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Gina,

>1) Current problems:
>1A) Puppies nipping legs: If I run across the yard, the puppies get very
>very excited and try to run with me,
>With so many of them, I haven't been able to figure
>out any sort of correction that will work for all at once. Any
>suggestions?
>And a question about this behavior: do all puppies do this, or is it a
>herding puppy thing?

My guess it is the natural think for them. If one of them runs, I imagine
the rest join in and go after the it. You see similar behavior in many
dogs and wild canines. I suspect that it is prep work for hunting. They
just make a game of it and you, as alpha, are part of the game. This is
also part of each dog establishing their pack position. As suggested
in other posts, I'm not sure group training is effective. I'm also sure
if you want to totally eliminate the behavior if some will be working
dogs. On method might be for you to run with each pup individually and
correct as needed. Then don't correct when they do it to one another.

I also found that the pack does not learn good behavior from each other.
Bad behavior seems to be swapped. :)

FYI - my sheltie still does it to me occasionally.


>1B) Puppies with cats: always before, with just one puppy and meaner
>cats, the cats taught the puppies to leave them alone, and eventually
>they became buddies. Our 4 cats have been interacting with the puppies
>for several weeks now.

Are the puppies treating the cats as part of their pack? It sounds like
they are playing with the cats the same as they play with each other.
The mauling could be the same they do to each other and it is part of
learning how hard they can bit. If they already learned that, then the
cats only get wet but no damage. If they haven't learned, I would think
the cat would let them know. A squeal by the bitee is usually a signal
that the biter went too far.


>2) Future problem:
>One puppy is probably going to a farm home, where it will have duties
>when it grows up which will make it impossible for to be in a fenced
>yard/on leash all the time.

I like all the other suggestions. I usually walk the perimeter with my
dogs. Certainly not a large area but is usually effective. The problem
is if something distracts them (cat, squirrel another dog). The biggest
problem here is how do you correct if they are off on a chase. You can't
correct them for coming back.

I know someone who used the electric fence. They did not put on the collar
every time the dog went out front (fenced back yard). The dog soon learned
that if the collar was not on then he could cross the line. If the dog
has "free" rein, I would hesitate to have a collar on tight enough for
the probes to work. If it was that tight, it would be tight enough that it
would not slip off if the dog got caught.

I have used the electronic "trainer". It is manually controlled. I found
it only partial effective. The desire to chase/run kicks in and all is
forgotten. The only effective way, and it is only effective while
the dog is under control, is great training. One trainer I know teaches
her dogs to drop (lie down) in a heart beat. Even if the dogs is running
after a squirrel, she can get them to drop. In my mind that seems to be
a distraction from the chase. I would prefer a strong come. If the dog
chases a squirrel into a street, drop might not be the ideal command.
But this only works if the dog is under control.

Teaching the perimeter is not that hard. It is the distractions on the
other side of the perimeter that would concern me. My sheltie will "escort"
strangers to my property line but he hates cats and the free roaming dog
across the street. He wants to make sure they stay off his property so
he charges them. Other dogs that stay on their territory, he just watches.


Dean Mair
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