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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19391
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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I adopted a purebred Mini Australian Shepherd (15 months

Customer Question

I adopted a purebred Mini Australian Shepherd (15 months old) from a shelter and she is very fearful of people other than our family. She has nipped in expectantly at others that were not even approaching her. She appears anxious all the time when walking her. Her unpredictable behaviors worry me. Any advice?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

Is she 2 years old or 15 months old?

How long have you had her?

Is she spayed?

Has she had any obedience training?

Can you describe a few of the incidents in detail such as where she was, where they were, if she sneaked up behind them or confronted them head on?

Have you tried anything yet?

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
JaCustomer,
I was waitinig on a response to my information request, but don't want you to not have an answer either.
She may have fear aggression. This is not uncommon in dogs that have not been well socialized. Usually obedience training can help these dogs gain some self confidence and reduce the fear of people. Once dogs know that humans expect them to do a specific thing when a command is made, they stop fearing the people as much especially if those same people are giving tasty hot dog slivers when the dog obeys the command.
The dog also starts to see people as the bringers of good things (vienna sausage/hot dog slivers) and will start wanting to see strangers and learns that not all people do bad things (if the dog was abused at any point).
Be sure she is reprimanded for non wanted behavior in a verbal manner (low toned growl) so she does understand it is unacceptable and reward her when she acts the way you want with calm praise and tasty treats. It isn't a quick fix but these will help her become socialized and less fearful.
I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer.
If you have questions in the future that you wish me to answer, you may click here and bookmark the page or make it a favorite. It is best to put my name "JANE" in the question as well.

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