Find What You Are Looking For Here
FYI: If you make a purchase via a link on this site, I may receive a commission from various affiliate programs, and as an Amazon Associate and Chewy affiliate I also earn commissions from qualifying purchases—at NO extra cost to you. See the Disclosure page for more information. Thank you!
Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

9 Week Old Mini Aussie Growling And Barking




Hello everyone! I hope someone has some helpful insight to this case. I recently brought home an 8 week old Mini Aussie I bought from a reputable breeder. At first he was very shy and insecure but now he has adapted fairly well to his new home.

He is my first dog, and I've read several books on how to understand and relate to my dog and I try to stick to a consistent routine as much as I can.

He is a really good pup, but a couple days ago he started growling and barking at me when he does not want to follow orders.

For instance, last night after he had been fed dinner, he got to go outside to potty. Then he played for five minutes in the grass before we returned indoors. Once we got inside, we played thug and fetch. When play time was over and it was time to settle, he growled at me then ran underneath the couch and barked.

I've tried saying "no" and he growls more, I also ignore him for a little bit and he insistently will whine and bark. This situation has happened three times already.

Some of my friends who are dog owners have advised me that is normal in a puppy this old to start having this kind of fits, and that I should try to be more dominant. One of my friends suggested a "claw" move to establish my dominance, in which one would pin down the puppy with the hand shaped like a claw until he relaxes. However, pinning my puppy down makes me absolutely uncomfortable.

He gets plenty of time outdoors every day. Our schedule consists of going outside every two to three hours and after each nap to potty. Every time we go outdoors he gets to play for up to 40 minutes, sometimes less when it's too hot.

He is fed three times a day and before each meal we do a five minute training session for basic commands--sit, down, crawl. After he finishes his meal we get to play thug and fetch indoors, then it's nap time. He sleeps often in his crate and he is fed in it too. In addition, I also praise him and give affection whenever he's done something that pleases me.

I want to reach out to Aussie owners who have a sensitive dog, who might have some good tips on how to make my puppy understand boundaries and establish my dominance. I will appreciate all your input!

Thank you for reading!

Comments for 9 Week Old Mini Aussie Growling And Barking

Click here to add your own comments

Consistency is key
by: Anonymous

Keep doing what you are doing as in telling your puppy no in a strong, firm voice. Do not give him any positive feedback when he does what you don't want him to. Instead ignore him until he/she stops then after a few minutes act as you normally would. It takes puppies a while to understand what isn't acceptable. Consistency is a must, at all times! Just when you are wondering if your puppy will ever understand, they will get it. Enjoy your new puppy. You seem like a wonderful master!

Growling and Barking
by: Anonymous

Your friends are correct - you have to let your pup know who is boss in whatever way that works. Otherwise you will regret it and have a dog that you can not trust around people.

re: growling and barking
by: Anonymous

When you say it's time to settle down, do you put him in his crate, or just stop playing? Cause it could be a few things: If you put him in his crate, he might be anticipating it and acting out because he doesn't want to be in the crate. Another thing could be he barks and growls to get your attention so that playtime doesn't stop. I know my Aussie would growl at us when we would try to kick him off the couch or the bed and I just ignored him and did it anyways. It showed him I wasn't intimidated by him and that growling didn't stop me from making him get down. My advice to you is to ignore it and make him do what he is supposed to anyways. Don't get mad or anything, do it calmly. He will learn pretty quick that throwing fits gets him no where and he will eventually stop wasting his energy. Hope this helps!

by: gayle--big run aussies

Django is adorable! I currently have 3 black tris and I am quite partial to them.
You are doing a wonderful job with him. He is just at a bratty stage and needs consistent training which you are giving to him. The "alpha roll" is supposedly based on wolf behavior, however lesser wolves will roll on their backs willingly, not forcibly by the more dominant wolf. Our dogs are not out for world domination or even to take over our families.
It seems that he may be confused by what you are asking of him, so he is using avoidance to remove himself from the situation. You might want to enroll him a puppy class. I know you do a lot with him, but training will help you cement the bond that you have.

Stay on course! But no Alpha rolls
by: Jaladuta

I have a 7.5 month old mini aussie and had to learn how to deal with the "bossy aussie" attitude too! Gayle (above comment) is right about the alpha rolls being ridiculous--wolves do NOT do this, other wolves simply submit to the alpha on their own. My mini came from one of the top breeders and I came to learn later that puppies from breeders who show their dogs a lot tend to breed dogs with cocky, confident attitude because that's what shows well in the ring! I will tell you now that it may seem that your puppy is not learning, but they are --if you stick with the discipline.

When your dog barks at you you can do one of a few things: (1) say NO firmly in a low voice, then continue to ignore the behavior or (2) calmly pick the pup up and put him in his play pen, or crate, then leave the room for 10 seconds and return. Sort of like a time out.

Some puppies need to be put in their crate in order to settle down. Your dog may be acting out because he's actually already tired, which makes them cranky. I know it seems like they need to keep playing and you're thinking in your head "how are you not tired already?" but in truth they are WAY past tired.

by: Anonymous

My two year old can still get in that bratty behavior mode. Try and not end play time abruptly. If you are playing fetch, start petting him calmly each time he brings the toy back. Make the petting a little longer each time and throw the toy a little less far each time. When you're ready to stop, continue the petting and then give him something to chew on when you walk away. If he acts bratty, tell him no and then ignore him. good luck!

Bratty puppy phase
by: Anonymous

Anonymous is totally right. Ween him from play time. It’s like kids. If they’re in the middle of an activity and you just tell them it’s time for bed, you get that, "can I just finish?" I tell my kid we’re in wind down mode so he has 5 minutes to wrap up. I too have the bratty mini who looks just like Django. He gets carried away and when I’m firm about the bratty growl, he glares but is typically fighting being tired. It’s always a dramatic sigh, licking the chops and twitching like he’s cussing me out under his breath. I just give all the attention to my other mini and Vinny ends up falling in line. You’re doing great!

by: Anonymous

We lost our 14-year-old Chocolate Lab/Aussie in June and waited a few months to get a full blood 7 week Aussie pup from a breeder. After one week of this whiney bitey child we went back and got a 10-week-old female for company. What was I thinking? I am 72.

We have had them since the end of August and it has been very challenging. The boy has a shrill bark and the girl has a low guttural growl. She is a Gemini and quite the communicator. She will talk to you for a while then start barking. I never know what she is wanting.

They get 3 walks a day, many bathroom breaks and romps in between naps. I have three protected fenced areas for them to play in—porch, yard and house.

Her barking is usually at the end of the day and I am tired and low on patience.

Anyone have any suggestions on how to change up her routine to calm her down?

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. icon

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Have Dog Training Questions?

Check out these introductory dog training videos...

I want my dog to stop being aggressive.

I want some help training my new puppy.

I want my dog to stop barking at everything.

I want my dog to walk nicely and calmly on the leash.

I want my dog to listen and come every time I call!