Aggression - Random

by Karen
(USA)

We adopted our Pyr/Golden mix 6 years ago when he was 3 yrs old. Don’t know much about his history. In the last year he has randomly been aggressive towards people in our house. He is fine when he first greets them but if they bend over to pet him or if they look him in the eye while petting him he snaps and stands on his hind legs and barks ferociously near their face. Thankfully he has never bit anyone but it is scary. We’ve resorted to keeping him on a leash or just putting him in another room when we have guests. He starts out friendly so people feel comfortable and then snaps so there isn’t any warning. I liken it to the spider and the fly. Does he just have his wires crossed or can this be resolved through training? If he greets those same people outside the house and they pet him the same way nothing happens so it has taken us all by surprise to see him react this way.

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Apr 20, 2018
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Aggression
by: Donna

He is nine years old, now. This is odd since it seems he wasn't like this in the lasts six years.

First, no one should ever bend over to say hi to a dog they don't know and the dog doesn't know them well. This is getting into the dog's personal space.

And, no one should ever look a dog in the eye they don't know or know well, or even if they know them. This makes a dog very uncomfortable especially if they don't know the person. They are getting into the dog's personal space. It would be like having someone you don't know stare at you in the eyes. For me, it feels threatening. I never stare my dogs in the eyes. I'll look at them to ask them something or determine what they want.

When guests enter the house, the dog should be the one to approach them on their own time.

If this is a behaviour he has just started, you should consider having him vetted for any discomfort he might be having.

I hope this helps, Karen.

Apr 20, 2018
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Response
by: Karen

Thank you for the response. We had his checkup recently and he is in good health. The vet checked his limbs to be sure there wasn’t any discomfort. The weird part is that the girl that lives across the street (16 yrs) has pet him many times and he lays next to her in her yard if we go over there but when she came into our house last week he ran to her like he was excited to see her and she was petting him like she always does and he snapped. It’s like he starts out ok and then something makes him think he needs to guard. People that feel really comfortable around him outside the house can no longer feel comfortable inside the house. It’s the strangest behavior I’ve ever encountered. I’m wondering if he just has a wire crossed in his brain that doesn’t allow him to make a good decision. Does that sound possible?

Apr 21, 2018
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Wires-crossed
by: Donna

It could be his wires are crossed but it just seems strange that after six years this behaviour starts and he was fine until, now.

I feel like he is in pain somewhere but you just don't know what is going on.

All that said, it doesn't help you with what is going on.

The unpredictability is the issue and there isn't anything you can do about that.

Legal liability becomes an issue.

May 01, 2018
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wires crossed
by: Anonymous

Our Duke is this way; When in the house or in the fence he will guard to the end! And sometimes with ones out side on walks. Its the old thing dogs since something sometime with certain people . I think he doing what comes normal to him.Be very careful who he gets near and always have a lease on him,(just my 2 cents!) ck in va (DUKE DUKE)

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