Fearful Blue Healer around women in my family, but loves me...what gives?

by Karen
(Tempe, AZ)

Yogi in her mellow moment on my lap

Yogi in her mellow moment on my lap

I adopted my 3 year old blue heeler about 5 months ago. Living alone, and after the proper “house visit” she’s gotten along fabulously w/ my border collie (she was in a foster home of 11 other dogs, foster mom, and was attached to her and her grandson). She’s since been my “BFF”, and has not shown any aggression towards myself, my neighbors (on walks) or anyone else, including my (male) vet. My mom and sister are both “dog people”, yet Yogi is still fearful and skittish around them. At first meeting there seemed to be no issues with mom, but she became fearful, and wouldn’t come up to her. With my sister, we took a friendly non-threatening approach (having dogs, taking the submissive approach). We then took the approach of ignoring Yogi’s skittish behavior, hoping not to reinforce it. She’d take a treat, but run away frightened (she actually jumped up on a coffee table and defecated in fear!). Tonight, my sister was just sitting on the couch, minding her own business, and Yogi attempted to go after her with a low growl, and attempted to bite (which was prevented). Her sudden aggression and fear issues are concerning. She’s 3 years old, in all my years w/ dogs (prev Cattle Dog/Kelpie has NO issues, nor have my 3 border collies), I’m at a loss with Yogi! Help!

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Dec 16, 2018
Thank you! Short practical tips?
by: Karen

Thank you! I do try to correct the behavior beforehand....she is submissive to my other dog, and I do establish as "Alpha" in our little pack. As a practical tip, would you suggest that I leash her to remind her of her place in the pack in the home when other's are present? Any other tips to calm her demeanor? Thank you again, will look into your videos!

Dec 12, 2018
How To Stop Dog Aggression
by: Online Dog Trainer

How To Stop Dog Aggression

If you want to understand how to stop dog aggression let me start by asking you two rhetorical questions!

Firstly do YOU start the aggression with your dog simply joining in?
Secondly does your dog listen to you just before it behaves the way it does when you try show it another way to behave?
The answer will of course be the following:

At the point your dog starts to become aggressive he is taking no notice at all of you.

He is making his own decisions and will not listen to you if you try to show him a different way to behave. What he is doing is simply too important to him and is the right thing to do. Dog aggression is nearly always done in order to protect, their pack and their own lives.

Firstly there is of course a whole range of different types of aggression from dominant to fearful and everything in between. Then there is aggression that occurs the whole time and other aggression, which is very erratic, and random depending on a number of differing factors. We could also look at what your dog is aggressive towards; it could be people, animals, other dogs or objects.

The way to stop dog aggression however is very much the same, or at least the cause of the problem is the same. Your dog thinks that it is the pack leader, becomes fearful and attacks to protect, you and himself. Dominant dogs will be more proactive, often attacking when they still have the option of running away, fearful dogs will only attack if they have no place to run. All the other factors pale into insignificance compared to this.

The most important concept to grasp if you want to understand how to stop dog aggression is that your dog must first look to you as the pack leader in the home. (This is the easiest place to convince him you are the decision maker.) Only then can you convince him that you are the pack leader on the walk. There are some fantastic video sites now that show you exactly how to become the pack leader.

Once you have convinced your dog that you are the pack leader outside then upon reaching the point where he usually is aggressive you will find that he will actually start to take notice of how you are behaving! If you aren’t then your dog will probably continue to ignore what you are doing at this point forever.

Just remember, dogs are pack animals and they follow the pack leader.

One of the best examples of a professional dog trainer putting this all into practice is The Online Dog Trainer. The site has live videos of this method being demonstrated and explains exactly how to stop dog aggression by simply convincing your dog that you are the pack leader.


The Online Dog Trainer.

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