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Hi! I need help. I hate to be one of stereotypical people with a high powered dog, whining that I can't afford a trainer, but I am. :( We've priced trainers and do not have a spare $1000 at the moment. I'm hoping someone here has been through something similar and can give me some advice.
My 14 month old intact male has always been the sweetest dog. Typical of the breed, he gives you a thorough run down if he doesn't know you, but has never been aggressive at all. We boarded him at a vets office where he was loved and they thought he was great. We've had BBQs with lots of people, no problems at all. This summer, he woke up with a tender ear and within four hours, it had become extremely painful. We took him to the vet that same afternoon and he growled at the vet and half heartedly tried to snap at the vet tech. We were horrified. He'd NEVER exhibited behavior like that. They had to knock him out to clean his ear. He had to go back to the vet the next weekend for another treatment and he literally tried to eat the vet. Every since then, he has become extremely protective over his humans. Even my mother in law, who has been around him almost weekly since we got him, was subjected to aggressive barking. I had two college friends stay with me and he aggressively barked at them multiple times, to the point he wasn't allowed to be around them because he scared them. Its to the point, we don't feel comfortable having people over to our house without him being locked in his crate or in his kennel. He and my husband are very bonded and while the breeder would be happy to take him back, we don't feel right not giving him everything we've got to get him back to normal.
Then last night, I got up from my chair to go to bed and he barked at me like I was a threat. I should point out, he's never growled or tried to bite, but he's a 100 pounds. Being barked at by him can be terrifying. We are not passive dog owners. We've taught him manners and worked on training. We've established the pecking order and he is not at the top of it. But I'm at my wits end. I don't know what else to do. It's like a switch got flipped in his head and we need to get it switched back.
 
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