Australian Shepherd Showing Sudden Aggression Toward Other Animals

by Ainslie
(Columbia, South Carolina)


My 6 (almost 7)-year-old Australian Shepherd in the past 3 weeks has started attacking our other animals. Twice our cat and just today our 15-year-old mutt.

We have an appointment with the vet but I’m not sure if it’s because my parents got divorced and my dad who always took care of her moved out, so she’s living with my mom who she’s not super bonded to.

She also was the kind of dog who would let herself out of our back yard and wander to neighbors' houses and go play with their dogs without any issues.

Any insight would help.

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Loyalty is what makes us ❤️ them
by: Anonymous

Is your Aussie spayed? If not, by age 7, I would definitely be getting her fixed, as I think she’s too old to now breed. My female Mini Aussies have typically been more aggressive to other animals than my males, although my males get aggressive with each other when any of my females are in heat. If there has been any change at home, then yes she may be very confused and missing your dad. It may also be that your dad was the alpha, and she is now assuming that role. She may also be fighting the others for your attention, especially now that your dad is not there. Aussies are very protective of their people, although that usually shows up much sooner than 7 years. You are going to have to take a strong hand with her. She is an Aussie, and by nature an Aussie is the alpha and herd boss, unless there is a human to show them who is really the boss. I would stop her from getting out of that fence, as her next victim might be your neighbor’s dog. I don’t think she would hurt another person, but you are doing well taking her to the vet to get checked out. Remember with an Aussie, their emotional bond and devotion to their people is what makes them so obedient and loveable. If that bond is broken, then that emotional baby doesn’t know what to do but act out her frustrations, just like I’m sure you now feel. If there’s any way possible, arrange play dates or visits with your dad, and as a last resort, for the good of the Aussie, you might have to think about giving her to your dad and just visit her frequently.

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