Why Does My Australian Shepherd Nip At One Of My Sons Friends?

by Jean
(Dover Plains, NY)

My 5 year old male Australian Shepherd, Tucker, is extremely reactive to everything ~ the door bell, meeting new people, other dogs etc. After he finally smells and meets someone, he usually calms down and becomes very friendly or just ignores the person. The next time they come over, he is much more relaxed.

My son has a friend, Joe, who comes over every once in a while and it is obvious that he makes Tucker very uncomfortable. He ends up circling Joe, barking and nipping at him. I have watched this and can't see Joe doing anything to provoke this behavior from Tucker. Joe has dogs and is usually very comfortable around them. Tucker does not do this with anyone else and I can't figure out why. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

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Comments for Why Does My Australian Shepherd Nip At One Of My Sons Friends?

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Nipping at son's friend
by: Anonymous

Maybe the dog has a sense about this boy. Meaning that dogs are very good judges of character. If you know Joe is coming over put your aussie up in his kennel or a separate room away from this boy.

by: Anonymous

Thanks for the input. I forgot to mention that Joe is 22 and a bit eccentric. Tucker is an excellent judge of character so I already told my son that there is a reason he is acting that way and he will not be corrected. Last time Joe came over, I put him in my room with me and he started pacing and licking his lips when he heard Joes voice.

Nipping Aussie
by: Anonymous

My dog gets excited and starts what I call the "Aussie talking" kind of vocal communication. He will also try to jump up on people at first. Once he gets to know them, he calms down right away.
However, when someone comes to the house (or if we are on a walk and someone comes towards me) wearing a hood, hooded sweatshirt or hat, my dog is very reactive. It only happens with me, and not my son, so it seems to have something to do with the dog feeling he has to protect me. The dog also takes to some people better than others. It is my experience that my dogs have a darn good sense of who's naughty and who's nice.

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