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Sobacca has always been a good dog. He's 4.5 years old now, a mutt, and I've owned him since he was 8 weeks old.

Recently (in the past 4-5 months) I've noticed a few behavioral changes with Sobacca. He's always gotten along great with any dog he's met. HOWEVER, in the past few months I've had the following instances occur:
- was walking both dogs and there was a dog on the other side of the fence that barked and Sobacca had a strong reaction to bark/growl back at the dog (he's never done this before, he was the dog that would ignore every other dog barking at him.
- today at the soccer fields, minna got in trouble for digging a whole....she got put back in her crate in the back of the van with the trunk left open (since I could see her from the field -- it was about 40 feet from Sobacca). Another dog came over and I said that Sobacca was friendly and they were both being friendly and then all of a sudden sobacca got aggressive with the other dog. The other dog was 7M.O. female mix dog, about Sobacca's size too.


Those are the two instances that really stick out in my mind. I don't know what his deal is or why he feels the need to have that reaction now. The only change that has occurred is Minna.... But any suggestions on the change of behavior...and what I can do about it? I plan to work on it, but I sort of need someone with a dog, that he's never met before.
 

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Have you brought him to the vet? I'd get him a through physical, including blood and thyroid. Its odd IMO a dog 4.5 years old would suddenly change. Is it possible he was attacked or spooked recently by a dog?
 

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For the thyroid panel, I would certainly include a full panel, including a TgAA, which is the best test for an autoimmune condition. There is a thing called thyroid aggression.

I would also think about whether anything in the household has change, the diet, etc.
 

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Do you think it could have anything to do with Minna? The only reason I ask was that once...long ago...We were a one dog family with a sweetheart of a dog named Ellie. Ellie was about 4 years old. Then we got Argos. They got along great. And we would take both of them to the dog park regularly. Ellie had always been an excellent dog staying out of trouble, and actively avoiding it if there was a scuffle. But once she got Argos it really seemed to kick in every protective instinct she had and a good deal more pack behavior than I had expected. If he played too rough she had to get involved in it, another dog barked at them on walks and where before she wouldn't say a word, with Argos she'd get barky right back. Does he offer any bad behavior without her there?

No real suggestions other than to watch other dogs and their behavior and see if you can find a trigger and avoid it. If you don't think it's a fear reaction, then I would give a pretty big correction and time out for that kind of bad behavior. Fear or uncomfortableness is a little more difficult to work with. Again you have to watch and find the trigger and then expose them to it in a positive way- which can be hard to do.
 
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