Australian Shepherd Starting to Show Aggression Toward People

by Michelle

Hello, I am in desperate need for help. I have an Aussie (he's almost 2) and he has been the best dog in the world, though he is protective of me which I never minded until now.

I grew up with Aussies so like to think I'm somewhat familiar with them, but I've exhausted all the options I've come up with.

Tuf, my Aussie, is defiantly my dog. It has been just me and my husband his whole life, and you can tell he is my dog over my husband's, but he's never shown aggressive behavior to other people, just other dogs that would get too close to me.

Now, I have an 11 month old baby and he has started showing aggression toward people. We took him to the groomer, and he nipped and barked at the groomer when he came too close, but when I gave the groomer the leash and left, he said Tuf was perfect so he must just be protecting the baby (my daughter).

However, he does NOT like when my daughter gets more attention than he does, and today I was sitting on the floor with him and she crawled over and he growled and nipped at her when she got close. He made contact, but didn't break the skin, and this horrified me.

I love Tuf more than anything, but can't take the risk of him hurting my daughter and refuse to just make him spend his life in a pen. I am to the point where I feel like I need to rehome him, but if there are any other ideas to try, am more than open.

He is not neutered, which I read could be part of it, do you think neutering him will help solve the problem? Please, please, please help!!

Comments for Australian Shepherd Starting to Show Aggression Toward People

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Behaviorist and ...
by: Terri

My best advice to you is to find a behaviorist in your area. Until then keep the dog separated from your child. Neutering may help but this is a behavior issue and needs to be addressed with training. In the meantime visit you can ask people on Facebook at such sites as Australian Shepherd Lovers and ask your question there. Best of luck.

by: Anonymous

You should really consider on getting your dog neutered it would be healthy for the dog and it will cut down on the aggression. Also I would get a professional dog trainer to deal with the your Australian shepherds aggression. That's all I have to say hope this helps. :)

Protective Aussie needs evaluation
by: Anonymous

Your Aussie exhibits typical possessive characteristics, probably because you shared a tight bond with him and he now senses he will have to share that bond. Male Aussies sometimes become very protective of female humans, especially as they grow up. And many get aggressive towards men they don't know. Neutering may or may not help with this problem, but it's always a good idea. Neutered males can be just as protective; I've had two. I do agree that consulting a professional for at least an opinion would be wise for you to do if you plan on keeping the dog. Sometimes dogs just don't like kids either. You don't want to take chances when it comes to your child. I hope there's a remedy that you'll be comfortable with. I had to hire trainers for behavioral problems such as what yours is showing. It did help, but for 14 years I still had to take certain precautions. Now I have another 15 month old male Aussie who seemed totally the opposite of my other dog, up until recently, when I adopted a one year old female Aussie to add to the pack. His temperament is different now and he seems like a reincarnation of my last dog. He's gotten more aggressive, like lunging at kids, especially male teenagers, when were out on walks. He feels the need to protect and this all happened after the female joined the family. It looks like I'll be looking for a trainer for this one too! Good luck to you and I hope it all works out.

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