3 year old dog just started growling at us
We have a 3 year old german shepherd (our second) who we trained intensively as a puppy for search and rescue, which was the most important thing in his life. Last year we moved out of the country, and were forced to stop his SAR training.
He is an exceptionally sweet but sensitive shepherd, and we have used nothing but positive training methods. He still shows some signs of confidence issues, including some submissive urination.
We just went on a 10 day vacation, leaving him at our home with a friend who he knows well. When we got back he was very protective and growled at us. Since then he has growled at me and my wife several times. It is a submissive, fear growl where he cowers with his ears back, looking up at us like we are going to punish him. This is hard for us to deal with because he is normally his normal fun loving self and then starts this out of the blue.
He was sick the week before we left, and we are spending some time with our vet to rule out a medical issue, but I feel like its a personality issue. He loved his SAR training, and would come back glowing with confidence and pride. He still gets tons of exercise, but I don't think playing can fill that void in his life.
If anyone has had a similar experience please share.