Two Year Old Female Australian Shepherd Showing Aggression With Certain Dogs

by Janet Jones
(Scottsdale, AZ)

Our 2 year old female Aussie is showing aggression with certain dogs. Whether she sees them through the window or meets them on leash in the neighborhood, if they bark she lunges at them and barks aggressively until we get her under control. Other dogs she meets with interest and friendliness. A stranger gets a bark from her, but she soon turns over and offers her belly. What can we do?

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re: aussie aggression
by: Karen

We have a 7 year old male blue merle. He is not fixed so we find that if he meets other male dogs who aren't fixed, there can be some aggression. Aussies in general are very protective, I wonder if she is sensing some danger.
Our dog barks at anything in the backyard or on our deck but shows no aggression/protection when seeing others off property.
We determined from the start to get him socialized and meet all kinds of people. He gets 3-4 walks a day in a small community and he is pretty much the town mascot now. lol I know this doesn't answer your question but it may be a 'rite of passage" for her being 2 years old. She may sense the other dogs are fearful or timid or the complete opposite...prone to aggression towards her or you. They will not tolerate that. They are very loyal. If meeting another dog or person for the first time, do the typical greeting where the person holds out their hand for a sniff. If it's another dog, I would walk up slowly and let them smell each other first.
I hope all the best for you and your pup. It's too bad we can't read their minds!!!

Making progress
by: Janet

Met with a wonderful trainer this week to address Sundance's issues. Giving her more praise, less negatives about the dogs she doesn't like. Spending time working her and accepting that she doesn't like two dogs but loves all the others. We don't like everyone we meet! Building self-esteem through work. Also controlling my own tension and concern about the situation. She spent four hours in daycare yesterday in an open environment and did great. I had neglected her need for more work and pride in a job well done. We will continue to work on meeting new people, but for now we are on a positive track! Thanks for all the helpful comments!

Aggression to dogs
by: Anonymous

I too had a nervous aggressive (labeled by our trainer) Aussie.

This is what worked for us. When approaching another dog on leash we would continue to walk and ignore. He was trained to know "Say hi" gave permission to go sniff the other dog. We kept it brief, but Harley soon became much more confident on his walks once i became confident & in control.

FYI... NOT a fan of dog parks. Harley got his socialization in obedience or a well researched boarding kennel.

Hope this helps!

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