Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

My Two Females Aggressive Behavior

by Danielle

I have two female Mini Aussies that were a year in Oct. They have been fighting alot and getting very aggressive towards each other to the point they are hurting each other. They are sisters from the same litter and I don't know if that's why this is happening or what. My one female is larger than my other and the larger one has food aggression. My smaller female thinks everything is hers and is kind of a brat to my larger female. The larger female seems to be the one who starts these fights but really I am unsure it kind of just happens.

Mainly my concern is that my larger female is getting more aggressive with my husband if he goes to move her when she dose not listen (example the other night they got a bath and he went to get her from playing with her sister to be brushed and she got very mad at him). We just had a baby who is 5 weeks old and they tend to guard her and very protective of her and I am afraid they are going to get into a fight over her and end up hurting the baby or each other bad.

Does anyone have any ideas what I can do or why this is happening?

Comments for My Two Females Aggressive Behavior

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Danielle - how has it worked out?
by: Jim

I have two mini's - 2yrs and 4yrs. The 4yr is clearly alpha, but the 2 year old is a pain. Everything is fine, until its not. In the 2 years since they have been together, they have had 3, really bad fights. Bloody fights - vet and stitches fights.

We don't see why/how it starts, but the younger one always gets hurt. It seems she keeps testing and gets put back in place - which I guess is part of establishing and reestablishing the pecking order

But, it is brutal, and makes her very scared and uncomfortable.

I am wondering if your situation fixed itself. Or if you you looked for trainer help or what you did?

Thoughts advice?

Agree with Nonnie
by: Anonymous

I have a Border Collie and Aussie that are only 4 months apart and both girls. I have spent the money on a behaviorist because they have fought and both have been injured badly. I didn't want to give them away without trying everything & Nonnie is right - establish that you're in charge, they never are. Feed them in separate rooms, take away all toys lying out and you be in charge of giving them when you decide they deserve them. If one guards a particular toy, either remove all toys immediately or you can give the other dog one it sees as higher value than the one they are fighting over. If they begin to get aggressive with each other, leave the room so that they follow you - put them immediately into a sit-down-stay and reward with soft, palatable treats. Reinforce their obedience commands repeatedly, it will shift their focus off the issue they want to fight about. Let them drag leashes in the house for a week or so, that way you have an easy way to separate them in the even they begin to fight (learned this one the hard way). You must be diligent with this regime & always make them see the 3 of you as the pack leaders.

by: Gayle

I am so sorry that this is happening to you with a new baby. In fact, your pups are just coming out of puppyhood and trying to assert themselves. I hate to say this, but you should never get 2 puppies at the same time. It might seem good at the time but frequently causes problems later. They should have both been taught not to food guard as puppies. You might try feeding them in crates and should not give them anything that might cause this behavior--take away toys, treats, etc that your girl is possessive over. You can also hand feed both of your dogs, so that they look to you and your husband as the source of that food. Positive obedience training at this time is crucial. Get your girls to think and learn. If things get bad, you might have to separate them in crates, or think about re-homing one of them. You have to think about your child who comes first in this situation. Your dogs are also confused about the new situation with the baby, too. You are spending more time with the baby and dynamics are changed in the home. This would be the perfect time for your husband to also bond with the dogs by training then while you are busy with the baby. They need to know that they should obey him, too. I hope this helps.

Aggressive Behavior
by: Nonnie

We had a similar issue. We have a nine year old teacup poodle (Lacey), a dominant mini Aussie (Bailee), who is the sister of and two weeks older than our toy Aussie (Maggie), who is very reserved. The Aussies are 19 months and 19 1/2 months. All of our dogs are females.

Bailee would snap at Lacey if she came close to anything that Bailee had or thought she should have. We have worked with a trainer off and on since Bailee and Maggie were puppies. So we scheduled some time with her.

This is what we learned: You need to establish a "pack order". You, your husband and even the baby are the alpha "dog" and your Aussies are NOT. When any member of your family comes home - the humans are always greeted first. You will need to determine which of your Aussies is the dominant dog. Then that will be the one you greet first, feed first, let out first, put to bed first, get a treat first. It will take a few weeks, but the order will be established.

We started this about a year ago and about 95% of the time it works. Sometimes we have to remind Bailee that we are in charge :~) but most of the time it works nicely. Good luck!

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