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Sudden Aggression in 1.5 Year Old Australian Shepherd
Hello -- we've been having a lot of trouble with our young male Aussie lately. He was neutered at 5 months, and is now 1.5 years old. He has a big backyard to run in, and we play fetch daily. Over the past couple of weeks, he's become rather aggressive with our other dogs, and we just don't know what to do with him. Additionally, he's been having some ongoing issues around other people/strangers since he was about 6 months old.
He tries so hard to please and has been extremely easy to train so far. He's usually quite gentle with our small dogs, he plays very carefully with my mom's Chihuahua. However, my Chihuahua is a major instigator and starts fights with our dogs, which gets Buddy worked up. Last Tuesday, one of these fights was going on when he grabbed one of the dogs who wasn't fighting, and left a deep puncture on each shoulder. The dog, unfortunately, passed away a few days later from his injuries.
Since then, Buddy has been increasingly aggressive towards the other dogs. He's growling at my mom's Chihuahua and last night, he and my 16 year old Cocker Spaniel mix got into it (I was standing right there and pulled him away, so no one was injured, thankfully). We've gotten an ecollar and have started using the vibrate and tone modes for him, and we've been cracking down on obedience, making him come and sit when he's barking at something, etc. However, we don't know what to do to ensure he won't get after the dogs again, and obviously the training isn't sinking in yet. What can be done for him? On top of the dog issues, he's got some aggression towards people as well.
When he was 6 months old, someone tried to break into our house and his crate was right under the window they were attempting to crawl into. My brother (lives next door) chased the guy off and Buddy started growling/nipping at my brother after the event occurred. This behavior has expanded to one of my brother's little kids and to some other people. Our vet did an evaluation on Buddy and said he's fear aggressive and suggested we place him on antianxiety medication. (We haven't yet, but may be trying it soon.)
So right now, we're afraid he'll kill one of our other dogs or that his aggression will increase towards people as well, but we can't stand to think about dropping him at a shelter/rescue or even euthanizing him. Has anyone else had similar experiences w their Aussie? Is it just a phase or fear aggression?
Note From Anton: Aggression or Behavior Problems?
If you are dealing with an aggressive Aussie I highly recommend you check out the program created by the professional dog trainer from New Zealand, Doggy Dan. His online video training program addresses aggression and many other behavior problems as well as comprehensive training.
He gives instruction in easy to follow videos and then shows you how to implement the training with his own dog training clients. Since the lessons are online in video format they are available 24/7 and you can watch them as many times as you like.
He has a couple of very reasonably priced plans (much cheaper than hiring a profession trainer one-on-one) and you can check out his entire video library (not just a few lessons… the whole program) for only $1 for 3 days access so you can see for yourself how excellent his program really is. After that you can go month-to-month or just go with the 6 month plan to get the best value.
More Info About The Online Dog Training Program Here…
Best of Luck! ~ Anton