. Leave some safe, appropriate chews with her and when you're home work on teaching her what things are appropriate to chew. I will say that my younger dog tends to find trouble when he needs a potty break, so that is a possibility here.
Good to know that it is not SA. But she likes to chew that anything that she can get her paws on. Pillows, comforters, stuffed toys, frisbees, balls, water bottles. She slowly works her way until everything comes off in pieces. She does this even when someone is home.

How much physical and mental exercise is she currently getting?
I have three kids at home so all five of us try to keep her engaged when we are home. Also have a backyard. Dont spend too much time in the backyard due to weather right now but we do keep her busy when we are home. She does get plenty of mental & physical exercise.

Crating seven hours a day is the last resort but we are worried that will only make things worse (knowing her temperament). She doesn't take bathroom breaks. She waits until we come back so that is not an issue, at least not until now.

Thanks for sharing these resources and thank you for sharing your insights.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If you're waking her up from a dead sleep, yeah, she may bite because she's frightened. Some dogs really, really hate being suddenly woken up and can have some pretty crazy reactions. I wouldn't do that anymore. Instead, try gently calling her name to bring her out of her sleep, and then luring her to the place you would like her to go with a treat, wether thats a dog bed or a couch or your bedroom. Don't threaten her with a spray bottle.
Not while sleeping. When she is dozing off. She hits the bed around 9 pm. Thats when we help her to the crate.

It's also common for some dogs, especially young herders, to be mouthy when excited. When she starts mouthing you out of excitement, withdraw your attention. When she calms down, try again. Or, what I did was have a toy by the door handy, because my dog FLEW at me and would grab clothing and skin with excitement. I shoved a toy in his mouth. Problem solved. So now I just yell "get a toy" when I see him coming, and that gives his mouth something to do while he wiggles with excitement.
I was reading about this yesterday. Now I realize that we are to be blamed for getting her excited. Yesterday when i went home gave her a cold shoulder and she quieted down immediately. I have also instructed my kids to treat her like that. We'll see if this continues.
 

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When I say physically move her, I carry her to the crate. She seems fine most days but sometimes protests. Also we used a treat as a cue. Worked fine for couple of months. Not any more.
What do you mean "we used a treat as a cue"? A treat isn't a cue. It can be a lure, but you should fade it fairly quickly as you teach an actual cue.

What do you mean "Worked fine for couple of months. Not any more."? She no longer follows the treat? In that case, it's likely that the final destination (e.g., crate, bed) is somewhat aversive to her or that her current location is more valuable to her than the treat. You'll need to build value in the destination and possible increase the value of the reinforcer.

You can find videos for teaching a dog "go to place" that should help.

I have three kids at home so all five of us try to keep her engaged when we are home. Also have a backyard. Dont spend too much time in the backyard due to weather right now but we do keep her busy when we are home. She does get plenty of mental & physical exercise.
What are you doing to keep her engaged? What specific types of mental and physical exercise is she getting? There's a difference between hanging out and general interaction and more purposeful interaction like training or dog-friendly walks.

Crating seven hours a day is the last resort but we are worried that will only make things worse (knowing her temperament). She doesn't take bathroom breaks. She waits until we come back so that is not an issue, at least not until now.
I'd try crating or confining to a dog-safe space. By continuing to allow her to chew your belongings you're helping her cement that as routine. Give her some things she can chew and destroy, prevent her from accessing things you'd rather she didn't. That's the basic plan for teaching a dog not to destroy your home (and there certainly are exceptions to that).

Work on adding some dedicated training time - check out Kikopup or Donna Hill on youtube. Mini Aussies typically are smart dogs who need to use their brains. If they don't get that outlet from their people, they'll find their own fun and it's usually not a good time for the owner.

Working with a rewards-based trainer or taking a group class would be beneficial to both of you.
 

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Not while sleeping. When she is dozing off. She hits the bed around 9 pm. Thats when we help her to the crate.



I was reading about this yesterday. Now I realize that we are to be blamed for getting her excited. Yesterday when i went home gave her a cold shoulder and she quieted down immediately. I have also instructed my kids to treat her like that. We'll see if this continues.
Dozing off means she still is not fully conscious. Do you like being pestered when you're falling asleep? Bottom line, laying down and sleeping is a very disadvantageous position for dogs to be in, and sometimes if they are disturbed that can cause them to lash out without thinking as a sort of defense mechanism. So wake them up gently.
 

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Leave a collar and a leash on her. Let her drag it around. This will give you control whenever you want it. As to the jumping up just step on the leash and let her self correct. When you want her to go out, take the leash and take her out. She can drag the leash outside too.

When you first come home, make it a non event.

She is just a rambunctious puppy that needs some boundaries. She will be happier when she has some of those.
 
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