Aussie who bites ?'s

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Member Since
Barked: Fri Jan 13, '12 2:47pm PST 
We got Foster when he 8 weeks old from an AKC breeder, his parents lived with him. He attend 8 weeks of obedience class as a pup. Well socialized with many other dogs, play dates, dog beach, dog parks. Lots of exercise on a regular basis, never left outside for hours unaccompanied. He is well trained, very smart, and we have made it clear all humans are the alphas. Foster has only been fed Blue Buffalo and has no medical problems.

When Foster was 1 year old my husband deployed for 6.5months leaving me and our 3 year old son. I was 11 weeks pregnant. I developed into a high risk pregnancy, the dog became a low priority. My fault. I wasn't allowed to exercise, I should have hired someone to walk him. But I didn't and I regret it. So he was still socialized but not a lot of walking. On a rainy day about 1 month before my husband was due home Foster was inside with us and we had some kids over for a playdate. All the running around must of gotten to him, he grabbed a little girls arm and left 4 red puncture marks in her arm. I never saw a thing. No growl, bark, no warning.

Fast forward 6 months later. Husband has been home for 5 months, lots of exercise, lots of socialization still. My 11 month old nephew was sitting on the ground petting and playing with Foster. Foster made no sound and grabbed his arm and left 3 red puncture marks and a bloody shallow hole. We called the dr, got antibiotics for my nephew.

We decided the dog couldn't stay with us anymore so we asked my In-laws and they said they would take him so he wouldn't be around children. Now my husband is changing his mind and telling me that we will be taking Foster back when we move to his next duty station (in 1.5 years), it's a non-deployable tour.

Is this type of behavior correctable? Or should we have put him down? Was it a puppy thing? Any advice...or if you want to ask me a question.

Zora - Wonderdog
Barked: Mon Jan 16, '12 3:28pm PST 
I would NEVER trust this dog around children.

Barked: Tue Jan 17, '12 6:22pm PST 
My 17 month old aussie mix is unpredictable also. But I have noticed he has very bad impulse control on a situational basis. I think it's possible to feel like you have gotten your aussie enough exercise, but they need a LOT including mental exercise. Could it be possible that small children are getting him aroused and wanting to play? And that he never learned good bite inhibition? Even if that's the issue, I guess you need to decide if you can work on that as much as it takes, or if it's just too much to deal with. In the meantime I'd separate him from small children or have him wear a muzzle.

Member Since
Barked: Fri Feb 3, '12 3:42pm PST 
Thanks for your feedback. Appreciate any and all advice.

I will use my- cuteness to- persuade you!
Barked: Fri Jan 25, '13 5:46pm PST 
It seems like your Aussie is quite socialized, so it may just be that he hadn't been getting enough excersise. It is quite normal for an Australian Shepherd to get 2-4 hours of excersise and metal stimulation a day. Some ideas are, hiking, snowshoeing (in the winter, and if you are in the area), swimming, biking, agility, flyball, obedience, dog tricks, free style frisbee, dog dancing.

Dogs seem to come up with new habits when not given enough excersise and mental stimulation. Biting may be one, but also, some Aussies are protective of their children.

Besides his biting habits, your dog seems like a nice dog. wink