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Discussion Starter #1
Good evening:

I have a 5 month old Aussie/Border Collie who is all around a really great guy minus a few flaws that I am positive I can work out. I am seeking advice on how to approach it in a positive manner.

I have three young children therefore assuring that my pup understands that food aggression in any manner is not acceptable (or aggression period) is an absolute must. I am not a first-time dog owner. I had a GSD who passed on in 2005 therefore - it's been a very long time since I have been through the training phase. She was exceptional all around and never showed any aggresion at all. However, I do not remember how we properly trained her.

My pup gulps his food down as though I haven't fed him in months. Since day 1 I have always made sure to be right there while he's eatting to assure him that I will not take him food away. If I put my hand near him or his food dish he will eat even faster and get snappy. How to I train him?

My other concern is when offering him a treat (dog bones or cheese I use for training) he will litterly take my hand off. You wouldn't believe I would be nervous about offering a 5 month old puppy a treat however, he tries to bite/snap it out of my hand. I have tried holding the treat and encouraging him to take it nicely by not letting it go until he was calm however this resulted in a bite that wasn't pleasant and hurt. :( How do I train him not to be so snappy and aggresive?

In other terms he's wonderful. He's playful, smart, fun, and just a good boy. Well - other than housebreaking. I can take him on a mile long walk and he'll do his business. But the moment I bring him inside the house he'll pee as well. It seems as though his pee-filler is NEVER empty. I take his water away at 8pm and always take him outside. I have been taking him out at least once an hour yet he still wees in the house. Any advice?

THank you for reading my long post. :)
 

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Start hand feeding him. And that doesn't mean he has to literally eat from your hand, but just put a little in his bowl as he eats. Make him work for it, too. Ask for a sit, or a down, a paw, etc...before he gets his next enstallment of food.
 

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I agree with the other poster's suggestion to hand feed your pup his meals. I would try dramatically yelping in pain and turning away from your pup, arms crossed, the moment he bites too hard, then calmly presenting the food again in a few moments. Once he is good at that, you can also begin dropping kibbles into his bowl a few at a time to reinforce that you next to the bowl = good things. You should also begin working on "trade," "drop it" and "leave it" cues, which can all be taught positively. Eventually I would incorporate other adults and possibly even the kids into these activities. Check out http://www.dogsandstorks.com for more on that.

As for potty training, first, I would get him checked out by his vet to rule out any physical conditions which may be causing his frequent urination. Beyond that, it sounds like your pup has too much freedom indoors. At this point he either needs to be crated, baby gated into a puppy proofed room, or tied to you when you cannot watch his every move. Interrupt - but don't scold - accidents, take the pup out to finish and praise, praise, praise him for doing it right. Clean up accidents with an enzymatic cleaner right away. Getting him neutered (if he isn't already) may help, as will plenty of time, patience and understanding.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you so much for the wonderful replies.

Those are great ideas and I will implement them immediately. Thank you!
I knew there was a proper way to go about this I just wasn't sure what would be effective as it has been so long since I have had a puppy. I believe in positive reinforcement 100% and always interrupt bad behaviors and try to correct them with praise.

Bear is a smart boy. I know with some work he will be great (not that he isn't now because he is). Conveniently he is going to see the vet this week so I will make sure to mention your suggestion in having him checked for UTI. Poor guy, hope he doesn't have one. I would feel bad for complaining.

As far as freedom - I only allow him to earn it. He is baby-gated in our kitchen which is easy clean up for accidents. The rest of the house is natural wood flooring and carpet. I have considered a crate - do you think it is too late at 5 months? If not, how would I introduce one to him and what size should I get to start with?

Thanks again for all your help. :D
 

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You've gotten some great suggestions so far, but I would also check out the Doggy Zen sticky in the training forum. It is a wonderful exercise in self-control.
 

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A dog should be able to stand, turn around and lay down comfortably in it's crate. It's definitely not too late to start crate training your pup. In fact, I recommend it because it will only make it that much easier on your dog should he ever have to spend time crated at a vet's, groomer's, when traveling or during an emergency. I highly recommend Susan Garrett's DVD "Crate Games" for help on getting your dog used to crating. As you'll see in the demo video, crating is also useful for training:

http://clickerdogs.com/crate_games.php

Another excellent game of Susan Garrett's for impulse control (which will help with your pup's treat taking habits) is "It's Yer Choice," which you can learn how to play here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipT5k1gaXhc
 

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One last tip on the hand feeding....feed one kibble at a time with the kibble in your open palm....not your fingers.
 
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