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My girlfriend moved in about 3 months ago with her 10 year old female blue heeler and she's starting to become very protective of us. If we're not around she is completely fine, but if we are home and someone she doesn't know comes in the yard she is very aggressive. She's bit a couple of people now and my girlfriend is ready to find another home for her unless we're able to calm her down.

I have an appointment Thursday with a trainer and spoke with him on the phone today - he tells me there's a good chance we'll be able to correct the issue, but of course he does have a service to sell. Can anyone tell me, given her age and strong instincts, are we going to be able to save Josie?
 

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Could you just not have her loose outside able to bite people?

Yeah... pretty much. The dog is 10 years old, she's recently moved homes it sounds like so that is a stressor but management might be the key here. Is it an issue to simply put her up in the house when you have guests?

I am not saying that it isn't something that can be worked on with training per se, but that since you have let her bite several people, you need to up the management level about 200% in the meantime.

A poster here JohnnyBandit (sp?) is a long time cattle dog owner and trainer, he may have some good breed specific advice

Also, muzzle training is something to look into. A comfortable basket muzzle like the Baskerville Ultra is not hard on the dog if introduced to it and really increases safety for humans around the dog.
 

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My girlfriend moved in about 3 months ago with her 10 year old female blue heeler and she's starting to become very protective of us. If we're not around she is completely fine, but if we are home and someone she doesn't know comes in the yard she is very aggressive. She's bit a couple of people now and my girlfriend is ready to find another home for her unless we're able to calm her down.

I have an appointment Thursday with a trainer and spoke with him on the phone today - he tells me there's a good chance we'll be able to correct the issue, but of course he does have a service to sell. Can anyone tell me, given her age and strong instincts, are we going to be able to save Josie?
A few questions........

1) Is she outside alone when the stranger approaches? Or are you out there with her?

ACDs are supposed to be naturally aloof and suspicious of strangers. And they are self appointed guardians...

Can you expand on the context in which these bites are occurring?

2) Does this trainer have any experience working with ACDs?


3) Regardless, it is something that can be managed if someone wants to be diligent.....

4) Rehoming a 10 year old ACD is an almost assured death sentence....
 
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