My Aussie Is Aggressive Towards Little Brother

by Tori
(Swanton, Ohio)

I have a 6 month Aussie named Kenji. I live with my mom, twin sister, and little brother (5yrs). My Mom used to have a Malamute and used the "Alpha" way to train her.

However when we got Kenji, I knew that type of training wouldn't work for him. But my Mom would say "He has to have some type of punishment". And slowly Kenji started to get more and more aggressive with my little brother.

It started with food but now he growls almost over nothing. He actually bit my little brother's hand and now my mom wants to get rid of him. We all love Kenji but not at the risk of my little brothers safety.

I need some help to fix this aggression. I want my little brother to feel safe around Kenji and us be able to trust Kenji around my little brother.

Does anyone know how I can fix this?

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Positive Dog Training Methods Are The Way To Go
by: Anton

Hi Tori,

You mentioned that your mom used the "alpha" way to train her Malamute. If that just means being a pack leader that may be fine. However, if it means domination and intimidation using physical methods like the "alpha roll" I would have to strongly recommend against using that approach. We have an article about the alpha roll here.

Another concern is your mom saying Kenji "has to have some type of punishment." If that means a time-out it's one thing, but if it means physical punishment I would again have to recommend against it.

Using domination and physical punishment is tantamount to abuse and is a recipe for creating an aggressive dog which can lead to biting.

You (and everyone else in your family) will want to use positive dog training methods. This approach is discussed in our Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care and is the method used by a professional dog trainer I recommend. He goes by the name "Doggy Dan" and he offers a comprehensive dog training program online with video lessons so it's easy to follow. You can find out more about his dog training program and how to deal with behavior problems here.

Otherwise, search for information about positive dog training methods that reward dogs for the behavior you want rather than using dominance and physical punishment that force them to do what you want out of intimidation and fear.

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