Australian Shepherd Suddenly Aggressive: Nervous For Our Child

by Danielle
(New York)


My 3-year-old male Australian Shepherd all of a sudden started growling at my husband and I. He only growls when we try to get him to come in the house from playing outside. We tried to yell at him and he got very aggressive.

We had our first child this year and now I’m nervous he will go after the baby.

He was the sweetest boy until recently. His name is Captain America and he loves the baby and will not leave her side.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

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Aggressive about recess
by: Cindy

Did you and your husband spend a lot of time daily engaging your Aussie in physical activity before the baby arrived? He may be in desperate need of exercise that he is not getting now. If possible, it might be helpful if an adult in the family could take a daily walk or run with him, and maybe even take the baby too. Also, has he been neutered? I have an intact male Mini Aussie that got a little aggressive at that age as well. He only weighs 15 pounds, but his similar misbehavior began after I bred him, and other young dogs and puppies came onto the scene. It’s like he feels that his alpha male dominance is in jeopardy. My husband and I have to take a firm hand with him, giving him a "Caesar Milan" type pop and say no to him, in response to that surging testosterone. Because he’s so smart and remembers the vet office procedures, he gets vicious there every time he goes in for annual checks, and therefore, I now request that he gets muzzled, just for their safety and his, and for my nerves. I was worrying that he might bite one of them. My vet is so awesome, and told me not to stress the muzzle, because the dog was super smart and remembered all the ways he got "violated" at the vets. I think like my Mini Aussie, your dog has just lost some confidence in his place in your home. I’ve never had any of my Aussies to attack anyone, especially children, although my male sure looked like he would bite the vet and techs at the vets’ office. If it continued, I would seek professional assistance. You should never fear that your pet is going to harm your children, and if necessary, he might need to be rehomed onto a farm where his massive energy supply can be focused on herding tasks.

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