6 month old puppy bit someone today?

So my contacts know that my 6 month Aussie pup Emmy has been having some issues with the men in my house.

let me clarify before hand- She is NOT aggressive with me, not with food, not with cats, other dogs, or even CHILDREN who pull on her and walk her around the house, etc. She is NOT aggressive with strangers she meets, male or female.

It’s been a battle with training her (my parents vs. me). I gave into their idea of her sleeping in her kennel in their room, them feeding her, and my dad having her at home all day… and I cant let her in my room.

She has NO issues of being around them.. Heck, she’ll cuddle my dad for an hour, take treats, etc.

But she still growls and acts afraid!

Today at work, i was texted by my mother telling me she bit and broke the skin on Jameison, an adult male staying with us temporarily while working in Alaska. She growled at him, so he cornered her and tried to grab her to correct her and she bit him.

Everyone in the house, including the victim, realized he made a mistake by cornering her.

My mom spoke with the vet today and said we need to have her leashed at all times by my dad/the other guy, and they have to do EVERYTHING for her. I cant do anything for her anymore. He said if the physical corrections haven’t worked by now, they won’t.

It seems she’s protecting something in the house (cause its only at home) but I cant figure out what for the life of me. Is she just protecting herself?

What in the world do we do?

I’ve talked to two of my mentors and similar suggestions of physical corrections, and a dog conformation/obedience/rally trainer in town who had a similar suggestion as well but added in that i need to move Emmy’s crate around in different areas.

Advice would be appreciated.

Again, not aggressive with anyone except these two men in the house. Overall a very happy-go-lucky puppy.

What you’re describing is fear aggression…I’d rather have a dog who was food aggressive (most dogs are, no big deal), or aggressive to cats and other dogs (again most dogs are until trained). Her issue with men is simple…they’re bigger, have deeper voices, and move more forwardly than women. Dogs are the master of body language and the body language men exude is very forward.

That said we’ve spoken before on what to do. Now she’s bitten somebody. Fear Biter = Fearful dog who has LEARNED that aggression solves their problems…She’s a fearful dog, and now she’s biting. Giving into your parents is going to ruin the dog. You’re truly flirting with ruining this dog and having to put her down/pay a &%$# load of money later down the road for real training….real training which is hard to find because most “real” trainers use Koehler Methods (because they work quickly and time is money) so they’ll send you back a “cured” dog that’s even more fearful but that hopefully doesn’t bite people anymore…-sigh-.

Also…6 month old Aussie puppies don’t protect $#@#!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A 6 year old Aussie isn’t going to protect crap much less a pre-teen one!!! The only thing you should ever expect a non-guardian breed to protect is their life, and their food/toys. Everything else is a show. Emmy feels more comfortable at home, and when that comfort is broken ie your parent’s friend reaching for her, she’s reacting with aggression…and it will get worse if you don’t change things DRASTICALLY and soon…

Replace her collar with a light choke or light prong. You can leave the other collar on but you should have a control device on her at all times. Get a 2 foot training lead and leave it on her at all times except when she’s crated. If she needs to be corrected, you grab the leash and give a pop- even a 2 foot lead should be enough distance to prevent a bite, but you can use a 4 foot leash if you think you need one. A dog dragging a 4 foot lead through the house can become snagged, though, so be careful.

This dog needs to be walked, exercised, and heavily ‘quizzed’ during the day, every day, by the people she has issues with. Your dad and the boarder must commit to being the people to do this, or the dog will not overcome this issue. Also, if you have agreeable male friends, teach them how to properly handle, walk, and correct the dog. If she is handled on a regular basis by even tempered reliable males, she will lose her fear of them.

Your responsibility for this dog is enormous. A lot of vets are male- a lot of judges and handlers in show are male- a lot of prospective buyers for possible pups are male. You need to make this dog understand while she is young that males are not threatening. The way to do that is to have sensitive intelligent educated males handle her every single day.

I have an adopted mutt with food OBSESSION and some territorial aggression and we’ve been in similar training for about 9 months. It’s getting better. Stick with it.

Good luck.

(And right now there’s a lot of women reading this saying “Where is my sensitive intelligent educated male??? I need better handling!!! LOL)

Good luck

Not knowing all the details that everyone else does here, I still have to agree with DCDawg and Curtis. This dog has shown some pretty basic examples of fear aggression. In other words, “I am afraid, so I am going to bite you.”
Most of the herding breed owners I know would never even think of anything close to what you are describing for a training method, which sounds very similar to “flooding”. Flooding can make things go south very quickly, and then you have a dangerous dog that will bite in the future-guaranteed. You just won’t have any warning. You can’t force a fear aggressive dog to face their fears. You can only desensitize and turn everything they fear into a good experience. It sounds like the exact opposite is happening here. The dog is afraid, the dog lashes out, the dog is punished. Bad idea.

Forced submission=time bomb.

Many users here have no use for any kind of positive reinforcement training, but here goes-this trainer has specifically worked with fear aggressive herding breeds, and was successful.


I would not even suggest a pinch collar here. This is a negative physical correction on a fear aggressive dog, bad idea.

I’ve stayed quiet up to now, but I can’t stand it anymore. This pup has questionable temperament to be sure. She has fear aggression. She is fine as long as she doesn’t feel threatened, as soon as she feels threatened in any way she gets defensive & if pushed any further becomes aggressive. And just because she hasn’t shown this with other people or kids doesn’t mean she won’t. If she felt threatened, she would bite. You need to get a trained canine behaviorist involved now. You don’t have the skills to deal with this. Physical corrections are not the way to go with a dog like this. They only scare the dog more, causing more distrust & fear. They will make your problem worse. This dog needs to be in formal obedience training classes with a definite plan to try & build her trust & confidence. Really this is her only chance to try & overcome this fear aggressive behavior & become a decent fairly confident ‘pet’ you can trust. This dog is not a dog that will probably ever do well in the show ring d/t her behavior. And honestly….is this the kind of temperament you want to breed from?

Is this the same man that made a kicking motion towards…. Piper?? (or one of your dogs)
If so, this man is only asking for trouble (no, I’m not condoning what Emmy did)

I personally would want this man out of my house sinse this would be the second time he’s wound up one of the dogs, but I spose you don’t have that kind of control and the dogs need to live with it. I guess it can’t hurt to let him and your dad do everything for her. I would guess she is protecting herself.

I don’t really know what to tell you apart from I’m starting to not like this man…

But yeah I’d do what your mentors suggest, it can’t hurt any more than it has and yes she does need to realise these men aren’t going to hurt her, which they shouldn’t be correcting her any way, esp if they’re not doing it properly. They need to be seen in a very positive light and honestly if nothing comes of this, I would really suggest bringing in a trainer.

I remember the question you asked before and he probably had it coming.

Being cornered all animals lash out to protect themselves.
It maybe something as simple as not liking that person. My dog is great with men and women, boys and girls. but she doesn’t get along with my cousin who has never hurt her at all, I know for a fact cause she only been to our town twice and both times she growled with out reason.
I don’t know if I would agree with making the dog do everything with them.

By the way isn’t this your pup for showing? I think your family needs to let you care for your dog, since your the one who is going to be showing it.

She isn’t being aggressive; she’s being defensive. The fact that one of the guys thought it was his place to physically correct a puppy’s behavior shows that the puppy was prescient to not trust him. I pay attention when my normally well socialized dogs bristle or snarl at someone. Twice I had further contact with a “marked” person and both times the dogs were right on in their initial assessment. The only reason that a physical correction has not worked up to now is because this isn’t a puppy having a dominance snit. There is something she is sensing with these two men that puts her on the defensive, which is very hard to do with most puppies of that age.

Oh man… This kind of reminds me of a dog my parents had when I was a kid…
He had fear aggression.

Now, this dog was great in the house. Around my parents, me and my siblings. He was never anything but a loving, marvelous dog. He never bit me, or anyone he knew. No signs of aggression in the house with people he knew.

But, there was the weird fear aggression. With him, over the years it got to the point that there has been several close calls with him almost biting people. Once, he nailed a family friend, but he hit his watch, preventing any injury.
He’d have been a show champion easy-but we had to stop showing him because of the fear of him doing something to a judge.

I really hope that Fear Aggression is not the case with your dog, because it is in my honest opinion by far the worst thing ever to deal with. I’m going to throw the idea out there, though for you to consider, and discuss with your vet, and trainers, and show mentors (You’re planning on showing, right?)

Edit: Yay, more time to think. Last night, it was late, and my own dog was yelling at me to take him outside, and that huge distraction, with my ADHD and CAPD… Pfffft.

First, that man made a HUGE mistake to corner her like that. Huge, because he pushed her to that point where she had to decide whether or not to bite, and she chose to bite. Then, I bet the fellow backed off showing her ‘Hey, I didn’t like that, so I bit, and it made things better!’

As for they saying you don’t do anything for the dog, someone else does it all, I highly disagree. You need to tell them you’re taking charge of the dog, and then take charge.

I see others see fear aggression in this too, and I always got the impression that Curtis always knows what he’s talking about, and I have to say that with a dog who displays fear aggression, it’s kind of a sinking ship. It’s not something that can be fixed, like food aggression.

I talked to my mom, she said that you can go to obedience twice a week like she did with this dog, you can do everything that you can to try to fix it, but all it does is put a band-aid over the problem. Fear Aggression doesn’t go away, it can’t be fixed.

Man, I just realized… That dog has been dead ten years now. o.O Time really does fly…

The thing was, with this dog, is it’s so hard to want to believe anything bad about your dog. As I said, he was a very loving dog. It didn’t help that the breeder just kept making excuses, the most commonly used ‘He’s just sharp-and Germans like their dogs sharp’ only when the truth was, he had fear aggression, and it was hard to know when, and where something would set him off.

It was actually a blessing that someone threw a anti freeze bottle into our back yard. He ate it, his kidneys failed, and he had to be put down, because my parents admit now, looking back that they didn’t want to put this dangerous dog down, because we loved him a lot. It’s really hard to make that choice. It’s also a miracle that no one was ever hurt. This was a large dog that was all muscle and he could have done some damage.

Anyway, my mom said that the first thing to do is sterilize your dog. That means no showing, but obviously you can’t breed with a problem like that.
Maybe, you can keep ontop of it for a while. Depending on where you live, I mean I’m not sure if you live in a city, with neighbors that could set her off, or like me in the middle of no where where neighbors are a mythical thing.
It might get to that point some day, where you’ll need to sit down, and decide if your dog is dangerous, and if putting her to sleep is the only option. :/

Add: Oh, and have you talked with the breeder? Perhaps there was something they didn’t disclose.

For of all, I suggest a leash and collar, but not for the ones she is aggressive to. I suggest a pinch collar, they work best for any training purposes (if you are not familiar with them, they don’t hurt if fitted properly, two fingers should fit in between dog and collar). Put her on the collar and a short leash. Have someone she is aggressive to come into the room. If she behaves well (friendly, or calmly disinterested), the person holding the leash (someone she trusts!) should give her a treat and praise her profusely. Have them come closer. Have them talk softly, slowly, kindly, softly to her. If she is good, give her a treat and praise her. You may want to try having them toss her the treat from a distance, so she knows they are giving her good things. Work slowly up to her being handled by those she is fearful of.

If she begins to show aggression/fear, firmly say “No” yank quickly and firmly on the leash and then immediately slacken the leash (the collar correction only works if it is quick. If the pinch stays pinching, there really is no difference to Emmy). Start back at the beginning with the great distance between them.

Practice this everyday you can for short 10ish minute intervals with everybody she is afraid of. After she’s getting tolerant, vary the setting so she doesn’t repeat this behavior outside but behaves well in the room you trained her.

Hope this helps, Good luck!

Your house mate needs to learn how to correct a dog! It sounds like he provoked the biting episode by cornering her and grabbing her. The poor dog bit out of fear for cripes sakes. Have a trainer come to your house and show your family how to correct behaviors properly.

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