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Freyja is now a little over 5 months old. She has always been a sweet dog and I have gone out of my way to socialize her by bringing her to stores, introducing her to a variety of dogs and people and taking her for walks in state parks. This weekend she exhibited some behaviors that I have never seen before and am worried might become more common. First let me state that I was extremely sick all last week and she spent many a day and night on my bed with me all day as I enjoyed my misery. This weekend I decided to spend some time at my Fiance's house. After I let her out of my car my Fiance came around to say hello and help me with my bags. The problem was that he didn't say a word, I didn't notice him, it was dark and he was downwind. Freyja started barking/snarling yet holding her ground. When he continued to approach, she charged. Yet once she discovered it was him she went into full puppy meltdown mode and all was fine. I understand that he was in the wrong and don't fault her for her behavior although i do wish to teach her that not all strangers are bad. Yet she's never done anything like this before, even in identical situations.

Later that evening, his mother's retriever jumped on me and all **** broke loose. Freyja attacked. Snarling, snapping, biting, until she had the full grown retriever on his back, belly exposed, yet even then she chewed on his neck. It all happened so fast that I didn't have time to react. I pulled her off of him and reprimanded her. After this incident she was fine with him. Later that evening the retriever mouthed my fiance's hand causing him to say OUCH!. That was round two. This time he was able to intervene before she had flipped the dog. She was told "NO" and scolded. Throughout the next two days she bullied the retriever, stealing his toys, hip checking him, and forcing him to roll over and expose his belly, and putting his head in her mouth and grumbling. She has never done anything like this before. She was fine with both other dogs at the house, but the retriever seems to be her chosen target. Is this her growing into a stage of aggression or is somewhat normal?
 

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Snarling, snapping, biting, until she had the full grown retriever on his back, belly exposed, yet even then she chewed on his neck. It all happened so fast that I didn't have time to react. I pulled her off of him and reprimanded her. After this incident she was fine with him. Later that evening the retriever mouthed my fiance's hand causing him to say OUCH!. That was round two. This time he was able to intervene before she had flipped the dog. She was told "NO" and scolded. Throughout the next two days she bullied the retriever, stealing his toys, hip checking him, and forcing him to roll over and expose his belly, and putting his head in her mouth and grumbling. She has never done anything like this before. She was fine with both other dogs at the house, but the retriever seems to be her chosen target. Is this her growing into a stage of aggression or is somewhat normal?
This all sounds like normal play in my house. If there were not punctures or blood, then I wouldn't think it was an attack.

Do you practice NILIF with her?

At 5 months old, her reaction to your fiance is just fear. She is too young to be aggressive in the sense of attacking people.

Step up the socialization with her and work on NILIF. She needs to know that you are in charge and it is not her place to dicipline the retriever. If they are going to be spending lots of time together, I would walk them together often to help form a bond in a controlled setting. Walking together = good.
 

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No aggression in a five month old - fear reaction. She could well be going through a fear stage - completely normal, well socialized, mentally sane and non-reactive pups can turn into completely different dogs overnight when going through a fear stage - don't make a big deal out of it. With your fiancee, she recognized her mistake, and hopefully will learn from it. Continue to take her out and about and set her up for success with a lot of positive experiences.

With the behaviour with the Golden, I agree it sounds like play; probably a TON of pent up energy from spending a week housebound wity you as you were sick. She is still a pup, does not know her limits. Play with GSDs can often look like fighting (people would be horrified if they saw and heard my two going at it, yet it never gets serious).

Next time, when going for a visit, see if you can excercise her a bit to blow off some of that energy and see if that helps with the behaviour.
 

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I agree with the two posts above. Deuce is 5 months old and does the same thing. He barks at everything when we walk and shys away from people he doesn't know unless I walk up to them and start talking to them.
 
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