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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

My Aussie Is Aggressive Towards Strangers

by Ryan
(Kingsport, TN)

I have a female Aussie named Sibyl. She's three years old now. I got her at ten months. She is spayed. We live on a big chunk of property, but it has a subdivision quality, so we get joggers and baby carriages and such traffic.

She's an inside dog mostly. It's a family home with my mother, her sister, me—a middle aged male, my cousin— a young woman, and her two toddlers. She's a part of the family and she loves all of us, but she's very protective of the property and the kids.

She takes off running towards people when she sees them on the street, barking and being aggressive. She's bitten numerous friends who visit. She also nips people that she's generally accepted, but that's a herding/dominance issue. She gets along fine with other dogs (as long as the children aren't afraid) and she usually gives kids a pass.

She knows I'm the alpha. She's very obedient. She doesn't get enough exercise, though that will change now that the weather is warming up. I socialized her when she was young, and she wasn't standoffish with anybody then.

She seems to have developed this aggression in the course of the past year or so. We're having an underground fence installed to keep her contained, but I want to get at the root of the behavior. It's become a real anxiety. Giving her up is not an option, but neither is continuing with this behavior.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

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I know your anxiety.
by: AnnaLuree Wright

My Aussie, Bonnie Blue, is now 5 yrs old. Your experience sounds just like mine to the tee. She also started all that you described when she was about 3yrs. The only thing I have found that works the majority of the time is; I tell her that "Mommy is fine, I'm okay, Daddy's okay, Bonnie's one is going to have scared them away." Of course that is inside the house. When she is outside, I normally have her on a leash or her rope. Unfortunately, I do not see us getting a fence anytime soon. We've looked at the electric fences and with our yard, they would be a tad expensive.

by: James

"Jake" started down that road. A stern "NO" and a small tap on the bum did it for my dog . As soon as you see he wants to take off to run - down dog and or person, a "NO" starts training them its not ok - without permission . Socialization helps a lot too. IF you can find a beach with 20 dogs all playing at 100% , this helps I think a bit . Hope this helps . Aussies are VERY smart ....smarter than you think in most cases

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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

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