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Ask Lisa Your Own Question
Lisa, Certified Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 16502
Experience:  CVT with a special interest in behavior modification through structure, boundaries and limitations with positive reinforcement.
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I have a Aussie,6 months old. "She is very very defiant." She

Customer Question

I have a Aussie,6 months old. "She is very very defiant." She does what she wants and not always what I want her to do. She is house trained and uses a doggy door. Any suggestions on how to handle her? She got spayed today. I have had Aussies before and never had this kind of problem. Thanks, Susan
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Lisa replied 2 years ago.
Hi there! My name is ***** ***** I'm happy to help you with your question. Just like an in person consult, I have some questions of my own to help ensure I give you the best advice possible...Can you give me examples about her defiance?Has she gone to obedience classes ever?How much exercise is she getting daily?Is she allowed on couches, the bed, ect?Is she on any sort of schedule?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No she has not been to dog obedience. Yes she get exercise daily. I try to keep her off the couch...does not listen or obey. She will get things off the table.. or any place she can reach. We try to keep thing out of her reach. You can tell her no ... and she will do it behind our backs .Yes she is on schedule. She is doggie door trained for going to the potty.
Expert:  Lisa replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the additional information. I really appreciate it.In cases of dogs who are acting up a bit in the home, the very first thing I always suggest is getting them into a basic obedience class. Not because she needs to learn how to sit and stay (although that's super nice too), but because attending these classes will build the bond between you and the dog and will elevate you into the position of top dog in the house since you'll be requesting her to do something and expecting that she follows through. It will also allow her to socialize with other people and animals in a safe, neutral environment.Because this can be a dominance issue, the next thing I'd do is start the Nothing In Life Is Free (NILIF) training program. In my experience, if done consistently, this type of training offers the biggest results for both dogs and owners. With NILIF, your dog will obey your commands without any sort of physical discipline or frustration. The theory is that you raise yourself in the pack heirarchy by controlling all the dogs resources.More to the point, you're doing to decide when to give your dog her food bowl and when it goes away. You're going to control when you pet your dog, when you offer toys or treats and when you're going to play with the dog.I like this training because it works on every dog personality. Dogs who are shy get self confidence, dogs who are easily distracted are focused and shy dogs come out of their shell. Dogs like yours, who tend to be a bit pushy will learn patience and manners. NILIF works like this: we're going to start by essentially ignoring the dog when she demands your attention. No matter how much she tries to get your attention..whether she's pawing at you, or barking at you or even bringing you things. You should absolutely step over her and ignore he ras completely as possible. Don't look at her, talk to her or even make eye contact with her. Keep in mind, you're not trying to be mean to're trying to get her to understand that she can't demand you pay attention to him when SHE wants it...with consistency, she'll figure out that you're in charge, regardless of what she thinks. A side note...she may act up more when you first start training her. She's going to really work hard to get you to pay attention to her when she wants you to, but I promise if you don't give in, it'll be worth it in the end.Everyone in the house is going to have to take part in these new training rules. Make sure they know that from now on, your dog is going to have to earn anything she gets in the house. There will be no treats, no petting, no anything without the right behavior from the dog. When it's time to eat, she's got to sit and wait before you feed her. If you want to give her a little tasty treat, then make sure she earns it by performing some behavior (could be simply sitting). If you're playing with her, only continue as long as you want, then pick the toy up, put it out of reach and walk way. Consistency is the key!!The bot***** *****ne here is that NILIF is going to establish a very clear pack hierarchy in your house with you and any other human in the house in the top spot. It's done without cruelty or physical punishment, but will get the point across. In time, your dog is going to stop doing anything that you wouldn't agree with, and that includes being defiant and destroying things that don't belong to her.This isn't an easy thing to fix...but I have no doubt that with the combination of obedience classes at a training center and your NILIF training at can absolutely get her in line.I hope this helps!!
Expert:  Lisa replied 2 years ago.
Hi Susan,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?


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