1 1/2 yearold aussie now showing signs of fear aggression

Posted by faithfuldog
Apr 5, 2008
I have a 1 1/2 yearold Austrailian shepherd. She is not the show dog style so she is small and petite around 40lbs. She runs with me upto 13 miles at a time and has lots of energy. At around a year she really began to settle and become a great dog to have. I have worked on basic obedience and training.

She has always been great around people and dogs. However, a few months ago a gentleman teased her very harshly through a sliding glass window to the point she squatted and went to the bathroom. Since then she has been showing signs of aggression towards people and dogs. She doesn't do well greeting dogs or people on leash real well. Sometimes she will snap at them and often she will lunge and bark very aggressively. With other dogs she will allow them to check her out for a minute then she will lunge at them. Off leash she is tenative around dogs but will often get them chasing her and she will settle.

I have worked on not removing her from the situation but making her sit at my feet and calm down. I have worked on excercise and becoming the alpha but she is still not there. A few weeks ago I moved across the country and what progress I had made we lost some ground on. I am just not sure what to do. Any suggestions?

Posted by Todd
Apr 9, 2008
Hi there and thanks for the question

Before i start on an answer that is completely wrong i'd like to get some more info from you so i know exactly what she has.

When she is aggressive does she appear to be cowering, hiding, tail between legs and trying to get away? Or does she straight out rush at them to be aggressive.

The aggression may well have started from that bad experience but i would like to know if you think it is straight aggression or aggression due to fear.

If you give me some more info i can help you

Posted by faithfuldog
Apr 17, 2008
Thanks for the quick reply. Sorry it has taken some time to get back to you. We will be walking and she will be healing well but it almost seems out of no where she will jump out at someone walking toward us on the sidewalk. When she is aggressive she jumps out at them with an aggressive bark and shows her teeth. when I correct her, I respond by being firm. pulling her back toward me and tell her "leave it". I have been working on not walking away but getting her to settle in the situation. She won't look at me but keeps attempting to look at the person or dog. Yesterday I took her to the vet and sat in the office with a dog on either side. She acted fearful and cowarding. I kept telling her leave it and affirming her when she was focused on me rather than other things in the room. However, later when a dog walked in she lost it. I responded by correcting her, not removing her from the situation, making her lay down and telling her to leave it.

When it occurs she lunges at them. When I get her to redirect but stay in the situation she acts cowarding. She doesn't have a tail so I can't tell but I did notice yesterday that her ears were back and down. She also will hide her head between my legs at times. I am encouraged that I can redirect her but I want to get to the point where this doesn't occur. Also I did get the Halti a few days ago and it seems to help because when she lunges it pulls her head back to me making it easier to redirect her.

My roommate is not alpha by any means and is not a dog person. She has not had problems with this, so that also baffles me. Also if she greats a dog off leash she acts more submissive and cowarding but once she gets confident she drops her front end with her hind end up in the air and invites them to play.