My 1-Year-Old Aussie Is Biting Me Very Aggressively Outside

by Billie
(Winston, Salem, NC)

Sometimes she just turns on me outside. Out of nowhere (or when I scold her) she will rush at my feet. When I scold her for that, she becomes a bit neurotic and starts rushing even worse. She will rush at my ankles, but before I can grab her, she will back off. Then she rushes at me from a different angle. If I am trying to walk away, she has even grabbed at my clothes and/or my hands. All the while, she is growling and barking ferociously. Once she has calmed down, she's a good girl again. I really don't know what to do. I have children and they have friends over to play outside. She doesn't do this every time, but it does happen kind of frequently. I just don't know what to do with her. She never does this in the house.

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by: Suzan

Scolding your aussie can actually have very negative affects on your dog. I highly recommend to take a training class with your dog. Working with a professional trainer can give you the tools on how to correct your dog's bad behavior in a positive way and this will strengthen the bond and trust with your dog.

Sounds familiar
by: Anonymous

My 2 1/2 year mini Aussie does something that may be similar. She freaks out under certain conditions outside and turns on us. Her triggers are 1) the thought that she may be separated from me, or 2) my husband suddenly striding forward to greet someone (In her mind, he is rushing from the "herd" into danger.) We have overcome a third trigger: feeling restrained from chasing a cat.

We overcame the third trigger by rewarding her for sitting or heeling as we walked past the offending feline. However, we still have problems with the first two. We tell her firmly to sit and she responds, usually immediately; sometimes it takes saying it twice. But, her mouth chatters for a few moments until she calms down. I pet her to calm her. (Maybe that's wrong??) The freakout/panic is almost like she isn't in control of what's happening. I'd welcome any thoughts on this.

Thought it was only puppy behavior
by: Ann

My 4 month old does and acts the same way. I thought it was simply puppy behavior. She is worse if she's restrained at all as in a leash. She is Very strong willed and training has been tough. We have been told and have read "always positive" reinforcement however it's very hard when you're being attacked. When she is good she is very very good but when she is bad she is horrid.

by: Anonymous

It's almost like they are in a blind rage for a few minutes.

Aggressive biting
by: Anonymous

Sorry to hear about the biting issue. My 3 year old female Aussie went through an aggressive biting phase as well around the age of one. She attacked me during some walks and it was flat out embarrassing. You can actually see the craziness in her eyes! She ripped some of my shirts and pant legs, and caused bruise marks as well. This breed can be very bossy. Afterall, they were bred to herd and control livestock (nipping and barking relentlessly). I started taking her to a dog park regularly to run. A LOT of running with other dogs seems to tire her out and take the focus off of me. It wasn't until the age of two where she actually started listening better and the nipping is much less. When she is overly excited she will still jump and nip. Try rubbing the dogs neck and jaw (I know that sounds crazy) but it seems to calm the dog down. When I raise my voice and command her to lay down she will lay down temporarily but come at me again! We recently got another Aussie and the two of them focus on each other. Rough play and lots of running really tires them out. Lots of fetch and tug-of-war are good games to do at home as well. Something about getting the second dog has taken her focus off of biting me. Some Aussies have more herding drive than others, and you have to keep them occupied. They are smart and they do like to challenge you for alpha! I believe things will get better with your dog with age. I went through training but increasing the physical exercise off leash is what helps the most. Hope this helps.

Any ideas?
by: Luv my aussie--but a handful

My 1 year old female does the same. Been working with her since 9 weeks old. Have been to obedience class & work diligently with positive training. When frisbee time is over she sometimes will jump up at me & bite my clothes, feet, bark and growl to protest. She often goes for the feet. Like u said, when she's good, she's very very good and sweet. But when she's the other way it's awful.
I have tried stepping on the leash, turning my back, leaving the play area and taking her down on my lap so she can't move. She's very dog reactive which makes it difficult to be able to have play time with other dogs despite being very socialized at puppy hood. She gets 2 hours of playtime at least per day and walks and training. She's smart as aussies are and at the high end of hyper. Help!

Wild 3 month old
by: Anonymous

I'm having the same issue. Inside the house she's fine. When we go outside we walk for a bit and if I don't go in the direction she wants, I get aggressively attacked. Like.. draw blood, cuts and bruises attacked. I have tried redirecting her with treats (a temporary fix). I have tried stopping and waiting for her to calm down, only to be attacked when I take a step. It's leashed or not leashed. I swear she hates me. It's so sad. I love her, but I honestly dont know what she will become. A liability? A vicious dog. Please say this is a phase? I will continue to work with her. But I fear she will sense my fear and only challenge me more. Any tips?

11 month old Aussie
by: Anonymous

I have an 11-month-old female Aussie and she is very aggressive toward her toys, food, and things that she takes (like paper and socks). When trying to take away the items, or even get near her, she growls and bites. We’ve had her since she was a pup and has had plenty of socialization time. Any advice would help!!

Biting out of nowhere
by: Calamity_Jane

My male Aussie is 19 months. He is a sweetheart to my 3 older cats and small dog. He has never hurt a living creature. Except for ME his owner and master. He does practice herding sheep and agility. He does this when it’s him and me. We could be hiking or herding. He turns around, runs at me, and grabs my arm usually. It hurts and I bruise. He has embarrassed me during his herding clinic. He turned on me and started biting me on the arm. The rancher running the clinic told me that I should whack him. He was appalled. I have been stopping and ignoring him when he does this along with a firm "no". Clearly, it’s not enough. Puppy nips are tolerable and expected. Dog bites bruising my skin and sometimes breaking it along with ripping my jackets, is unacceptable. I’m open to suggestions.

by: Ann

Now that my Aussie is 6 she is the dream dog (well except for her quirks). Reading thru all these I so remember all this behavior. All I can say is positive reinforcement always, and consistent training. My girl was horrible to me at times. LOTS of excercise, walking is not enough for these dogs. I got a herding ball and frisbee and lots and lots of mental training. Teaching them "tricks" is not to be cute it’s critical to their mental challenge. Early on mine was trying to control us and herd. Behavior started changing drastically at 2 and by 3 was my dream pup. She is still always in training mode. She still gets tons of excercise. Her only quirk now is she doesn’t like people in her house (strangers). Not aggressive just wants to be outside. Flight not fight now.

Worst breed I have ever had
by: Paul Sousa

Wish I never got this dog.

I had a German Shepherd for 10 years and then had an English Yellow Lab for 10 years. Training was great. If they did have an accident I knew they could not help it.

I have trained my Australian Shepherd same as my previous two dogs. Not nearly as smart, not nearly as loyal or friendly as my German Shepherd or Lab.

I read up on the breed and there was nothing out of the ordinary - herders, high energy, etc. That was fine. Dog gets plenty of exercise and is great with other dogs but if you are looking for a warm and friendly breed, this is not it.

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