Growls and Snaps... and Cats

by Windy
(Lake in the Hills, IL)

My Xander

My Xander

Hello - I have a male Mini Aussie that just turned 2 in November 1st. Xander is a GREAT, loving dog... bit of a freak about our cats but we are working on that (any suggestions on this would be greatly appreciated as well...). My reason for posting is we are having some aggression issues in the last week or so. Now not the kind when he is playing with our 1 yr old Boxer Maddox (I call him Fathead, largest head I've ever seen on a dog), it's actually toward our 12 yr old daughter. Now he hasn't bitten her or anything but for some reason, at times he will growl and lunge at her and sometimes snap... it's not anything specific she does, one time she will be getting up off the couch and another will be when she gets something out of the cabinet and then sometimes not at all. This is a behavior that needs to be corrected before it gets worse, and I don't want to handle it in the wrong way and make it worse... anyone have any ideas why this has just started happening,and/or what to do to correct it??


Comments for Growls and Snaps... and Cats

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Growls and snaps
by: Anonymous

This 'might' be a question your boy trying to assert himself as higher up in the pack than your daughter.

Make sure your dog understands that any human is higher than him by making sure he never goes through doors first, he always get fed last, he doesn't get up on furniture (for the moment best not to allow it at all - later if this gets sorted out you can allow it by invitation only), he only gets toys when human feel like playing with him (often I hope) and they are put away afterwards, better not to play rough and tumble/tug games but if you do, make sure you end the game not him etc.

This could be an adolescent phase but is best sorted out before it gets worse.

by: Gayle

It's time to get your daughter and dog into a training class together. I live in the Chicago area, too, and there are many good training facilities near you. Agility would be wonderful for both of them. You also can have your daughter be his primary care giver, especially by feeding him. Have him sit or down before she feeds him. She can even hand feed him which would be even better. He is trying to show dominance over your daughter just like he does with your boxer. Aussies can be very bossy!

Re: Aggression
by: Anonymous

It sounds like it may be a dominance/insecurity problem. I would start by having HER do some training with him to give her an 'alpha' status. She needs to make him listen to her. Start with simple things like sit ,stay, come etc. and when he responds, he gets the treat. Do not have her pet/touch him at all in the beginning. You may also have her feed him BUT he has to 'work' for the food. Sit, down, stay, ANYTHING but dont let her feed him until he responds. She needs to gain alpha status. Slowly she can begin to give him affection. Talking, praising, then touch and petting. Always pet from under the chin not over (dont pet his head) this is asking for a bite. hope this helps.

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