Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Aggression When Scared

by Maureen
(Ontario)

I have two Aussies... one is almost 4 years old and the other is 2.5 years. The older dog is the dominant one. They get along very well and play together well. They play rough but rarely does it cross into a fight. The older dog is definitely more high strung. When he gets a fright... like if there is a loud blast of thunder, or if someone drops something, or sometimes even when someone opens the door loudly, he immediately attacks the younger dog, who ends up yelping.

The poor younger dog now responds to loud noises by jumping up on us for protection as he knows he is going to get a bite. Has anyone else experienced this? Our vet thought that maybe he is trying to warn the younger one of danger, but it seems quite aggressive. (He does always go get the younger dog when someone comes to visit… he runs and gets him by barking before he even comes out to greet us or any other visitor.)

There is never any blood drawn, but it does often end up in a fight that sometimes requires intervention. He loves people and never has issues with other dogs. This "fright" response is the only time he appears aggressive.

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