Hello everyone, let me give some background before I ask my question. I am the owner of a 7 month old beautiful male GSD named Angus. Angus joined our family when he was 7 1/2 weeks old. He has since been house trained, he sits, shakes, walks... okay... on a leash (pulls on occasion if something catches his attention). He was neutered at 4 months old. He goes to "doggie daycare" 2 days a week when both my husband and I are at work all day. The other days he is walked and spends a lot of time outside in our fenced in backyard weather permitting. He really is a good boy, but this past week or so has been making me nervous...
We had some people over to our house this weekend. Angus barked and growled at them when they first entered our home which is not too usual for him. He was very cautious and in my opinion showing a bit of aggression. I didn't notice what his tail was doing but his ears were back and he was not settled, backing up and almost lunged at one of my friends (due to his behavior I had ahold of his collar). Im deeply afraid he would have bit her had I not been right there. NOW... he DOES warm up after about 5-10 minutes (maybe 2-3 if the time he's acting like this just seems longer because I am nervous), and at that point our friends were able to pet and play with him.
Also, we were out of our normal routine by having people stay the night, but in the morning when they came downstairs it was like they were walking in all over again.
On top of this... when we got back from a show around 11PM he was barking from his crate and I let him out, when my husband walked in the door he reached quickly to pet him and stop him from barking and Gus got really weird as if he didn't even know it was my husband.
He was no better when my other friend came and had her 2 children with him. Again with all this said he DOES warm up... but in the initial minutes I am seriously afraid of how he acts. I don't want to be horrified when my son gets older and has friends over
I have NO clue where this is coming from. I knew GSD had protective instincts when we got him, we wanted a dog that would protect our family IF needed. But I thought with us there telling him it is "OK" with friends and family who visit it would signal to him he does not need to be aggressive and it doesn't. He almost had no ability to see these people were welcomed to our home and not intruders. AND the icing on the cake is when he did it to my husband.
SO, is this normal? A phase? Something that he can be trained out of? Is this a behavior that can be modified? Should he be muzzled or put in another room when people come to our house? I am willing to hire a trainer to come to our house and work with him but do you think that would help? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you!