Biting Elmo the Australian Shepherd

by Steve
(Burlington, NJ)


I was hoping that someone can give me direction with my 6-year-old Australian Shepherd. Elmo has a bad habit of seeking attention by taking anything loose around the house and grabbing it. To get him to release he is usually given a treat. It's typical for him to seek out the remote control lately.

In any event the other day Elmo approached me and he received the typical petting on the head and under his chin. I was sitting on the couch and not noticing that the remote was by my side. All of a sudden and without warning Elmo became aggressive and started to attack me (biting me bad on my hand). I had no warning that this was about to happen. So now I need to address this behavior. Besides now no longer giving treats for the release of items is their anything else that I can do to avoid this situation in the future? Elmo also has food aggression which we'll handle by not approaching him when he is eating.

Any help is appreciated.

Comments for Biting Elmo the Australian Shepherd

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food aggression
by: jcrply

I personally would address the food aggression immediately. Your pup must realize that all good things come from you, and it's your food—which you choose to share with him. He's not in charge. I would feed him all of his food by hand, one small piece at a time, every meal, every day (even if it's wet, messy food), and he must SIT (or some other command) for each and every piece of food). Time consuming, yes, but something needs to be done to change his current mindset. When you eventually get back to giving him a bowl of food, you should be able to touch him, touch the bowl, pick up the bowl—while he is eating. (When you try it, you could wear a super heavy glove if you're worried). If he won't let you do it, then he's not ready, and you go back to his having to earn each and every bite of food.

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