Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

What Causes A Young Aussie To Turn And Attack Her Owner?

by Karen
(Cleveland, OH)

Hello. I have a 9 month old purebred Red Tri Aussie. She is a well cared for dog and we exercise her, play ball with her, and take her many different places with us! She is well socialized, and we have had playdates with other dogs ever since she was 9 weeks old. She gets along with dogs, and nice to people. She can be somewhat shy with strangers but then warms up.

The problem is sometimes she gets so excitable, starts to growl, and attacks my pantlegs, feet, and legs. It is not play-biting. I make her sit and calm down when it happens on walks. I shorten the leash to better control her. However, she sometimes comes at me multiple times and aggressively bites me. It is infrequent, but when it happens it is bad. What causes a dog to turn on it's owner? We have been through training, and she does not do this to anyone else but me. I spend an hour per day power walking/jogging her rain or shine! We also do sprints and play ball with her frequently. The attacks seem to happen during walks when she really gets wound up and wants to play - run free perhaps? Then she turns on me... anyone else have this problem? Thanks!

Aussie Behavior Problems? Australian Shepherd Lover's Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Comments for What Causes A Young Aussie To Turn And Attack Her Owner?

Click here to add your own comments

Any success?
by: Anonymous

I have this problem too. Well exercised 4 month old and when she's wound up attacks my legs or clothing, Does not respond to firm "no". Have tried everything, yelping, redirecting, obedience class, ignoring. Would love to know how to fix this!

prey drive
by: Anonymous

This is simply a case of the dog seeing your pantlegs as a prey item. Usually this can be redirected in puppy hood. This dog isnt "attacking" you are turning on you. I have had dogs turn on me and trust me, they do not bite your ankles! They go for the face. I would go to, and get a prong collar. This needs a no nonsense response but not an emotional one. I would also try to carry a tug toy or ball with you to make sure you have something to be able to redirect them to after a correction.

Hope This Helps
by: Anonymous

Hello, I have a two year old male Aussie. We went through the same difficulty, and the step we took helped curb his tendency to play rough. This sounds terrible, but it worked. When our Aussie would get aggressive during play we would pin him down on his back until he stopped squirming to get away. We didn't release until he was calm, and sometimes it took a long time to reach that point. He would continue to try to bite, and we held tight to his collar until he stopped. It took a little while, but he finally got the point. He turns two July 16th, and today he's a wonderful boy! I can't even remember the last time he exhibited that type of behavior. It's just their way of trying to test the waters to see who's in control. Being held down didn't hurt our Aussie, but it sent him a big message. It let him know we're the boss not him, and he's one of the best dogs we've ever had in our lives. Good luck!

Natural characteristic
by: Antonio

Im sure u already know that whe breed is prone to attack ankles ,my aussie also would get very aggrresive with my lower legs on walks ..i would just continue to walk with power and as the dog got hit by my shin or i accidentally step on his paws ..after a while , he realized it was very smart to step in front of a mack truck, my pure aussie is very aggressive and very protective

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Australian Shepherd Q & A. icon

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care