Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Aggressive Biting And Growl

by Stephen
(Maine)

I have a almost 4 month old Mini Aussie. He goes to my aunt's house during the day with her dog while I'm at work. The other day he was there and she gave him a bone. Her cat went to walk by him while he was chewing on it and he let out a growl and barked and chased the cat down.

He then went back to his bone which my aunt took away from him after that. Then today I was there and he had something in his mouth and I went to take it and he then growled and bit me and drew blood. Then after he was loving and licked me and wanted to play.

My uncle was tearing out their wall in the kitchen and making a lot of noise so I'm not sure if that played a factor in it. He is not a violent puppy and loves everyone and kids and has never done this before till the other day. I'm not sure what to do about this. I don't want an aggressive puppy who then could turn into an aggressive dog.

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Hope it will help you
by: Anna

Hi Stephen,

that what you're describing sounds for me like the beginning of "food-aggression" better term: He defends his resources!
But it's quite impossible to be 100% sure from not seeing it live.

You can try to sit down with him and hold the bone. Don't let him near it. You claim it as yours.
Then when he accepts it (comfort him: good boy, or so) you can hold the bone in your hand and let him chew on it. When he wants to "steal" the bone, say "No" and walk away. So he sees that you are not accepting it. (You need patience and you have to repeat this very often. Be relaxed)
When he chews on it right with your hand on the same bone, comfort him with verbals and try to pet him soft (but be careful, he may be bite). If he growls, getting tense or even slightly move his chaps, take the bone, stand up and walk away.

Then you should really get a trainer to help you deal with the problem.

If you are afraid that he could bite or it gets even worse. Get a Trainer for help!
And don't give him any chewbones.

As long as he's a pup, you can show him the right behavior faster then he's a grown up and doing the wrong thing for a long time.
Don't take it personally, he don't want to hurt you or anyone. He just behaves like a dog.

Hope it helped you a bit. Sorry that I couldn't do more.

Kind regards
Anna

Same at our house
by: Leah

The same has happened at our house. I have a Question on here how to stop that from happening. But I asked the Breeder we got her from, and she said that Aussie were breed to chase sheep. So if they fear anything, like sheep or cows which are bigger than them, they will confront the fear and go towards it rather than back down. So once I heard that it made more sense on why she was chasing the cats or growling at them. When we see a cat going towards her when she is chewing on something we will tell her the "Leave It" command. So she knows to leave the cat alone. If you dog knows that command it works great, if not...it is easy to teach. Put a treat on the floor and tell them to "Leave It". Then when they walk away give them a treat. It works great if chocolate or any other food/toys/shoes fall on the floor that they shouldn't be getting at.

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