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I am blogging on behalf of BlogPaws Pet Blogger Network and the AKC. I received compensation for my time from the AKC for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine.

Through the Lens of Kimberly Gauthier, Blue, Puppy, Cattle Dog mix

What do you mean I have to stop jumping, biting ankles and chasing the cats, Mommy?

We’ve had the AKC GoodDog! HelplineSM for a couple of weeks now and during that time I’ve been wondering what dog behavior issues I would call them about. We have three dogs that are pretty well behaved; do I really need this (lifetime) service?


Our dogs have been allowed to develop some bad habits and I have to admit that canine behavior baffles me at times.  I didn’t really appreciate that I needed some help until after our first call with the AKC GoodDog! HelplineSM.  I spoke with Elizabeth who was kind, helpful, non-judgmental, and I can’t wait to try out her tips.

Blue aka Blueberry – Australian Shepherd / Australian Cattle Dog / Large Munsterlander, 1-1/2 years old

  • Blue jumps all the time
  • Blue keeps biting Sydney’s ankles
  • Blue keeps humping Sydney
  • Blue keeps eating the cats’ food
  • Blue jumps out of the yard
  • Blue digs holes

Once I identified one dog behavior problem that could use some correction, more kind of all fell into place.  What’s interesting is that all of our dogs exhibit the above behaviors (except the ankle biting).  I thought I knew what to do about each of these issues, but I’m not doing it and it was helpful speaking with Elizabeth, because she helped me see that most of Blue’s “bad habits” are due to being over excited and although redirecting his focus before the unwanted behavior is great, it’s not enough.

The dog training advice…

When I shared that Blue does most of the ankle biting right before we go outside, Elizabeth picked up on that he’s over excited about the prospect of going outside and she knew that jumping was part of the excitement too and that it’s shared by all three of our dogs.  She also identified that he’s a herding mix dog (our records only say that our dogs are mixed breed) by his behavior.

  • Elizabeth suggested that we start with having the dogs sit and stay before I open the door to go outside.
  • I then go outside first, while the dogs remain seated.
  • Then I release them with “okay” and they can then come outside with me.

They’ll still be very excited, but this process will settle them down a bit.  She also suggested that I do the same before mealtime.

AKC Good Dog Help Line Testimonial

But how do we train three dogs?

Elizabeth says that we can train them together and separately and believes that one-on-one training will really help us out.  So while two dogs are in another room (in a crate for families who crate their dogs; we only crate Blue), or in their yard – we can work with one dog.

We’re going to start working with the dogs and I’ll give you an update on how it’s going and what I learn on future calls.

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What help / advice would you like from the AKC GoodDog! HelplineSM?

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