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This is gonna be a long-ish one. I haven't had a puppy in about 18 years, so forgive me if I'm thinking about this too much. We have a 17 week old Australian Cattle Dog. My wife's aunt got him and his siblings from a breeder, but she won't tell us much about the breeder. She gave him to us as a wedding gift, but we couldn't have dogs in our apartment, so he lived with her parents in a rural part of the state for about a month while we went down and visited him for days at a time. We moved into our house last weekend and he moved up with us, making this his fourth home in four months.
When he lived with my in-laws he had another dog to play with and got twice-daily walks. We went down there to work with him and get him accustomed to us. He played well with the other dog, but he did have a tendency to bite the other dog's cheeks, tail, etc. Unfortunately, he nips quite a bit, seemingly for no reason. That behavior has not gotten better; telling him no, ignoring him, or making a noise so he knows he hurt you all don't work. He also engages in resource guarding and bites if you go for a Kong or other treat. We now swap him something he can have and take what he can't, which has helped.
He still pees when people come in the house, which we are told will go away. He will go days without an accident and has even figured out how to ring a bell to tell us he wants out. Still, he peed twice in the house on Saturday and then later in the car. He is not good in the car. I fear that he shouldn't be having accidents at his age.
We've continued his twice-daily walks, which seem to be good for him. He barks at people and other dogs, but we are working on it. This morning he just wanted to sleep, so we skipped his walk. Tonight I took him and we made it 100 feet before he plopped down in the grass and refused to move. I tried to get him to come, and then he stood up and slipped out of his harness. I had to pick him up and carry him home. When he got home, he started running after my wife and nipping.
We did do one lesson with a trainer, but it was more telling us what to do than actual work with the dog, so I've enrolled him in a well-regarded obedience class here in town. He starts on the 5th. I assume some of this is lack of training, but I'm not sure how much.
I'm just frustrated and am not sure how to curb the nipping and other problem behaviors. I love him a lot and he has already improved my quality of life, which is part of why it hurts to see him not improving. He learned his name, to sit, come (which he does when he wants, another frustration) and some tricks. It seems like his problem behaviors just aren't improving and I'm not sure what to do.
Am I being too hard on him? Will classes help with some of this stuff? Are there good ways to curb his nipping and the fact that he only comes when he wants to? Any reasons why he refused to walk tonight?
Thanks for reading. I haven't had a puppy since the eighth grade, so I've forgotten how this is supposed to go. He's a cool little guy who has helped my mood and who makes me happy, but I'm afraid some of this stuff won't go away. I'd appreciate any tips from the pros on the sub.
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