My Australian Shepherd Is Very Aggressive And I Need Help
I adopted the most amazing dog about eight months ago and she has really made my house a home. I got her as a puppy and did my best to raise her right and make sure she had plenty of interacting with other people and dogs. We even took several puppy classes. However, she has been extremely aggressive towards strangers. also, she takes a very, very long time to warm up to people. She was only 5 months old when her aggressive behavior started. I have always tried to redirect her behavior positively, however there is nothing that I can find that is a strong enough of a distraction to redirect her. When she sees someone else, or another dog, she is locked-in. Barking, lunging and even biting. it doesn't matter how far away they are either. The stranger could be a block away, but as long as she can see them she barks.
I adopted her because I really wanted a companion for hikes and camping and various outdoor activities but I cannot take her anywhere due to her behavior. That being said, I don't want us to hide at home because that certainly wont help the issue either. I need help badly and am very desperate for any kind of suggestions.
As of right now I take her on walks with a muzzle on and try my best to show her that people and dogs are not threats but she is very stubborn. My fathers dog and her get along because they were introduced before her aggression started and I often take them on walks together so that she can see how to positively interact with people and dogs. This does change her behavior somewhat, but she will still act aggressive if approached.
I have always owned dogs but have never had one with any type of aggression issues so I am very lost. I fear that she will hurt someone and I will be forced to get rid of her and I cant even handle the thought of losing her so if there are any suggestions out there I would really appreciate it.