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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Aggression Towards Puppy

by Kim

My mother's Australian Shepherd, Clare, is three years old and grew up with my parents on their cattle farm. She loves people and is generally well behaved, but when I bring my 4-month-old Pug puppy over to visit, she acts like a completely different dog!

She is obsessed with him from the moment he enters the house - she pants heavily over him, doesn't let her eyes leave him for a second, she drools over him and appears very tense and high strung.

At any sudden movement on the puppy's part, she snaps at him without warning and has mouthed him a few times. Because of our constant vigilance, she hasn't bit him yet but I fear that she will. She acts like an absolute tyrant when I bring my puppy over. I don't understand if this behavior is aggressive/dominance, jealousy, an uncertainty of how to deal with him, the innate desire to herd him, a lack of socialization as a puppy, or a combination of all of these things.

I haven't had any luck searching the web trying to identify this behavior. Has anyone experienced anything similar to this?


Comments for Aggression Towards Puppy

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No suggestions?
by: Anonymous

I am curious as to thoughts on this behavior as well. Thoughts?

Be careful!
by: Michelle

22 years ago we bought a 3-year-old tri who they trained to herd for fun. They also had Pomeranian pups. The owner said she was asleep and a pup startled her and she bit its head and it died, and they want to keep raising them, so they were selling her. I loved her so much and we wanted an Aussie pup. First day she bit his face. Vet checked-superficial. Second day-bit again and knocked out his tooth. We began muzzling her for a week and they seemed to be fine. One eve they were lying next to each other while we were watching TV and she snapped and attacked! My husband threw the remote at her to stop. The puppy was screaming! She had prolapsed his eye, and it was like a cartoon on the outside of his head. We ended up with a half-blind pup, and put our 3yo down. It killed me to do that. We’ve had two other Aussies, males, since her. Now I have a female again who is a little funny to pups and afraid of kids, but I want another pup. So scared, so I won’t. Hope someone has advice.

Old Grump
by: Peter B

My 15 year old Aussie cannot stand ill-mannered puppies. He will snap at them and tell them to behave. I do not have a solution. He is an old grump.

Dominance Issue?
by: Peter B

My 6 year Aussie had a dominance issue with another female in the house. They had dominance fights until Mia ripped Kera's stomach open. DO NOT treat them all equally. Figure out who will win the dominance fights and that dog must be fed first and petted first. Then you have set up a structure and they will be happy.

Puppy trial today
by: Anonymous

Thankful the breeder said to take her home. I did this before and ended up keeping the dog. Not today.
This pup was bright and learned after the first attack (that was vicious, but saw no saliva or marks) to not jump and climb on the dog. She respected her space, the took a nap. The puppy woke and cried, and my dog laid down near her where she could see and the pup was comforted enough. I was so hopeful. They followed me outside, but dog wasn’t willing to share sticks, they’re all hers I guess. Back in the house, I had put up all her toys, but she found one under the couch that she couldn’t reach. Pup came near and attack number 2 put my heart in arrest almost. If I was or knew a behavioral specialist, I’d keep trying. But I took puppy back. 😥

I ended up going back and getting pup
by: Michelle & Anon above

There has been some mild aggression, toys put away, dog wants puppy toys. Like a toddler who has a new baby, jealous. Calling behaviorist. So scared she will hurt her. Planning to do some free running on our property. Says if the puppy means more praise, treats, and fun then less resentment.

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