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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

My Australian Shepherd Is Biting And Jumping Up On Me

by Peggy Humbert
(Pensacola, FL)

Cooper is 10 months old. He is great most of the time but then he goes wild at times and attacks me. He bites me and jumps on me. Sometimes it is playing as I can tell how he behaves. Other times he just does it.

Tonight after dinner I had him out to potty and run for a while. All of a sudden he started this attack mode.

He only does it to me and not my husband. I have tried spraying him with vinegar, shock collar, yelling, biting his ear, and every thing else that has been suggested to us.

Any suggestions about why he is doing this or how to correct it are greatly appreciated.

Comments for My Australian Shepherd Is Biting And Jumping Up On Me

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Exhuberance or Aggression?
by: Anton

I'm not sure I'm understanding what is actually happening. It depends if he is getting over-excited or needs to burn off more energy. For example, I've seen Aussies get very rambunctious at the park when it's time to leave but they aren't ready yet. Jumping up, pulling on the leash, and maybe a bit of nipping.

Perhaps more exercise will help. But you said he only does this with you and not your husband. Is that because of you or because of the environment that triggers him when you are the only one there? Or does he do this when your husband is also there but only directs this behavior at you?

We want to narrow down what the actual trigger is. Also, is this behavior exuberant with what is really mouthing/nipping and jumping up for attention or is this more aggressive with biting that may break the skin and jumping up to control and dominate you?

Either way, he does not seem to be respecting your space or what should be your position as leader.

If you haven't already you might want to consult a dog trainer or behaviorist so they can see what is really going on. But that can get expensive. I often recommend people try the online dog training program by a professional dog trainer, "Doggy Dan." It's video-based and is reasonably priced. He covers a lot of behavior problems and I believe members of his program can ask him specific questions too. You can find more info about Dan and his program here.

Aussie biting
by: Anonymous

I had the same problem with ours at about the same age. If you haven't tried training I would go that direction. These crazy dogs need lots of exercise, structure and attention. Our Murphy stopped after training and it sounds like your husband is alpha so you will need to establish yourself with your pup.

Good luck, they are very willful dogs

Aussie jumping and biting
by: Nadine

Great response Anton, I've been using Doggy Dans methods and they're working really well. My Aussie is also different with me as opposed to my husband whereas he used to think I was his playmate as opposed to his leader. Shouting made him worse as I reckon he thought I was joining in. Keeping cool and taking control as per Doggy Dans five golden rules has made such a difference.

I always cringe when I hear of people using 'bullying' methods, i.e. Shock collars etc. They do absolutely no good.

Being Respected As Alpha Is Key
by: Anton

I wish every Aussie owner knew about Doggy Dan. His approach is positive, no physical punishment ever, no yelling.

He focuses on getting your dog to want to listen to you instead of using intimidation or bribes to coerce them.

Being respected as the alpha is key. A dog not recognizing someone as alpha is at the root of a myriad of dog behavior problems and addressing this is at the core of Doggy Dan's program. (I think that's why it's so successful.)

by: Anonymous

Thanks for the comments. Cooper has been to level 1 and level 2 training. I also was a member of Doggy Dan for 2 months and watched a lot of videos. Doggy Dan advise was very helpful. We have been using the suggestions such as feeding, etc and that has helped his behavior a lot. This is our second Aussie so I know he needs a lot of exercise. But maybe he does just need a lot more. The concept of he isn't ready to quit when I am makes sense. The shock collar comment is correct. It just makes him crazier. But we did try it. His leash walking has improved a lot in the last few weeks. I guess I just need to keep working on being alpha and practicing all the things we have learned. Again thanks for the comments. We love him so ownership is not in jeopardy. I just need to work more with him.

by: Anonymous

I should have said also that in addition to running in the yard, I walk him twice a day for about 1 mile each time. Rainy days like today make that difficult. But I try to compensate by playing ball inside in a long hallway we have.

On The Right Track
by: Anton

It sounds like you are on the right track with getting him exercise and reclaiming your role as alpha.

I'm glad to hear that you've had good results from Doggy Dan's advice. Keep doing what you're doing. Consistency is important.

For anyone thinking of joining the training program with Doggy Dan his monthly rate (at the time of this writing) is only $37, which is great considering what you get and when compared to hiring a professional dog trainer one-on-one. He also has a 6 month plan that would make that only $12.50/mth if you averaged it out. More info on his site here.

I think you are right in avoiding the use of a shock collar (at least in shock mode). I know some of them have a vibrate or beep mode. Doggy Dan also advises against them. There is just too great a risk of ruining your relationship with your dog.

Hopefully, continuing what you are doing will see further improvements.



I know exactly what you mean
by: Diana

I have a mixed breed dog 50% Aussie and 50% Labradoodle that is now 3 years. Up until about age 2 she did exactly what you describe. Something would snap and suddenly she would attack me biting and jumping on me and barking at me. Pretty scary. I joined a training group that met 2 or 3 times a week. I described it to the trainer but he thought I was exaggerating until one day she did it at the end of the training session. He corrected her very strongly and it really helped. She only did it a few times after that and I used the same correction. She gets a lot of exercise, 5 miles a day on forest trails off-leash so I know it wasn’t that. I see that spark every now and then but she is more mature now and can control her behaviour better.

Tired mama
by: Anonymous

My Aussie/Blue Heeler does this and as a matter of fact just did it to me. It is scared because I can stop him but then he starts again. How did your trainer stop your dog? Any suggestions would be great.

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