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Hi! I have a 1 and 1/2 year old blue heeler. She is very sweet to most people, but sometimes when new people come into my house, she will try to nip at their hands and if they sit down, she will sit either right next to them or under them constantly watching them. She’s never actually bitten anybody, and when she does nip it’s not a hard bite, but it does scare some people. She started this a few months ago. She has never been aggressive towards anyone or bitten anyone. I’m not sure if she is trying to protect me or the house or something because she has done it in one other place besides my house. If anyone has any tips please help! Thanks in advance 🙂
for me .. I think the dogs getting to watch and learn from you goes a long way. My invited company is for me, not my dogs. I put my dogs behind a baby gate they can watch me accept and interact with confidence with guest to our home. I had a pack of GSD's.. and my company was for me.. And it is what worked for them growing up. They bark and carry on behind the gate and we continue our visit and ignore them. They eventually sit, lay down, and fall asleep , that you didn't need the baby gate as they grew older.
I went to go pick up my female goats today and the lady had the (miniature Aussies) think that is correct name of them.. they came charging at me when I stepped out of my vehicle, one I was wearing knee high thick mud boots and couldn't be harmed by them, to tell the owners I'm just fine and ignored them. They smelling all my farm animals while we were talking ignoring them, not bothered by them, and the dogs settled right in that I was ok.. They were so darn cute but I ignored, focused on the owner, and they quickly game me a pass ..
Your dog could be fearful of strangers, something which could turn into fear aggression if not monitored and handled properly. Without seeing the dog it's hard to tell, but there's lots of information online. Just remember to never punish a fearful dog; use positive reinforcement only otherwise you could make it worse.
Pay close attention to how the dog is behaving leading up to these situations to see if you can figure out why she's acting that way.