Fearful Aussie Cross - Help Please!

by Aussie Person

I have an 18 month old Texas Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog and Australian Shepherd cross) who, since he was 5 months old, is terrified of people and animals. I bought him from what I thought was a good breeder (bad move) and for the first couple months, Sundance was the perfect puppy! His tail would wag in his sleep, he was super happy, amazing with children, and unbelievably smart! But when he turned 5 months his whole attitude completely changed. He became terrified of everything and everyone (plants included). He growls, barks, hides, pees, and nose punches strangers and other animals. I have been reading up on Aussies and supposedly this is normal for Aussies? Will he grow out of this fear and aggressive behaviors? How can I build his confidence and get him to trust me completely? I want him to stop thinking he has to protect me and know that I will protect him.

Sundance is so smart, he responds to 25 different commands and is just gorgeous! Please help me if you can! I really want a happy, confident dog!

Thank you and God Bless!

Comments for Fearful Aussie Cross - Help Please!

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Social skills
by: Suzan

Socializing your puppy to new and different people and dogs slowly. When introducing him to new things is do not force him. Your puppy will tell if he is uncomfortable. When it comes to meeting strangers, if your puppy is showing stress, ask the person, whether a child or adult, to please greet you first. When I take my girls out when they were puppies out in public, I would see how comfortable they were in the environment. I would stop any person who wanted to pet the girls to please greet me first. By doing this I was showing them leadership and if they were still not comfortable I would explain to the person that she is not ready to meet and greet. People are generally understanding and will respect you and your puppy space. The real persistent person and cannot respect or understand what you trying to do, you just pick up your puppy and walk the other way. You want to show your puppy that you will be there to protect him. Whatever you do, do not force your puppy. This will increase his fear. You want to make every experience a positive one. Also, I would highly recommend taking him to a puppy class. Training classes do so much. The classes will help establish trust between you and your puppy, strengthen your bond, and will allow your puppy develop positive social skills. Plus, you will have other owners that are mostly likely going through the same thing you are and you can find different techniques to use to make your and your puppy's experiences to be the most positive. You will also have a professional at your disposal to troubleshoot any problems you are having.

Fearful Aussie
by: Aussie Person

Thank you, Suzan.

by: gayle--big run aussies

To add to Suzan's excellent advice: Aussie pups have a fear period that seems to last FOREVER. My Bryn who is such a fabulous little girl who loves everyone and everything seemed to turn into another dog until she was 2. When she knew that things were OK through praise around other dogs, letting her know that she would OK, she got through it. At 3 she is awesome and back to her wonderful true self. She is a wonderful therapy dog and loves everyone. Patience is the key.

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