follow up question re puppy aggression
Hey... I posted back in Sept about our new puppy who the vet said was showing some aggression at 10 weeks old. You guys had mentioned Bailiff and since I actually live near him, I took our little guy there for an evaluation and for a 2 week training session. Bailiff had said, while he does have a little "don't mess with me" edge, he is essentially a good dog. He was VERY well trained there and has been doing great... very obedient, well-behaved in the house, walks loose leash with me every day, no dog aggression and is fine with people passing on walks. Is starting to get uncomfortable if he is leashed and sitting and someone approaches (basically needs to be corrected to "stand down", and I also suspect he would try to bite a vet if she were doing something he didn't want. He just has that edge that he will need to be muzzled there. Is fine going there for socialization and is good, but if it's poking and prodding I'm pretty certain he would react negatively.) He is VERY much mama's boy, smart, expressive, and happy. He is most into me, rest of the family good, and everyone else he is pretty much disinterested. As another piece of info, I have 4 girls ages 6-14.
He is now 9 months old and I know that is definitely at play here. Over the course of the past month we have had 3 situations involving my children that have seriously concerned me. My youngest 2 don't really interact with him at all. My 11 year old has done treiball training with him and has been working with him a lot. He also tends to follow her around (will wait at the bathroom door for her, for example; sits at her feet when she plays the piano, always brings her his toys, etc.) But twice in the past couple of weeks he has - out of nowhere - snarled/barked/gotten in her face in an aggressive and threatening way. No bite. No warning growl. When NOTHING was going on. The house was calm, no food involved, no toys nearby, he was not sleeping, no guests or noise in the house, nothing going on, he hadn't just been tussling with my other GSD. She (my dd) talks to him all the time (gently and quietly) and both times had reached forward to pet him (just as she always does) and he went nuts (not really barking per se, sounds how he would interact aggressively with another dog, has that kind of quality to it). The 3rd time she was getting water at the kitchen sink to water a plant and he jumped up on his back legs (hiked front legs onto the counter) and made those same sounds again. Both times I was within a few feet and as soon as I moved toward him he bailed and peed on the floor because he knew.
I cannot even guess what the trigger was. There was nothing out of the ordinary and I saw no clue in his demeanor or body language before he went off. And it is odd that it is directed toward that daughter who has been so close to him. In both cases I was right there. They appear to be completely random and sporadic, but I cannot have my kids safety put at risk. If I had no children in the house I wouldn't be concerned, but I am wondering if this is that "iceberg" underneath the surface that bailiff alluded to. Predictable aggression is one thing (e.g. to strangers while on a leash) bc you can control it or avoid the triggers, but unpredictable, unmanageable toward a family member is another thing entirely.
As an aside, the tone of these tussles is similar to the types of things we saw when he was little. I am just really concerned that this will escalate. He is a very good boy 99% of the time but i never know when that 1% of time will be a problem, or if it will become greater than 1%. I also think a dog could maul someone one minute and seem fine and behaved the next, so I don't want the "majority of the time he's great" to make me naive about what might be going on.
would love you guys' thoughts once again! thanks in advance!