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Hello everyone,

I have a two year old Aussie that has never really shown a hint of aggression until recently. Whenever someone gets too close to me she'll anxiously shove herself in between me and the other person. The past few times I've had company over she has let out a bark and has tried nipping at them. These people aren't strangers either, she has grown up with them but isn't exposed to them too frequently. I don't know what to think. I'm not sure if she's scared of them or just scared of them being near me. Sometimes I feel like she's a little wary, but will let her people pet her and will go up to them.

I don't want this to escalate, so what is the best way of resolving it?

I will add to this that I don't think she's an extremely confident dog, which I think could be a contributing factor. (Any tips on this as well?)

I don't know if lack of exercise would be a contributing factor, I throw a ball in my back yard for her to burn off steam, but we don't walk very much due to the weather. I make it a point to hike at least once a week, weather permitting, and have her off leash. She has never exhibited any care in the world toward people on trails and people have stopped and talk to me at a close distance. She really doesn't seem to care in an outside environment, but I don't want there to be a day when she decides she cares and is going to bite someone.

Please help me work through this with my dog and turn it around :(

Thank you!
 

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Without seeing it and the situation around it it is hard to say but she is becoming a teenager and trying to rebel a little as well as find her final place in the pack. You will likely need to do the same as you did when she was a puppy and nipping. A verbal correction when she does it and then praise when she stops biting. Reinforce it with treats and hopefully it will stop
 

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Hi there!

Aussies are known to be aloof with strangers and can be protective, but that certainly doesn't mean she should be nipping/biting anyone. What is her body language like when people approach you? What is her body language like when people approach her? I know lots of dogs that tolerate being pet, but don't enjoy it.

What do you do for training? Aussies need exercise, but they need a lot of mental exercise as well.
 

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This is a good time to hire a professional trainer :) They can help you through this much better than people on the internet, and it'll be cheaper in terms of energy, time, and sometimes even money (depending on what you try first) to just hire someone who can help you.

That being said, there's lots of things you can do to build confidence-if you've never heard of clicker training, I'd start there and teach a few basic/super easy tricks and have fun with it :)

To resolve your actual issue, I suggest doing some research on resource guarding (her human) and read a copy of Mine! by Jean Donaldson as a starting point.
 
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