Territorial Aggression

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Member Since
Barked: Tue Oct 8, '13 12:17pm PST 
I have a 1 year old Catahoula/Australian Cattle Dog mix and she is practically perfect. I rescued her at 6 weeks old, had her spayed at 4 months, and together we did puppy obedience school and continue to practice our skills every day. For our first 6 months together, she came with me to work and on most trips - we spent very little time apart. I now have a job that keeps me away close to 12 hours of the day. However, I have a wonderful friend with a fenced in backyard and a retriever/lab mix (3 year old female) who has become my girl's best friend. They play together all day, running and digging and chasing chipmunks, and she is always exhausted when I pick her up at the end of each day.

Lately, she has shown signs of territorial aggression towards any strangers that approach my friend's fence. My friend's dog is the friendliest and most easygoing canine around, and all the neighbors enjoy stopping by to say hi and give treats whether my friend is home or not. My dog has made that difficult though, as she starts charging the fence, barking aggressively, and even biting my friend's dog and pushing her away from anyone trying to give her attention.

When I or my friend are around, she behaves well. When on a leash, in a dog park, on a walk, at anyone else's home, or in any other unfamiliar situation, she looks to me and listens to my commands. But when left alone in the fence, she becomes territorial, protective of both the space and my friend's dog, and aggressive to all who try to approach.

Has anyone had any similar experiences with their dog? Any suggestions on how to retrain this behavior?