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Aggressive herding

Brando's Dad
May 31st, 2007, 10:24 AM
Hey, all~
I'm new here, but glad to be here. Anyway, I take my female Aussie Shepherd mix Stella to the dog park on a regular basis and she usually gets along with other dogs very well. They run, play, rest, all of it. Monday she herded a new dog and nipped at his ears and legs -- and scratched his right ear with her teeth, drawing blood (a little bit, not to minimize). The owner was rightly upset, decided (thanks be) not to report us, but we haven't been back. I am thinking of a muzzle because she needs the exercise. I don't want other dogs to be hurt. Any ideas?:confused:
Thanks for any help.

May 31st, 2007, 12:27 PM
I'd be keeping her on-leash in areas with other dogs until she learns and responds reliably to a recall command. (Prevention is the best medicine!)

May 31st, 2007, 02:45 PM
Brando's Dad: Be aware that she's just doing what she was bred to do, herd, and nipping is part of herding. I agree that maybe she shouldn't be around other dogs for now. Try to find somewhere to exercise her where there aren't a lot of other dogs. She shouldn't be punished for doing what she was bred to do:)

June 1st, 2007, 04:30 PM
I'd look into what they call turn-out muzzles. Basically its a basket ove the dog's snout that prevents it from bitting.
I would not advise not going to the park, because if she isn't around other dogs, she'll never learn proper behaviour, and she won't be able to burn off excess energy which will make the situation worse. Where possible though, let the other dogs correct her, the correction will carry more weight that way.

June 1st, 2007, 05:13 PM
I agree that she needs socialization not isolation. I also think you are likely to encounter more behavioural problems with Stella on-lead while others are off-lead. Have you been through obedience classes with her ? If not, this is a good opportunity to socialize her in a structured environment and to discuss any concerns about her behaviour you might have with a trainer. Most dogs self-correct by learning "the rules" pretty quickly from the other dawgs in the park. This sounds like it may be a one-off thing. Did you happen to notice what was happening just prior to her "herding" ? Sometimes if my attention is elsewhere, I haven't noted the pack dynamics and have ended up faulting one of my dawgs for something they were in fact right to do.

Brando's Dad
June 2nd, 2007, 08:44 AM
I have been taking Stella and Brando to the dog park for a year, has socialized with a lot of other dogs, and this is a one dog thing -- and it's happened a couple of times that she's been overly aggressive in her herding, but only with Jojo. Jojo's owner is VERY protective and the Jojo was crated for a log time -- like years. The owner has had Jojo only about a month. I think she is part of the problem. Be that as it may, I don't want Jojo to be hurt, and I want Stella and Brando to behave . . . I'm going to try the muzzle (inside out muzzle? I have to re-read the post). Thanks for your help!