How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20218
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
Type Your Dog Training Question Here...
Jane Lefler is online now

We have a 7 month old Westie who shows signe of aggresion

This answer was rated:

We have a 7 month old Westie bitch who shows signe of aggresion to only men. this seems to happen at home or work. With women she accepts straight away. once she accepts the man everything is ok. how can we stop gthis aggresion.
Hi Jacustomer,

My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with the best information, I do need to ask for some additional information. Once I receive your answer, it will likely take me about 30-45 minutes to type up your response. I hope you can be patient.

Is she spayed?
Does she just bark or does she also follow them trying to get close to nip?
Has she bit anyone or tried?
What obedience training has she had?
Does she act the same way when away from your work or home?
what have you tried besides getting a male dog walker?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes she was spayed at 6 months and it has got worse since.

She barks and follows and stands her ground

No, she tends to punch with closed mouth and tugs at clothes

She did a vets puppy class at 12 weeks but was always very quiet . Very Little at clubs as we can never get a place, she is obedient but not good at recalls although she does come but then it becomes a game. We have had some one to one training and have socialised her at a club as a guest and this behavior actually stated after these visits at about 5 months of age.

She is the same at home as work and only barks at men on walks.

When my wife ties her up outside a shop she does not bark and lets men pet her with threatening them.

When people arrive and she barks she is put on lead, taken to cage at home she is put in the kitchen, given a severe telling of but no beatings.

We have had 2 male visitors over the weekend and within 30 minutes she accepted them but still wanted to dominate.

Hope this helps


My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

She sounds like she is a dominant little girl. She doesn't see females as a threat to her position as the boss, but since males are generally more dominant than females, she does see them as potentially ones who might be more dominant than herself. she feels she needs to make sure they know that she is the boss at home and work. On walks she would be taking the role of protector and barking at those she feels is a threat.

For the most part the behavior should be able to be corrected with obedience training to establish the humans as the boss and get her to obey commands teh first time every time. When dogs are puppies they don't try to be boss as they are just babies but when they reach adulthood and sexual maturity around 6 months for females, the behavior starts.

So she needs formal obedience training. Group classes are best as it provides training in an environment where there is lots of distractions. If your dog obeys there, then it is likely she will obey other places as well. It also serves to socialize her around a varied group of people. Until you can get into classes, I'll give you a site that gives good instructions on training for obedience. The following site is helpful for teaching you how to train your dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.

Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.

Unfortunately, the site does not allow me to make clickable links, so to view the supporting websites, you will need to copy and paste the link into a new browser window or tab.

Another thing that should be done is to keep her on the floor. Dogs who are physically on the same level as the humans feel they are equal or even higher than humans in the pack and helps contribute to them feeling they are the boss. So attach a leash to her and use it to make her get off the couch along with giving her a down command and a firm no. It usually only takes a day or so of removing a dog before they start not trying to get up anymore. At that point, stark rewarding her with tasty vienna sausage slivers or raw liver slivers. Most dogs like working for these treats. I use these for training.

You need to start reprimanding her for undesired behavior. You are correct that you should not physically reprimand them, but you can give a short tug on the leash to get her attention and give a firm low toned NO. Just talking or yelling at dogs does no good. High pitches of voice are seen as play behavior while low tones of voice are seen as reprimands by dogs and most dogs do know what NO means. She needs to see that you find the behavior unacceptable. Your behavior dealing with this needs to be consistent. She can't be allowed to do it some of the time and not other times.

You also need to teach her to stop barking and to sit when visitors come to the house and not follow them around the house nipping at their ankles and pulling on their clothes. There are some things you can do before your dog is obedience trained to aid in stopping the behavior. For barking, as crazy as it seems, you may want to teach the speak command and then the quiet command. It seems easier to teach the quiet command after your dog has learned the speak command. The following site explains teaching speak and quiet commands.

If this doesn't work, you may have to try a citronella bark collar. For a dog that is nipping or jumping at the pants legs and ankles, visitors need to adopt an exaggerated walk with the heals coming up on the back swing until your dog is totally obedience trained again. If they walk in this manner, when the dog gets too close to their feet, they will end up getting the shock of a heel coming up and possibly catching them in the jaw or chest. Since the person is just walking, it will surprise them. It usually only takes a few times before they stop jumping at the ankles or biting them.I think you will find most people willing to help.
If you have a man they try to do this to on a regular bais, this person could be elected to help with training allowing you to work with her several times a day when you know they would normally do it. Once they stop ankle biting, reward them with tasty treats and praise. For each person she doesn't do this to, reward her. She will learn that strangers mean treats and are a good thing and that should help stop the biting.

In addition, if you are present when this is occurring, you can give a correction using the attached leash(good reason to keep it attached) when she looks like she wants to sneak up behind them. A quick tug and firm NO will help teach her that you find it unacceptable.

When first teaching her to sit at the door when visitors come, you can slip the leash under your foot, have her sit and use the leash to keep her in that spot in a sit or down position as you open the door. Initially she will fight it, but soon will realize it doesn't do any good to try and move away and will stay. When she does that reward her. Have visitors reward her as well.

These techniques have proven to help with dogs that are dominant. I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. 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 .
Jane Lefler and other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you