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How to Stop a Australian Shepherd Puppy from Biting: A Comprehensive Guide

Written by: Arlene D.
| Published on September 13, 2023

Recognized for their brilliant coats, unmatched intelligence, and dynamic energy, the Australian Shepherd Puppy is a popular choice among dog lovers. However, as with many herding breeds, this lively pup often displays a natural inclination to nip and bite. Managing and redirecting the biting tendencies of an Australian Shepherd Puppy is crucial to fostering a well-behaved adult. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help navigate this challenge.

1. Understand Why an Australian Shepherd Puppy Bites

Before we can mitigate the behavior, it’s vital to comprehend the reasons behind an Australian Shepherd Puppy’s biting:

  • Herding Instinct: At their core, Australian Shepherds are herding dogs. An Australian Shepherd Puppy may resort to nipping at the heels of running children, other pets, or even adults, mimicking their ancestral herding tactics.
  • Teething Discomfort: All puppies, including the Australian Shepherd Puppy, go through a teething stage which can cause discomfort and lead to biting.
  • Curiosity and Play: An Australian Shepherd Puppy is full of zest and curiosity, and they often use their mouths to engage and understand their surroundings.

2. Offer Appropriate Chew Toys

Ensure your Australian Shepherd Puppy has access to a variety of chew toys suitable for their size and age. These toys can alleviate teething pain and provide an alternative to biting hands or furniture.

3. Teach Bite Inhibition Early On

An essential skill for any puppy is bite inhibition. If your Australian Shepherd Puppy bites too hard during play, respond with a high-pitched yelp. This mimics the feedback they’d receive from their littermates, teaching the Australian Shepherd Puppy about the acceptable limits of play biting.

4. Consistency is Crucial

To achieve effective training, it’s imperative to maintain consistency. All family members and visitors should react uniformly when the Australian Shepherd Puppy bites. This clear and consistent feedback helps the Australian Shepherd Puppy to recognize and respect boundaries.

5. Socialize Your Australian Shepherd Puppy

An Australian Shepherd Puppy should be introduced to various environments, animals, and people as early as possible. A well-socialized Australian Shepherd Puppy will be better equipped to handle different situations and stimuli without resorting to biting.

6. Engage in Non-Biting Play Activities

Channel your Australian Shepherd Puppy’s energy into games that don’t encourage biting. Fetch, hide and seek, or agility-based activities are excellent choices. Given their intelligence, Australian Shepherd Puppies also benefit from brain games and puzzles.

7. Implement “Time-Out” Periods

If play escalates and your Australian Shepherd Puppy becomes too bitey, institute a brief “time-out” by placing them in a calm space. This short break communicates that biting leads to an interruption in fun and play.

8. Reward Positive Behaviors

Always remember to reward your Australian Shepherd Puppy when they makes the right choices, like opting for a toy over a hand or displaying restraint during play. Positive reinforcements, whether through treats or praise, underscore the desired behaviors in your Australian Shepherd Puppy.

9. If Needed, Seek Expert Assistance

Should the biting behavior of your Australian Shepherd Puppy persist or become aggressive, it’s advisable to consult a professional dog trainer familiar with herding breeds. They can provide specialized strategies tailored to the unique temperament of your Australian Shepherd Puppy.

An Online Dog Training Course Can Help Your Australian Shepherd to Stop Biting

Our 2 favorite online courses are:

1. SpiritDog’s “Perfect Obedience” Course

The Perfect Dog Obedience Bundle is an online dog training program designed to help dog owners achieve well-behaved pets. The comprehensive course covers basic obedience, biting, loose leash walking, and includes bonus mini-courses on training habits and rewards, stopping jumping, and separation anxiety solutions. With lifetime access to expert trainers for personalized feedback and a 60-day money-back guarantee, this course aims to provide effective, accessible training for a variety of dog behavior issues.

2. K9 Training Institute’s “Dog Masterclass”

More than just an obedience course, this more comprehensive training course tackles any behavior problem you might face with your dog.


An Australian Shepherd Puppy is a bundle of energy, intelligence, and potential. While biting can be a challenge, with understanding, consistency, and the right techniques, this behavior can be successfully managed and redirected. Embrace the journey of raising your Australian Shepherd Puppy, celebrating each step of progress. With time, dedication, and love, your Australian Shepherd Puppy will mature into a well-behaved and trusted companion, ever ready for the next adventure with you.

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