Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

My Australian Shepherd Is Very Aggressive And I Need Help

by random

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.

Comments for My Australian Shepherd Is Very Aggressive And I Need Help

Click here to add your own comments

we call iT : reactive dog
by: Nicole

hii, My dog does the same.
May be you van contact : Karen Mulders in the Netherlands. She may know someone in your country to help you.
Wish you the Best.

Feel for you...
by: Anonymous

I'm SO sorry you are having to go through this. My female Aussie is 9 and has many of the same issues (but I don't think as severe) as your pup. I went through hours and tons of money training her but her issues are still ongoing and super inconsistent. So, we never know when she's strike. A muzzle has helped us for many years being able to walk her around the neighborhood and go to dog parks etc. The trainers did suggest electric collar but we've never resorted to that. I just wanted you to know that someone is in your corner and hopefully you can get this issue resolved with some good advice here and a great trainer. But, if not a muzzle can keep many around you safe. Best of luck!

Re: Aggressive dog
by: Susan Roberts

I'm sorry to hear you are going through this. The first thing you need to do is rule out a physical problem. Have you had a full physical exam done on the dog? I would request a full CBC, Chemistry, as well as a full Thyroid panel. You should contact the dogs' breeder to see if they can offer some insight, as well as to let them know there is a problem with the cross that produced your dog. If none of the above yields any answers you need to consider it a behavioral problem, and find a reputable local trainer who can give you their opinion on this behavior firsthand. Good luck.

i have the same issue.
by: Kimberly

I adopted my Aussie, Champ, when he was 3. He is actually fine around people , but other dogs he fights with. I know the previous owner and she said he was in puppy training classes and very socialized, but when he turned one, he started being aggressive with his brother. That is why she had to give him up. I have been told it is there personality. Not all Aussies, obviously, but I have heard this with other owners as well. The muzzle is the only thing that works and keeping him away from other dogs. He is the best dog in the world to me though.

Australian's are very intelligent dogs..
by: Anonymous

and they are herding dogs whose sole purpose is to protect the herd. You are her/his herd. I have a miniature australian and she likes to bark at people and other dogs when we walk depending on who they are. After I have spoke to them in a calm manner she will settle down and even lie down with her front paws crossed while I talk with them. Sounds like your dog see all these situations as a threat. It takes a lot of time and patience with aussies. Plus a lot of walks...they need jobs. But they are totally worth it. Aussies have the greatest personalities.

Aggressive Dog
by: Gwen

I have had several Aussies and have never had this problem...and it IS a problem. I hope you can find someone with the answer so you can enjoy your furry child.

Don't Give Up!
by: Anonymous

Aussies are naturally very protective. Your pup is probably thinking she's doing her job. That being said, the behavior is interfering with your good times together, so that needs to change.

We like to take our Aussie (18 mos) to our local coffee shop. She became very protective of us. She began to snarl at other people approaching us on the patio, or even those who spoke to us at a distance.

After trying a number of other methods, we finally bought a Petsafe Ultrasonic Remote Trainer on Amazon. The sound cuts through the barking, snarling frenzy, and your dog immediately orients to you. We only used it a couple of times, and now all we have to do is put it on the table where she can see it. It's not a substitute for the good positive methods you are using, but it might help you get your pup's attention when you need to make a correction in her behavior.

same problem!
by: Melissa P. Kincardine

hi, I just read the above article about an aggressive Australian Shepard. Hoping to get some good sound advice!!! Our Austealian Shepard is amazing, other than being aggressive (snarling/showing teeth/nipping) and a crazy chichucha bark at people!!!!! Please help!!!

More drastic measures are needed.
by: Dave

Have you considered a shock collar? I got one for my dog and I only had to shock him once. This model has a vibrate as well as a beep feature and most of the time all he needs is a beep from me and he stops whatever he is doing and runs back to me and a treat! Sometimes when he is "locked in" on something I send the signal to vibrate and I think it must remind him of the shock he got because he always runs back to me. With all that said my Aussie does better with other dogs (he seems to like most people) when he is off leash and can maneuver. I think he can feel a little boxed in at times when he is tied up on a leash.

Always remember that they are doing their job and keeping danger away, just a bit too aggressively in your case and needs to tone it down a notch or two..

Is your dog neutered?
by: Elaine

If not this is something that you should consider and at least discuss with your vet as it can make a big difference to a dog's behaviour and calms them down considerably.

Insist on obedience and don't give up on your Aussie
by: Marlin

I found an Aussie in the shelter when he was 18 months old. Two different owners had already given up on him. I was unfamiliar with the breed so I researched and researched again until I could write a book on Aussies. He has been with us eight years now.

Aussies are super smart, loyal and protective of their owners and turf. I have owned and trained some very smart dogs but this one tops them all.

First, you must understand that dogs don't fully mature until sometime after two years old. Until then, you're dealing with an adolescent mentality. Much like a teen-aged child they will continue to test the limits.

Second, you MUST set limits in behavior and be consistent about your expectations. If you deviate from the established discipline, your Aussie will quickly adapt to the deviation as acceptable behavior.

For example, my Aussie is not allowed to eat simply because I set his dish I'm front of him. He expected to sit and wait until I give him an okay to eat. If I let him charge into the dish the second that it hits the floor them he will not yield the next time that he is fed. I will have re-establish the behavior.

Third, you have to understand dog pack mentality and you MUST be seen as the pack leader in the dog's mind. The above feeding example may seem silly but it maintains my authority as the pack leader. Research about pack mentality and become an expert.

Fourth, teach your dog to heel upon command. This is very difficult to train. You must work at it daily to set the the behavior. Your Aussie needs daily walks anyway to vent anxiety and stress just as humans need exercise. I let my Aussie take as much liberty as his 26' recoiling leash allows unless I see animals or people that might trigger his protective instincts. At those times he is required to heel.

Fifth, teach your dog to stay. Start these drills in a confined area that is free of distractions. Gradually, increase the time and the distance between the two of you. As the dog learns to obey in a confined area, move on to an open area outside that is free of distraction.

When you can manage your dogs feeding behavior, heel her on command, and make her stay indefinitely, you are ready to expose her to the triggers. YOU are the pack leader. Be patient and work her EVERY day.

When my Aussie was on a leash as an adolescent, he would jerk my arm off at the sight of another dog. Now, he still gets anxious but he holds heel, even when passing another leashed dog.

Good luck with your girl. I hope that I have been a help to you.

by: kim

PLEASE contact the breeder you got her from.

Me too
by: Anonymous

i had a red tri for twelve years. He was my homie. My house was secure with him home. He was the meanest dog on the block. He was raised at a dog park and very socialized. But one day a pit dog got hold of him and my aussie tore that pit dog up. Going forward he was extremely animal aggressive. I loved him the same tho till the day he died. Miss him every day now for two years. Good luck

I too had a aggressive aussie
by: janey

I have an Aussie 3.5 years old. He would get aggressive and still does when strangers come around the "good" part was he bit me and not them. But I was really at the end of my rope and was going to get rid of him.
But I found a trainer that took him for 10 days, E-collar stuff, and it works. Aussies are very headstrong and want to run the household. I can now put my dog in a place and he stays. I no longer fear he will bite me.
He is a super smart dog. Learns lots of tricks all know that. But if you do NOT know how to use a collar properly then you NEED to higher someone to show you. Someone that knows. IT will cost money but you will have an awesome Aussie once again. Find a trainer to help you. Don't give up control. I hope this helps...

Look at Me!
by: Anonymous

I kept a Home Depot bag on my hips filled with treats on my walk. Every time I passed someone (never too close) I would tell my Aussie to "Look at me!" have a sit and give him a treat. He's still a bit cautious but has gotten a lot better at strangers coming by us. In fact, he'll look at me now expecting a treat when a stranger is approaching and doesn't much pay attention to them at all. The idea for the walking technique actually came from watching this YouTube video

by: lynn

hi we're going through the same thing ,this is my third Australian Shepherd in my male is very aggressive Towards people that he doesn't know and now he just growls at my kids which is become a problem.we got him when he was 6 weeks old and he is almost 5 years old I worry more. he's an amazing dog and he's very loving with myself and my husband we also have a female who is five and a half and they've been together since they were puppies she is terrified everybody but she welcomes everyone in a loving way. our first Australian Shepherd we had was amazing and we had her for almost 15 years until she passed and we never had issues so I'm at a loss with this one and it breaks my heart because this is the only breed that I want to own.

Don't Give Up
by: Aussie Lover

My female Aussie was extremely aggressive. I delayed having her spayed so the problem was of longer duration. It was a hormonal imbalance and after being spayed she is a different dog. Good luck!

Aggressive Aussie
by: Anonymous

I also have gone through the same situation. We adopted our Aussie when she was 1.5 yrs old though. She is a wonderful dog and very smart. I would also suggest a full checkup on your pup to rule out any physical issues. They are tough dogs & have a high pain tolerance. Our vet put my dog on Prozac, which she takes it daily. She also has an anti anxiety pill she can take when we have company over. It has made a difference in her intensity, but the behavior is still there.

We are working with a positive trainer - which I would highly recommend finding a reputable one by you. Maybe start at Victoria Stillwell's website. One of the things my trainer said, which really hit home, was that smart dogs such as Aussies make quick associations which helps when you are training them something new, but they also make negative associations just as quickly. Those are "triggers" are what you need to discover & change your dog's association. It's a lonnnnng process, trust me, it's not for the weak hearted. There are days I feel I am way over my head, but then some days she makes progress and my motivation is restored! I hope this helps you! Best of luck!

Aggressive pup
by: Anonymous

Your pup is young and it will take time. As I watched all Zak George's you tube videos I think you need to anticipate the reaction before it happens and catch her attention and reward it. Small steps over and over. I agree with all the previous comments. She feels she is protecting you. It will take time and consistency but don't wait for the behavior to start anticipate it and address it. My pup was an excited jumper. Knowing she would jump I didn't wait. As she came towards me I wod tell her to sit. Then she would get loving. Now she catches herself starting to jump and stops. They are so smart. Check out Zaks you tubes. They saved me

Don't Give Up
by: Kendra

I agree with Marlin on all counts. I've had my Aussie from 10 weeks old and it's been very challenging. She has had no previous association with anything or anyone bad so...why? Basically it's fear that makes a dog aggressive or seem aggressive. You must must be the alpha so he/she knows you're in charge, that you will handle the situations that he/she sees as a threat. When walking, every time you see a person or another dog, make him/her focus on you and give the dog a treat. Be like, "Yay! Dog/people! They're fine!" If you have a clicker, use it. If not, get one. After a while of doing that, teach him/her a Go Greet command. When the dog makes a nose touch contact with the person, click and give praise and treat. Believe me, I know how hard it is. Still working on it after 15 months. But she makes progress all of the time in small steps. She even wags her tail at some strangers now. She is an awesome dog and yours will be too. Keep at it! One last thing I recommend is agility classes. They help build a dog's confidence. And Aussies excel at obstacles.

Ours is aggressive towards people of color.
by: Anonymous

Our 2+ year old male Aussie has his "issues" as well. He really loves most people he meets and greets them with exaggerated wiggle butt so long as they are not "of color". He will growl at black or native American's who get too close to us but doesn't go after them any further. He also gets aggressive towards most other dogs getting too close to us. Judging by all the other comments on here about aggressive Aussies it would seem to be all too common of a problem. I don't know if ours can be made to be nicer to other dogs or people of color but if not we will continue to try to keep our distance a little so he won't feel so stressed and want to attack.

by: Ron

I have a friend who is a Farrier [a person who trims horses hooves] He puts lavender essential oil on his hands. Many times horses are nervous, but after he talks to them and pets them with his lavender hands they calm right down. Using lavender essential oil with your Australian Shepard should help calm him. Other good calming essential oils are Bergamot, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang, Sweet Orange and Roman Chamomile.

Same boat.
by: Anonymous

I have a male Aussie. He just recently turned two. I've had him since he was six weeks old. I made sure to socialize him when he was a puppy. He never had any problems with strangers, and then one day he flipped out when someone walked by us, and has been aggressive since towards anyone he doesn't know. He has bitten someone. It's been a nightmare for me. I love him so much, and hate the idea of an accident happening somehow then him being put down or I having to get rid of him. I've had him neutered. I've had a behaviorist come to my house do a full assessment. I've been doing all of the tricks she has suggested I do to show that I am the leader, etc... Unfortunately I am not seeing any significant changes in his behavior. I've been desensitizing him to a muzzle, and hoping that will give me some piece of mind. I hope everyone else dealing with this problem finds something that works, and when you do please share.

Biting and aggression
by: Anonymous

We adopted a Aussie mix puppy at 8 wks. And he has a loving home wish us and our 2 daughters(college age). Unfortunately he has bitten my niece and nephew 9 and 3 and my daughter age 22. He also bit a friend while we were at a local coffee shop. He has tried biting or been aggressive with 7 people total and he is now 1 year old. He is impulsive and we never know when he will get aggressive. He as siting on my husbands lap when one incident happened and the person put her face in his face so that was not a good idea. The other times the kids were standing quietly in our house. We love him and are attached to him don't want to get rid of him but we are so worried he will get loose and hurt someone badly. He knows I'm the alpha female and will usually obey me but not my husband. We took him to obedience school and he caught on quickly but he is a door dasher and is still agresssive with people not dogs.
We are thinking about a behavioralist ..

rude dogs
by: Anonymous

I FOUND A FIX. I did it. well... my dog did it. So, I moved to a large property in Nevada. Lots and lots of room. I got one of those ball throwing green sticks. The one with the orange tennis balls. Every day I go out and toss that ball as hard as I can. My dog "Tiddlywinks" runs so fast to go get it. Every time. I do this over and over and over again. When she walks the ball back to me I know she is good. Now my dog is so sleepy she doesn't care who comes to the door. She doesn't care that the neighbor is out, she doesn't care about people walking by. SHE JUST DON'T CARE. When she starts to care, BALL TIME. lol. This is how I fixed it when nothing would work. It takes a lot of work from me to just stop what I'm doing and toss the ball. 3 times a day sometimes. I'm not saying it will work for all, but if your dog loves a ball... try it out. Good luck.

My female Aussie has become very aggressive
by: Yvette

we took our aussi's to the groomers yesterday with explicit instructions on what to do. Wash, look for ticks , trim the feathers in the rear and regular grooming. Do not shave. We picked up the dogs and they had been shaven. They were both unrecognizable to us and they were unrecognizable to each other. The female has attacked her male playmate several times last evening and during the middle of the night. I got in the middle of one of the fights and got bitten. I am sure the female thinks she is protecting the family against an intruder. The dogs look nothing like their former selves. I don't know what to do. We have them separated right now. These are working ranch dogs. They don't go about on a leash, and although they are caged at times when horses are worked they have freedom on the ranch. Can this actually happen that two lifelong friends could suddenly lose all perception of each other by the transformation that happened with the unrequested shaving?

In the same boat
by: Annie the Aussie Lover

I have 2 little Aussie shepherds as well, ages 2 and 4. They are healthy, vibrant, energetic pups with healthy, vibrant, energetic lives. Although they are around people and dogs all the time, they are very protective of their momma. If a stranger or unknown dog comes up to one of them, they go insane and bark, growl, and sometimes bite. Now, I have read that Aussies are very protective, and happen to be very intelligent, but this is getting out of hand. We are thinking about adopting a border collie soon, and I am very nervous about how my Aussies will handle it. While on vacation (I brought one Aussie), I went to a restaurant with a (definitely not dog-friendly) patio. Unfortunately, I had to leave her tied to the fence on the patio, which I thought would be okay, since I was a mere 2 yards away. People continually tried to pet her, and every time, she would attack. It was gruesome. Help.

My Aussie turned psycho
by: Kq

My dog, an Australian shep mini is the best dog. Smart, warm, loving. But she has an aggression PRob that started alittle before a year. She has turned psycho at outsiders of the immediate family and sometimes gets mean to the older kids that are not home much.( college)
I love her to death but I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO!!!!
I have tried classes and therapists paying hundreds but nothing works! I am heart broken!!! Why didn't they say this about he breed!!! WHY!!!!!!!! Now what do I do!!!
- heart broken

My dogs the same way
by: Anonymous

My dog does the exactly the same thing and I can not get through to her no matter what I do or try. I need help with her and I have had other dogs before in my life. But never had this problem. So I know how you feel.

3 mnth Lab/Aussie is aggresive when gets into human food
by: Anonymous

We have a similar situation with our pup. We got him at 6 weeks and is now 4 months. He got aggresive the 1st time just passed 2 months old. He is aggressive when we get on to him for nipping at our young boys and jumping on them. He growls and shows teeth and tries to bite harder. Then the biggest issue is his aggression when he's gotten into food from the table or counter - or our kids laps. He literally attacks over human food (doesn't get aggressive at all with dog food). He def sees my husband as pack leader, as he will cower a bit to him if he gets onto him, but when he gets human food, he's even attacked my husband. Just 2 days ago he got a sandwich that my son was eating at the coffee table when he went to get a drink. My younger son walked into the living room to sit down and Cooper ran after him and bit him, just bc he walked by while Cooper was eating the stolen sandwich!
Otherwise, he is a sweetheart and we love him. His is super smart and we enjoy his company, but it's scary at the thought of him attacking my own children... We have an apt to get him fixed, as said to help with aggression and I know food aggression is common and can be trained, but that's for dog food aggression. We don't give him table scraps, he only gets it if he gets into our food. With 2 young boys I can't live my life in fear and expect that they not be kids and be able to just have a snack or eat in a place where he can't get to them or put him in the kennel every time they think about eating anything. I'm just worried about him being like this already and he's not even grown yet - which 1-2 seems to be the time that a lot of others became aggressive. He's already big and he's going to be a VERY big dog, I can't - and don't want to think about what damage he can do as he gets bigger and older... Patience is scary when my boys are hanging in the balance... And with all of the above comments about their aggression, I am really worried that it won't change, but rather get worse - even if we work a lot with him. Each time it happens, I'm angry and want him out of our home, but then he's so good and sweet again and I keep hoping it will get better... We are torn... Any ideas...?

My progress up and down
by: Joanne

I have a just over one year old Aussie! And he is an amazing family pet! Perfect with my children and other dog! So at bout four month he chased cars! I spent many hours watching traffic with him! Slowly with busier roads and the problem solved! Then the next task he became aggressive to strangers at seven months! Barks turn to trying to bite! Firstly I muzzled him! He hates it but if I don't I am nervous which he will pick up on! And I need to establish alpha role with him so nerves are not aloud! Then I walked with a lot of treat in quiet street every time some one in site I treat! He also has been made to walk in line with me on the lead no longer in front! Before he was ahead and only close when passing people! My mistakes or that may have made him see them as threat! If when walking someone passed I make him sit a little away and treat him! Today was the first time I took him outside a busy shop and he did great anxious at first but by the end he was looking for treats and not worry about people! This has been all over a month and u have only a few time he has pulled at some one never barks! I am happy with this! I will also be getting provisional training for me! There hopefully is a light but it does take time and ensuring there energy is being burnt!

Same thing
by: Anonymous

I am experiencing the same thing. For the most part Jake is super playful and loving to people and dogs. But every once and a while he dislikes a dog at the park and end up in a scuffle which has caused us to have to leave a few times. But worse is that he is consistently aggressive to the neighbor dog and now the owner to the point where the owner is afraid jake will bite him. I don't know what to do but I am going to have to resort to a shock collar as I can't afford to pay for someone's hospital and vet bills.

Ill-mannered Theo
by: Aleene

3 weeks ago we adopted an Australian Shepard Theo from our local shelter. From what we know about him he is about a year old give or take a few months, he was an owner surrender and we are his third owners. We are not sure if he is neutered or not because our vet could not determine it. No scar, no testicles etc. He started out all sweet and friendly, super obedient and a wonderful companion to our children. However, this week, he is getting even more "nippy" and "mouthy". He purposely jumped up onto my 11yo daughter and tried to bite her which he knows not to jump up. It's maybe the 3rd time he has done it first time aggressively. He also nipped my 4yo son enough to make him a little fearful
He gets at least 1 hr of vigorous exercise a day with balls and Frisbees and easily 2 more with running after our kids (5 in total). We love him lots but NEED to curb his aggression.

It is evident that he was not socialized properly when young because he used to be very aggressive of people and other dogs. He is very skiddish, submissive and rolls over immediately onto his back when he comes to you. I suspect that his confidence is low. However, he has come leaps and bounds from the first day we got him. He obeys the sit command and is doing much better on a leash. He is much more approachable and We are finally able to take him out into public and enjoy the joys of having a dog. But now with this aggression issue at hand, he is getting stubborn and testing the limits.

He knows that me and my husband are the alphas but is trying to establish that he is higher than the kids is my guess. He is super smart and is capable of change and he has showed us that he can. He shows that he cares for us when he brings you his chew toy and the end of the day and chews it on your lap while you sit next to him. He loves tummy rubs and taking order's from our 3yo with no problem.

We have tried bitter apple spray in moderation, avoiding him when he exhibits negative behaviors, rewarding the good behaviors, and even a time out spot on our covered patio. Little to no avail, he is still aggressive.

Any advice, books, videos? He had the potential to be a wonderful dog, if he can just see it.

I'm in the same boat
by: Anonymous

Our Aussie was socialized very young. We walked him a lot and tons of people would always come up and pet him. Once he turned 6 months, it's like he flipped a switch and became very aggressive towards other people. He has never bitten anyone, just runs towards them and barks, especially around children. He does not like children and I am so scared that he'll bite one someday and have to be put down. He's an amazing dog. Incredibly affectionate and sweet towards our family. I don't know how he can just be so mean to other people. If anyone finds something that helps let me know.

australian shephard
by: Anonymous

I dont know how aggressive your dog is but a muzzle or shock collar will definitely make that worse. I was 18 when i got my australian shepherd i am now 26 and it has had its rough moments. I love him to death though. I got him neutered. I also realized im the only one that he really wants to be with, he never takes to others, vacations are tough, and im sure if i had a baby, jealousy would kick in. Since he is older now its a bit easier, the dog needs to be your best friend, find a way to mentally connect with him! we go around the block with no leash, we started with short distances after adulthood and he slowly learned to just stay by my side. We play fetch most of the time in the yard with rope toys, we play tug of war, I try my best to make it competitive and he sleeps right smack in the middle of the bed with me and my husband. puppy years i found difficult but we always used a yard until he calm down a bit (roughly age 4). love him unconditionally and if he doesnt like others jsut tell people dont touch him. every dog has its own personality, this does not come easy and it takes dedication and time.(also the dog will never like other animals)

My aggressive mini aussie
by: Anonymous

I've had my mini aussie since she was 1 month old. Her mom developed milk issues and couldn't nurse her pups.I kept her around people daily til she was almost a yr. She became snippy and would growl. We live in the country so she has lots of room to run. I've used a muzzle to help with growling and barking around people. I've used a vibration/shock collar to teach her boundaries since we live close to a highway. She's loving and smart. Licks her feet alot when she settles at night. I have to remind her to leave her feet alone. The collar works by just putting it on. She hid behind my husband recently when they came across a possum. Which is out of character since she can be very aggressive. I've used leather gloves to help with the biting. It's almost as if she zones out and goes psycho. We have a 6 month old lab mix. The play alot but every once in awhile, she zones out and tries to destroy the puppy. Scares me til she can refocus. She's almost 3.

by: Anonymous

We found our Aussie wandering lost one night and no one claimed him. I think we know why now. At first he was loving and playful with our other three dogs. We weren't going to keep him because we didn't need another dog and he sheds so much but we feel in love with him. Over the past six months he has become a demon dog. He has no fear of showing his dominance with our 125 lb lab who smacks him to the floor and holds him down. Now he has started the constant barking. We've scheduled an appt to have him fixed next week hoping that will help. If not we will have to get rid of him. Sad face.

Use a no pull harness
by: Anonymous

We switched to a no pull harness with the clip for the leash on the chest instead of the harness clip between the shoulder blades or on the collar. You will find a huge difference in the way they walk with one of these, much less pulling and therefore less tension in the dog.

There may be a leash reactive class in your area. Great for giving insight and for learning strategies for dealing with aggressive leash behaviour.

by: Zanna

I adopted an Aussie female, 3 yrs. old from the owner, who said she was aggressive with her other unspayed female. I really fell in love with her, so smart so loving!! I had her spayed and then when she was healed, I had her meet our 7 yr old female, spayed Rottweiler mix, Holy cow if we hadn't had them on long leashes she would have tried to kill our totally non-aggressive Rott. It was epic violence from this little dog. i talked to a lot of experts and they all said, no guarantees she could be rehabilitated. She also barked at Black people, so weird. i gave her back to the owner, who had a family with no other dogs. Now my question, I fell in love with the breed and I have a chance to buy a puppy from this same woman, different genetic line, are all Aussies aggressive? Help!!!

Aussies tough
by: Anonymous

This breed is very very very challenging, exhaust all of your options, be positive with the breed they respond to enthusiasm and redirection much better than negative reprimand, that being said sometimes force is needed. My Aussie is 1 year and is still a daily challenge. Build their confidence and don't be discouraged. Remove them from whatever situations trigger them until you have more control of the dog and more reliable. I'm frustrated at times too. Keep going Aussies Rule!!!!!!

My Aussie
by: Anonymous

My Aussie is very aggressive towards lil dogs even the ones he grew up with I have had him neutered I think it makes them worse my Aussie has killed 3 of my other fur babies I need info also I say please help me too thank you.

by: Anonymous

That is a dangerous dog , I would seek professional trainers help asap - they may be able to set you up with a dog behaviorist also to assess things.

Good luck

Aussies are crazy and fun
by: Anonymous

Hello! I also have an aussie male ( he is a mini tho) and he had similar issues as a puppy minus the actual biting. He just turned one and I have to say is getting better. The thing I noticed that helped him was my body language during his acting out. The energy will transfer through the leash and if they start to feel tesion right away as a person approches then they are going to assosiate that with needing to be on gaurd. We started bringing treats on walks (these treats are different and tastier treat then the ones we use for trick training) and honestly it helps. He also has a pronged choak collar that seems to be the only thing that keeps him behaving and it is not because it hurts him it's because it is not tight all the time. He does aweful in a harness because he pulls and feels the tension and then thinks the situation is bad. So if your using a harness my advise is maybe switch it up. Also put faith in your pup. Any small improvement is worth reward.
We also ask new people to give him treats and to not make eye contact. He needs to know that ignoring people is ok (no matter how much people want to pet him sometimes we have to keep our dogs comfort level above our friends desires)
The other thing we did was actually get another puppy. We got his a basset hound companion. Bassets are known for there kind temperament and kinda being lazy ( even though ours is very active :)) but having another dog that likes to meet people doesn't nessisary make him want to meet people too but people don't give all their attention to him therefor letting him warm up slower. Also baskets bark at alot of things but not in an aggressive way it's more of a I'm letting you know there is something out there so our aussie picks up on that and has started not caring about people walking past our apartment as much. Sorry for such a long post but my little man also means the world to me so I hope some of this helps.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Australian Shepherd Q & A.

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & CareGuide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care
Questions About Training Your Australian Shepherd? Stop problem behaviors and transform your Australian Shepherd into a model Aussie.

Read More icon

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care