Why Does My Aussie Charge Me?

by Jen
(Northern Illinois)

My amazing companion

My amazing companion

Hi there! We just rescued Sammy (M-N), our new Aussie, from a rescue here in Illinois. We've had him for about a month and so far he has been an amazing and loving new addition to our new family. He is adapting well and picking up on training like the brilliant Aussie he is!

When we go out for walks, I walk on the path and let him off leash to run and get his energy out. There is a big open field surrounding the path and he is excellent in coming when called, even if there is something of interest to him.

Many times when he runs (and I'm walking) he will circle back and charge at me. If I don't move he will slam into me (he's done it a couple times). One time I stood my ground and he kind of bounced off of me. Luckily I'm quite sturdy and could take the hit, whereas someone smaller may have tumbled over with him. Since that one good hit, he hasn't directly tackled me, but charges and veers. He doesn't appear to be doing this aggressively. In fact he appears to be having fun! I just know that this behavior can be intimidating to someone who doesn't know him.

Is this normal? Is is a herding technique? Does anyone else's Aussie do this? And most importantly, should I start curbing this behavior? I've never seen him do it to anyone else, but that doesn't mean he hasn't/won't.


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

Comments for Why Does My Aussie Charge Me?

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Ours does this too.
by: Dave

Not really crazy about it but he seldom does a body slam (unless I move into his path right before the fly by), but rather runs by me as fast as possible and just brushes up against my leg when passing. I think it is just him getting his sillies out and possibly playing the doggie version of chicken, because there are few things more important to him than playing! That I have always found puzzling, a "working" breed that loves to play!

where in illinois adoption
by: ken and karen

Just wondering where in illinois did you adopt your aussie?? We had one for 9 years and now we have a golden- aussie... What a bundle of joy she is but I sure miss our aussie

by: Jen

Ken and Karen,

We adopted him from The Australian Cattle Dog Rescue of Illinois. If you search them on Google or face lol, they pop right up. They are absolutely great people! I'm sure they can find you a new companion! Best of luck!

by: kathy

My 8 month old actually lunges and "bites" me in this same scenario. It is really quite scary and luckily I am wearing winter clothes right now otherwise it would really hurt. she has left bruises on my arm. I know I am probably encouraging this by trying to getting away from her. Today however as soon as she started I gave her a rope to put in her mouth instead and I think this might work. I actually brought 2 in case she lost one in snow cause I think this is my only protection.

Kathy, you need to address this behavior.
by: Dave

I don't think your dog will simply outgrow this biting and you can't just avoid it either. You may not want to do this but try flipping your Aussie on her back next time she bites and hold her down by climbing on top of her and look into her eyes and say in a very firm voice, NO BITE! May want to have gloves on for this. These dogs are very smart, so much so that they can take on the role of boss so you need to assert yourself as alpha before this gets too far out of control.

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