I think, in regards to safety, that recall is the most important command for a puppy. But at this age, it does not have to be a “command”. Make it play time. Treat time.
Have treats, small treats, with you. Small bites of chicken or hotdogs work great as treats.
So, you and your puppy are in the yard or house playing. In a high-pitched “squeaky” voice call “Puppy, Puppy, Puppy”. That is what they hear at my house. When he comes to you, give a treat. Continue playing and when puppy seems “occupied”….. “Puppy, Puppy, Puppy here” (or come), whatever command wording you choose. Right now the “Puppy, Puppy, Puppy” is what they know and they should come running. So add your command, give a treat. Go about your play. Just keep with the “Puppy, Puppy, Puppy” and the command word and then treat when they come to you. Slowly drop the “puppy” stuff add his name and your command. If he is hesitant step backwards and encourage puppy to you. Once puppy comes to you, give a treat.
Always remember, the treat must outweigh whatever the puppy is involved in at the time. Meaning, the treat has to be more important than whatever puppy is paying attention to.
Always lots of love and attention. They are still learning so no discipline if they do not listen, just raise the bar of the treat.
PLEASE do not yell or spank your puppy if he has an accident in the house. I understand it is frustrating, but by yelling or spanking, the puppy actually becomes fearful to go potty in front of you, this includes outside. The puppy does not understand that you are yelling because he is potting in an inappropriate place, the puppy just thinks you are yelling because he is pottying. PLEASE, when you see a puppy start to have an “accident”, just pick him up and take him outside. Once he has pottied, lots of praise, maybe even a small treat. These puppies have been started on potty training.
TIMES TO TAKE OUTSIDE: First thing in the morning before breakfast. After breakfast. Upon waking up from nap. Before dinner, after dinner. Before bedtime. At this age puppy you will need to go out approximately every hour.
But these guys know how to go out, so watch the body language. If your puppy suddenly starts to circle with his nose to the ground, just take him outside. If puppy potties, lots of praise and even a treat. Treats are your friend. Make it a puppy potty party.
Using an exercise pen, leave crate open with the pen attached to the sides of the crate. The “open” part is just big enough to have some papers down or potty pads down for puppy to come out and potty if he needs to at night. In the crate have his bed. As soon as puppy no longer is pottying on pads or paper, take away the “pen” and close crate. But to train for the door to be closed do this… Put puppy in the crate with a nice bone or special treat that will take a few to chew on. Close the door, reopen after about the count of 10. Puppy still chewing? Close door again, count to 10. Do this for approximately 5 minutes. Puppies do not need training for more than 5 minutes. Their brains just cannot handle more than that. Next training session: first time do 10 seconds. Open door. Give puppy another treat or is still chewing on bone, move to 20 seconds. Open door. Again, only train 5 minutes and stop. Just keep upping the time until you can leave door closed.
Please Note: Puppy brains can only process about 5 minutes of work and then the start to loose what you are training. Let puppy go play. After a nap, do another 5 minute training. Always allow a nap before any further training.
The MDR1 gene mutation can be fatal when affected Aussies are exposed to medications like Trifexis and Ivermectin for dogs (among many other medications).
MDR stands for multi-drug resistance and the mutation in the MDR1 gene prevents many breeds, including Australian Shepherds, from removing many drugs from the brain resulting in toxicity. The MDR1 mutation is believed to occur in approximately 50% of Australian Shepherds. Dogs with the MDR1 mutation can be 200 times more sensitive to the drugs than dogs that do not have this mutation.
Dogs with the mutation lack a protein (P-glycoprotein) which is responsible for pumping the drugs from the brain. When this process is interrupted the drugs build up and permeate the brain and neurological toxicity results.
Just because a dog tests negative does not mean it's safe.
All herding dogs, even those tested and cleared for the MDR1 gene mutation, can be at risk. How? The same problem caused by the MDR1 mutation can be triggered by several medications. The effect of the drugs may result in the same toxicity in healthy dogs as would occur with dogs who have tested positive for the MDR1 mutation. Of course, these drugs would affect dogs that have been cleared, those that are carriers, and those that are affected. So, no dog is completely safe.
So instead of the normal P-glycoprotein pumps not working because of the MDR1 mutation they are deactivated by the drugs. Either way the effect of neurotoxicity is the same.
The MDR1 Chart above shows the drugs broken down by the degree of risk they pose.
In addition, grapefruit juice or extract should be avoided.
For more information see
This is also true with bringing home your new puppy.