Aussie Puppy Showing Signs Of Aggression

by Hollie



I have a female Australian Shepard that is now 5 months old. Her name is Lilly and she is so far the smartest dog we have ever owned and is beautiful. We just finished up Puppy Obedience's classes a week ago and she did very well, got along great with everyone and all the other dogs but in the last probably 3-4 weeks she's been showing signs of aggression towards my husband and myself.

Examples: if she's on the couch and we go to pet her she grows/snarles may show her teeth and sometimes will even nip. She gives you this even stare that really is unsetteling and even though she only weighs 32lbs right now let me tell her stare alone scares the crap out of ya with her crystal blue eyes. We love her to death and she's awesome with our other dog but I just don't know what to do. She nipped at my 6 yr old nephew last week and broke the skin. We now are scolding her when she does this removing her from where she's at and placing her in her crate in the kitchen area away from us and giving her a "time-out". We just started this today with the "time-out" but anyone have any other ideas? I've always been told how wonderful Aussies are and our other guy is great and she just concerns me. I don't want an aggressive dog! We won't give her up but I want to know what to do to correct this while she is still a pup.

Note from Anton: Lilly thinks she is in charge and is protecting her turf. She owns the couch. You have to deal with this as soon as possible as it is going to get worse. You will have to establish your leadership to get this situation under control. More Info on Australian Shepherd Aggression

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Lily"s aggression
by: Anonymous

I'm in not way an authority on dog training but I've had several Aussies through the past 30-40 years and think they are the most intelligent of dogs. Because they are high energy and always thinking it's been my experience that it is necessary to establish that YOU ARE HE BOSS! I've had 2 dogs that snarled/showing teeth etc. I IMMEDIATELY took them down on their backs, physically and held them for what seemed to be long enough for them to get the idea. Now this was done firmly but not to hurt them in any way. I think that being abusive with these dogs only worsens the situation. What good is breaking the spirit of any animal? They just need to know who the boss is, just like they set the 'pecking order' amongst themselves. I have to say, the two dogs that I used this method with did not challenge me again. I can't even think of owning an aggressive dog. Also, it's my opinion that if you use the crate for anything else, you shouldn't use it as punishment. Lily will only relate the crate with punishment and won't want to be in it at all.
Like I said...I'm no expert but this has worked for me. My dogs have always been happy and well adjusted. I now have 2 Aussie females, sisters, 1year old! I'm going to be 70 years old and they sure keep me going but I love it. Good luck with Lily.

Note from Anton: Rolling a dog on its back and dominating them in this way can also be very dangerous and has resulted in severe bites to the face. More info on the "Alpha Roll" here.

Puppy aggression
by: Anonymous

You need to go back to basics: make sure you go through all doors first, no getting on to furniture (once this is sorted out you can INVITE them if you want), making her wait before being fed, make her move out of your way (don't step over her to get past) etc. It's all about being in charge. Use a lead around the house if you need to, to enforce the rules. This can all be relaxed later once she has got the message. Best done now before she gets older and even more convinced that you are there to do what she wants.

Puppy Aggression
by: Nonnie

All of the comments here will be very helpful. You may not need to roll the puppy on its back, just "pinning" it firmly, but gently down on its side or even on its belly (kinda like when you give the command "down" or "lay down") will help. You have to establish that you are the "Alpha" dog in your pack.

Had to Give My Aussie to Kid-Free Family
by: Anonymous

After we bought our Miniature Australian Shepherd, I had several people come up to us and strongly warn us that they get aggressive as they get to be around 2-3 years old. However, our dog (Bailey) was so sweet, gentle, and smart, I thought they were crazy. At around two years, things did begin to change. He would growl/snap at me if I tried to move the food bowl or scold him. Bailey had been to dog training, and we got him from a reputable breeder. Anyway, the final straw was when he seriously bit our 18 month old daughter. We finally gave Bailey to a couple who did not have kids, and we strongly warned them about his behavior. I just wanted to encourage you to be cautious.

by: Anonymous

I had a male Aussie who became angry and increasingly dangerous beginning around 2 years of age. I tried everything, including the pinning (I don't recommend it). I had him for 16 years and I got stitches on several occasions.

Though I tried, I was not naturally the alpha. He would have been much better off with someone he naturally respected and could follow. It was a very difficult and saddening 16 years. Also, allot of exercise is so important for this breed, to move their energy.

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