Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

My 1.5 Year Old Fixed Female Australian Shepherd Is Aggressive With Big Breeds

by Charlene
(Seattle, WA)


All her life she has had run-in's with other dogs that aren't favorable. It happens with every dog, at every park.

Demi is very socialized. Always has been. I started taking her to parks at 11 weeks old. I let her interact by my hands only until she was fully vaccinated. We go to a dog park every weekend, and regular parks every day. She is submissive, shows her belly, lowers her head. Only barks when excited.

Recently (in the past 2/3 months, give or take a week.) She has become selectively aggressive. (I don't discriminate breeds, I love all dogs. But I do know that some dogs pose higher risk than others.)

I didn't realize that Aussie's were one of those breeds. I know that Blue Heelers are though.

So, she's been charged at by Pit Bulls, bitten at by Pit Bulls, and crowded by Golden Retrievers, for some reason Labradoodles like to charge and bound after her. So she, in general doesn't like big breeds. Most of them she just avoids unless cornered. Then she just gives them warning barks. High pitched short sperted barks while baring her teeth. Or she jumps into my arms for protection. But other times, with Pit Bulls specifically, she bites back. Even when they aren't aggressive, just playing. Like she doesn't understand it's playing, panics and attacks them.

This is very serious, because I won't be able to save her from that. I'd gladly gain an ugly arm trying to intervene. But I know Pit Bulls, all my friends have them, I adore the breed. Wanted one myself at one point. Because of this, I know what they are capable of. So her biting at them, even when warranted, scares me.

Just yesterday, a Pit tried playing with her, sweet as ever, well mannered. Didn't charge. She bite at him. Huge teeth, angry face, stiff body, all of it. I picked her up and scolded her.

I understand dog body language, I have a good grip on what's happening. I just don't know how to train this out of her. I'm scared that one day I will intervene and make things worse.

Help?!

Comments for My 1.5 Year Old Fixed Female Australian Shepherd Is Aggressive With Big Breeds

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Aggression could be protection.
by: Dave

Our Male Aussie is also aggressive towards other dogs, and so are a lot of other Aussies as well judging by all the similar posts I read here. I don't pretend to know what goes through my dogs mind, but I have made observations. He does not like other dogs to get too close to us. If they keep a distance of 30 to 50 feet he wont show aggression. If they come up, even with friendly gestures he will usually attack. We don't have hi density dog parks, but we do have a 2 mile long beach where people often bring their dogs to run free of a leash. So long as we give some space it has worked out.

It is very similar with other animals too. Right now we have 3 moose (cow and 2 newborn calfs) bedded down in our yard (we live on 3 acres and our Aussie has free reign). He wont show aggression towards them unless we go outside the house and then at which point he will go try to run them off. Otherwise he simply watches them while we are safely indoors. I believe most of this aggressive behavior is protective in nature. I don't know what to do about it as it is likely part of their breeding to protect the herd, so we simply avoid other dogs when possible and if that isn't possible try to give as much space as possible.

Response
by: Charlene

That sounds more like my moms farm dog. With demi being a coty dog since she was a young pup, idk how much this helps me. Nothing she is experiencing is new. And its souly focused on big breeds. And its not when dogs or people or other animals come near us, its when dogs run up on her.

Like i said, I'm looking for advice on curbing the bad habit, not help on understanding why shes doing it.

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