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My wife and I recently adopted a 10 month old puppy. He is highly intelligent and loves to be around us, but there are quite a few problems coming to the surface after almost a month and a half of having him. Because he is cattle dog he has a high prey drive for squirrels and cats, which is a problem because we have two cats and our backyard always has squirrels in it. Our cats are now locked in the garage (we don't use it for our vehicle) because Nev and our 4 year old lab have decided to attack and chase the cats. Our lab has never shown any interest in the cats until we brought Nev into the house. Nev is also not allowed in the backyard unless we make sure there are no squirrels present, which means I can't train him except inside the house. He also does not do well with strangers, especially if those strangers are walking by the house or entering the house. The first visitor we had in the house Nev tried to bite, luckily he only made contact with her purse and sweater that were hanging over her arm...this all happened a little bit after he took a treat from her hand. I quickly led him to another room, let him calm down, did some clicker training, and slowly brought him back out with a leash while doing further training. When the guest went to leave he again freaked out.

Fast forward to yesterday when I took him and our lab to 1000 acres (a play area for dogs with water that is 1000 acres). I decided to let him off leash where there weren't any people and he did great following our lab and coming back when called. He even went and played with other dogs and ignored most of the people that were around. That was until he decided to bite a lady in the back of the leg. I quickly got in between him and this person and he kept trying to get to her to bite but eventually gave up and we continued walking. Again, he did fine for awhile, went swimming with our dog, ran past people, played with dogs, and came when called. At one point on the path there were two labs in front of us and a father and son, Nev ran up to these labs to play. He came back to us multiple times and then ran back to the labs. The last time he decided to nip the son in the back of the leg and then quickly did it the father as well. Of course we quickly called him and walked in the opposite direction. Once he was calm I put him back on the leash and didn't let him off until we were back at the car. I was hoping his aggression was just towards people entering the house but I guess it is more than that.

Sometimes he also snaps at our lab when he tries to get on furniture. This is clearly a territorial thing but our lab has always been allowed on furniture so it seems cruel to have to teach him to lay on the floor after 4 years.

I guess what I am trying to figure out through this forum is whether or not I should try to find a new home for this dog? I am working with him non-stop throughout the day but his aggression is really putting a damper on my ability to trust and love him.
 

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To be perfectly honest, I think you got the wrong kind of dog for your family, especially since you own cats. Australian cattle dogs are actually known for their aggression, of course you can always change these innate habits that they are prone to but it takes a lot of work. How much exercise is the dog getting? You adopted a very high energy breed and they need daily strenuous exercise. Did you do any research before adopting this dog?
 

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It sounds like your dog is developing his herding instincts, not aggression. Nipping legs is what herding dogs do to sheep and it's common for dogs to do it to people, kids, other dogs, anything that moves really. He needs to be corrected when he does that so he understands it's not okay. It also sounds like you need to work on the biting, it doesn't sound aggressive to me though, but I can't be sure. Dogs and puppies bite and snap as a way to play. Puppies especially use their mouths a lot and they need to be taught that's not okay. If he ever puts his mouth on you or another person, even if it doesn't hurt, even if you don't feel teeth, immediately stop playing or giving him any attention, say a firm "no" or you can squeal really loudly like you got hurt and then ignore him completely. If he gets too snappy, then put him in his crate or area so he's on his own for awhile. Putting his mouth on anything other than his food or his toys should not be tolerated at all. When he bit that lady, that should've been the end of his play time at the 1000 acres, back in the car on his own so you can finish walking the lab or you all just leave. There needs to be consequences for his bad behavior. If he nips someone and gets to keep playing, he has zero incentive to stop nipping. He sounds like a typical herding breed puppy that just needs to be taught some rules. As for the cats and squirrels, that's normal too. He needs to be taught what's okay and what's not. It's hard at his age since he's still young. Again, once he starts chasing something he's not supposed to, play time ends. Bring him out 5 minutes later, if he starts chasing again, play time ends again. You have to repeat this and stay on top of it. He's the one who has to have his play time end when he's doing something wrong, not the cats. Keep doing the training indoors, eventually you can work your way outside and having distractions. Take it one step at a time. My puppy can do all her tricks and obedience indoors just great, but once outside, she gets it like 60% of the time. She's getting better though and these things just take time. It's not fair to expect a puppy to perform with so many distractions if you don't work your way up to that.
 
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