Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Help! Mini Aussie Herding/Aggression Question

by Ash
(Chicago, IL, USA)

Charlie!

Charlie!

Hello, I have a Mini Aussie, Charlie, who is a little over 1 year old. We tried socializing him at a young age, bringing him to daycare starting at age 7 months. He also lived with another dog until he was 1 year old and they got along perfectly.

Ever since he was a puppy, Charlie has been afraid of unknown dogs to the point where if we see a dog while walking down the block, he begins aggressively barking and lunging. We took him to formal training and have been consistently "click-treat"-ing him when he see's another dog (before he barks) but after about 4 clicks he freaks out. We have been trying to socialize him at dog parks and he's been getting better - only acting out if there is a toy involved...

Additionally, we've recently been getting complaints that he is herding/nipping dogs at his doggy daycare. He was fine at daycare up until the past few weeks. We were told that he stalks a certain puppy and begins herding and nipping other dogs when certain handlers are on the floor.

We love him so much and even the handlers say he's the cutest Aussie they've ever seen - but his behavior is starting to worry me! He's never nipped a dog or person hard enough to cause damage - if he did, I think he's too small to do any serious damage - but the behavior is concerning and any tips on how to train him to stop would be greatly appreciated!

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