Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

My Aussie Is Aggressive

by Chad

We have a 7 month old Aussie that we can not stop his aggression. I have never had a dog that will bite kids and to be honest do not want one. How do we stop this before it is too late? He is great with us and very lovable but will go after the kids next to us and if I hold him back he will take after me. I have never seen a dog that will do that so if we can not stop it he will be going for a one way trip soon. We read up on this breed and thought they were a smart breed. We have not seen that in him he even eats his own poop and carries it in the house.

Comments for My Aussie Is Aggressive

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Not Aggression
by: Jean

PLEASE DO NOT PUT YOUR DOG DOWN!

It sounds to me that you have a reactive Aussie (strong herding instincts) and it is most likely not aggression. Is he biting or nipping at the kids? There is a HUGE difference and unless you are willing to spend time with the training and understand why your dog reacts the way he does, I suggest you find him a new home.

There are numerous Aussie rescue organizations that would be willing to take your dog and evaluate and find him a new home.

Aussies are not for everyone and I also found out the hard way. Having a smart breed is more difficult and work than people realize.

My two cents on your Aussie
by: Anonymous

Aussie's can be extremely dominant. And it sounds as though yours is very territorial. When your kids come around you it sounds as though the dog is saying you (the adult) are mine and its reaction to your kids as well as you with the nipping or potential could be just stating that the dog is trying to show you are his. The poop sounds territorial to me too. It came out of him and its his. Kind of weird I know. He is really trying to lay claim to what is his. I really recommend a collar that was put out by Don Sullivan -The Dog Father. He has a collar to help correct bad behavior. Order the ropes too! It worked for our dogs and it didn't take only but a few days. You can order it on theperfectdog.com. It will show the dog you are the alpha. Its pricey but its worth it! Good luck!

Aggression
by: Anonymous

I have a female Aussie who is 4 yrs old. When she was 4 months old she started to show aggression. She would bare her teeth at my children and they became afraid of her. She even did it to my husband. She never did it to me because I was her favorite. I bought a book about Aussies and believe it or not this book talked about Aussies becoming aggressive at 4 months old. The book said that you had to show your Aussie who is boss. If they were out in the wild their mother's would do it. So, my husband had to show who was boss by being aggressive to the dog. He broke her and she never showed aggression again. You have to be firm.

aggressive
by: Chad

Thanks for your comments we are going to try all we can but he has me stumped all he wants is loves when in the house as soon as he goes out he goes after the neighbor kids and will not stop until I drag him in the house. We do have a fenced yard but I'm afraid of what will happen if he gets out. He does not nip its is a full blown attack growling then teeth and biting drawing blood . He is around other animals every day rabbits, cat,dog ferret and he loves them all just plays with them but a person comes in the house he will bite them and bark the whole time. When we take him on walks he is fine around people but once he gets home he's out looking to chase the neighbor kids biting the fence and barking. The neighbor is a cop so he has complained that his kids can not go outside to play without getting barked at so we keep him in the house at night and only let him out to go potty or for a walk or if we are out with him. He is now starting to run out the back door barking at their house when we let him out and when he see's the kids are not there then he will just run back in the house all happy?

puppy
by: gayle--big run aussies

Sounds like you have a herder, not necessarily aggressive. He is being an Aussie. He definitely needs socialization. You can break him of his bad habits. He needs to learn a reliable recall. When you take him outside, have him on a long line. Call him to you. When he looks at you--just looks at you-- this is VERY important-- praise him like he just graduated Harvard. Tell him "good boy", "good boy" while he is running back to you. Give him a high value rewards like chicken or cheese and lots and lots of praise. He needs to learn reliable commands such as "down", come, wait and stay. Once he is listening to you, you will have a wonderful dog. Just remember, if you yell at him when he is barking he thinks you are barking, too. So, no raised, angry voices. When people come over, keep him on leash and have visitors give him high value treats AGAIN. One of my Aussies liked Frisbee, so we would have kids play Frisbee with her. She ended us loving kids because they would play with her. He also needs a job. He thinks his job is making the neighbor kids stay away. He needs another job that is more acceptable. Frisbee or ball can be a job. Tricks are great. Fetching things for you is a great job. Aussies are so smart that you can train him while you watch TV. Don't give up! He is still a baby.

I agree with Gayle
by: Theresa

I agree 100% with Gayle. I have a 2 year old mini Aussie with strong herding instincts. She is convinced that her job is to protect us. It is not a dominance issue. She is simply hard-wired to make sure her family or "herd" is not in harm's way. This was a challenging thing to deal with for a number of months, and was quite worrisome. But, using similar methods to Gayle's suggestion really worked. In our case, our dog has an excellent "sit" and was usually near us when acting out. Not adding to the ruckus (raised voices increase the dog's anxiety) and telling her to sit and then praising her almost excessively for her "sit" ("Good sit, good girl, good sit" etc., etc.) and giving her treats worked well. If we talked to someone on the street, we kept our girl busy with sit, then sit on my other side, then maybe down. She quickly learned that she had another job to do; and, as she calmed down, she listened to the cadence of our conversations and figured out that there was no danger. It was difficult for a while, but do give your puppy a chance. Ours has turned into an awesome dog.

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