Anxiety/Needy 4 Year Old Red Merle Australian Shepherd
GF Aussie is the red merle and mine is the black one
My GF and I both have Aussies that are 4YO. My Aussie is laid back, confident and does not have alpha mentality while hers always seems nervous by showing all the classic body signs of a stressed/anxious dog, she’s very needy and wants to be in control of everything.
Her dog and my dog get along but her dog herds my dog whenever she wants to control his movements (ex. Herds my dog away from the other dogs at the dog park, herds him away if he goes near the cat or any toys) along with pushing him away to seek attention (if we pet my dog, her dog will push my dog out of the way so she will be the one getting attention instead). She is also very attached to my GF to the point that she will have panic attacks if she is not around her. I’ve had her run away on me trying to find her and in her state of panic while running around looking for her, she will run up and bark at strangers plus run on roads with no recall toward me or anyone that isn’t my GF. She’s got better with me over time but still has her moments and she cannot be trusted alone w/o my GF or I present (I use to have a dog walker for my dog during the work day and we can’t do that now because of her dog wouldn’t trust them). Basically her job is my GF it seems.
I believe with time this problem can become better and she will be more confident and less anxious. My Aussie came from the shelter and had some of these problems and has blossomed into a very good dog. I am looking for some advice on how to handle and better the situation.
Some background history of her dog that I think might contribute.
-her mom got her dog back in college but she was not able to live with her Aussie, which was for 2 years. The mom kept her back at her family home and she would see her Aussie during school breaks ( she lived a couple hours away so it was only during long breaks)
-her Aussie would stay outside when no one was home. She’s be there 8 hours during weekdays but was with the one to two dogs that she lived with. They had a outside fenced area built for the dogs in the backyard. She might have slept outside a few nights too.
-she was never socialized w/dogs except a the two that she lived with (one died a year after she arrived)
-My GF says she brought her dog around people and events to socialize her around different sounds/smells but that way she acts says otherwise to me (barks at strangers/nips hands and scared/overwhelm by new sounds and sights)
-once she started living with my GF, she has moved about 4 times in 2 years with the dog.
-she has separation anxiety but does not destroy/chew stuff except the door which she will dig at ( I have a camera so I can see how see acts when we go out on my phone)
-she got the Aussie from someone for free at 4MO that said they got it from someone who had a accidental litter.
My dog has been abandoned twice (once found as a stray and 2nd time returned to the shelter because he was too energetic for the lady that got him) and he had his fair share of separation anxiety (chewed up shoes, pillows, etc) but with some work got over it and turned into a very good dog. Her dog besides the anxiety is very loving once she gets to know you.
We both are active with both dogs (daily walks in the morning and evening) and I’ve been teaching my GFs dog to play fetch since my dog loves it (it’s his job I believe) so I play that daily with them too (although half of the time she just tries to steal the ball from my dog). Since we’ve been dating we try to go to as many dog friendly places as possible she just seems reserved and anxious most of the time at them. Also with her walks she will bark if a dog passes by and more than half of the time will bark at people just walking by.
Thanks for any tips
#chancetheadventuredog on Instagram to see pictures of my dog #cashmeretheaussie for hers.