Nightime aggressive sheltie mix

by Coastal S.

My 2 1/2 year old, super friendly sheltie, is suddenly snapping or lunging at my 88 year old mother. My sheltie sleeps in a corner on the couch. My mother must walk by that corner 5 or 6 times a night with no reaction. All of a sudden, the sheltie jumps over the arm to nip at my mother's hands. As soon as I say no, she backs off. During hte night my mother gets up 5 or 6 times to use the bathroom and must walk by the couch. No reaction from my dog. In the AM, when my mother gets up, no reaction from my dog. Last night and tonight, on one ocassion whne m mother walked by the couch, my dog lept over the back of the couch and lunged at my mother.

Why the sudden agreesion these past three weeks, and why only at night. And how does my dog decide this is a bathroom walkby and not reason to fear, but this is a going to bed walkby so I better be aggressive"?

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Dec 07, 2014
Yes-- you can fix this
by: Adam G. Katz

Yes-- you can fix this. It's what we call "dog aggression" (in contrast to handler aggression).

You need to focus on two things:

1. Teach your dog to walk on a loose leash around all distractions. If your dog is on a loose leash, it cannot be paying attention to you and the other dog or person at the same time. It's either one or another, and if the leash is loose, then your dog has to watch you because it cannot FEEL from the tension in the leash, where you are.

2. You'll need to learn how to give a motivational correction, so that your dog clearly understands that this behavior is unacceptable. If your dog already knows that it's unacceptable, then the issue is that your correction is not firm enough, or you're not using the proper training collar (or it isn't fitted correctly!)

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