How do you socialize an australian shepherd?

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Rachael: How do you socialize an australian shepherd with people and other dogs?
I have a three year old Australian Shepherd. When he meets a person he doesn’t know he sometimes barks and growels. He barkes when he sees other dogs while we walk and when he meets other dogs he sometimes barks, growels and shows his teeth. I want him to be able to meet people and play with other dogs. I also want him to know when to bark and when not to bark.

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Answer by Lorraine
If you don’t know what you are doing then it is hard to ask people you see to help you when your dog is showing this sort of behaviour. Obviously people don’t want to.

However, you could look up training classes in your area and ask them if you can bring him along to socialise.

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  1. Sara says

    I have 3 mutts that have been absolutely, the best dogs i have ever had. They don't bite, are non aggressive, and very playful. They are almost 5. We recently came into an Australian Shepherd who is 5 months old. I realize that they are herding dogs however, he keeps attacking my older dogs. He bit one of my females almost clean through her ear. He is the outsider, how do I get him to stop attacking them? I will NOT get rid of any of my other dogs because he is a "one" family dog. We had 2 other aussies when my 3 came into the picture and they all got along just fine.

  2. says

    When the shots are complete:

    1- Take the pup to puppy classes

    2- Drive to local malls, resturaunts, banks, home depot, lowes, parks, kids soccer and baseball games, etc. To have maximum exposure to all kinds of people and places.

    3- Take the pup for regular walks on your block, bring treats and ask neighbors if they'd like to meet the pup.

    4- Go to pet supply stores and bring the dog in. Ask other dog owners if their dog is friendly and would like to say hello to your pup.

    Remember environmental socialization is important just like meeting all kinds of people. So maximize the different kinds of places you take him/her to. Don't do too much at once as you do not want to stress the puppy.

  3. Ashley Say NO to bre says

    As an Australian Shepherd owner I will say that from my experience(my 2 yr old female) and from what I have read, that's how "most" are. They are a "family" dog and anyone outside of the "family pack" is someone to be suspicious of and they would rather bite first and ask questions later.

    When I bought my Aussie I had a planned for her to become a therapy dog to visit "old folks homes" and hospitals but I just couldn't socialize her enough. My problem is I live in a small town(less then 1000 people), so when my dog was young the only place I could take her into for socialization was the bank and walks, but sometimes we could go for an hour walk and not meet another person or person walking a dog, especially in the winter(which lasts 7 months here).

    It's gotten to the point where I get stressed about taking her to public places where lots of people will be or even a large family gathering, and I think she picks up on it and feels she has to protect me, so she acts out more. I plan on buying her a basket muzzle as soon as I can find one, so I can feel more comfortable when taking her to places where there will be lots of people, in hopes that she will calm down and accept strangers at least petting her or giving her little treats.

    I have a new female Aussie puppy and I plan on working harder to socialize her so she doesn't end up like my other one.

  4. The Lab Moose says

    You will need to figure out if these behaviors are due to dominance-aggression (thinking he owns the place and/or you, wanting to be the boss and tell everyone else -human and canine- what to do) or fear-aggression (being so afraid of other people/dogs that he thinks he needs to "get them" before they can "get him").

    Since you're already at the growling/snarling stage, you need to find a reputable, professional dog trainer who can do a one-on-one session with you and your dog and try to determine the best way to begin retraining these behaviors. If you aren't sure where to start looking for a trainer, ask your veterinarian or local rescue groups if they have any recommendations. These behaviors are warning signs- he is telling the other people and dogs that he is ready to bite. Please address this before he makes good on these warnings.

  5. Purina hater says

    you should have socialized him as a puppy. maybe bring him to the dog park? get another dog? try to bring him out more. it could be just his personality too.

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