A trait of sheepdogs is their great intelligence and high energy level. Even Mini Australian Shepherds do not escape this; they are a small package version of everything an Australian Shepherd represents. This is why training them is an entertaining task for both their owners and them. Here are some great Mini Australian Shepherd training tips.
How to Train Miniature Australian Shepherds
To keep Mini Aussies’ attention and achieve quick and positive learning, you have to challenge them. They will get bored by simple orders and tasks, so their motivation in training will be lost. For them, the demand and the difficulty in what is asked of them is part of the entertainment. If they can overcome these every day, they will be willing to continue learning.
Mini Australian Shepherds are dogs that can be trained by beginners and experts alike. They are not stubborn, so once they have learned a behavior, they will maintain it over time. They are also very given to pleasing their masters so they are naturally inclined to follow orders.
The more creative you are when it comes to training Mini Aussies, the more tricks and skills they will learn. They can learn the simplest commands that allow them to behave with manners and high education at home, correcting some obstacles in their character, even the most complex stunts and tricks, performing shows, or serving as assistance dogs.
Mini Australian Shepherd Training Tips
Proper training technique
Mini Aussies, despite being intelligent dogs with very strong protective instincts, are very nervous and sensitive so they do not respond to abuse or negative reinforcement. That is why you have to use the correct approach to teach them and take advantage of their full potential.
Keeping Mini Aussies mentally challenged intensely stimulates them, which is very important for them to feel motivated and stay focused on training. This type of approach also prevents them from developing behavioral problems. Boredom is a terrible enemy for these little ones, who will always find something to entertain themselves, even if it is breaking things.
The best way to maintain interest and achieve learning quickly is to apply the technique of positive reinforcement. This consists of giving them rewards every time they carry out the behavior to be reinforced, every time they follow an order, or simply do something we want like greeting without jumping.
The treats must be to the liking of your dog so that they really enjoy the training process. Generally, they are given treats such as cheese or biscuits for dogs. Eating is something they really enjoy, but this can make them fat. For Mini Aussies, having a little playtime or just giving them affection also works great.
Negative reinforcements such as yelling or unpleasant stimuli for them are not beneficial, as are punishments. This type of training can result in unwanted behaviors as they become shy and fearful of their masters.
Promptly rewarding the desired behaviors and not using negative stimuli is the best way to train these dogs. When these techniques are applied together with a good dose of exercise, learning will be much easier and more effective.
Correction of inappropriate behaviors
Most of the bad habits and unwanted behaviors in this breed derive from the breed’s own instincts, in which nervousness, deep mistrust of strangers and the desire to herd people are the most problematic.
They can also be very impulsive and jump on people, as well as barking insistently; they can get too excited and cause accidents. All these behaviors must be controlled from when they are puppies so that they can behave correctly at home.
In order to reduce these instinctive behaviors and avoid problems, especially with people outside the home, positive reinforcement must be applied to the behaviors that are expected to be stimulated. Achieving it requires patience and perseverance because we have to wait for them to behave as we want and reward them there.
Unwanted behaviors should not be punished in any way. This can be difficult, especially if we have a small sheepdog biting the heel of a friend who visits the house.
For them, however, the best we can do is expose them to various circumstances, especially those that are problematic (such as receiving visitors at home) so they can develop positive behaviors (such as calm, trust, and respect) that must be rewarded.
In time, they will learn that unwanted behaviors are not rewarded. So in their desire to please their master and receive what they want, the little Aussie will behave as their owners want them to.
It is always useful to start any teaching process after a long walk – this greatly lowers their energy level and allows them to concentrate on listening, obeying and learning what you are trying to teach, especially when it comes to controlling the strong instincts of the dog.
In summary, the 5 tips in training a Miniature Australian Shepherd are:
- Keep them mentally challenged to stimulate and motivate them.
- Apply the technique of positive reinforcement.
- Avoid punishment in order to prevent unwanted behavior.
- Start training when they are still puppies.
- Train after a long walk.