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CuddleBug has entered his. He has been with us a year and more or less been pretty well behaved. He had to learn house and cat manners but otherwise had no major issues to tackle (just the run of the mill stuff). Until....the past month.

When guests enter the home the rule for Bug is he must sit and wait. A guest may or may not acknowledge him and they may or may not interact with him, but he MUST stay in his sit until released. He has been very consistent with this and we have been very consistent with how we do it (door knock, dog comes to door, sits 3 feet back, human greets guest, stands by dog when guest enters and oversees all following action). The last three guests have been family with whom Bug is well acquainted. The last three guests know the drill and automatically play their parts. The last three guests are those who will pet the dog. The last three guests have stood in front of the dog only to have the dog spring from his sit to jump on them AND to snap at their faces. In one instance I has standing with a hand on his shoulder while the human guest paused next to me, having not even acknowledged the dog, to get the same split second reaction.


Tonight Bug was bouncing through the living room as Husband followed with a ball toward the back yard. Husband paused to place something on the coffee table as he passed. Bug bounced back and up at Husband and did the same snap at his face.

He not only lost his play time at that moment, but he has earned a reset. Back to basics...leashed to one of us at all times or crated.... over and over repetitions of door entries, etc. I hate the punky years...especially when they are tinged with that aggression...and it IS aggression. His body language changes in that split second and I know the dance well. *sigh* Just when I was thinking his terrible twos might not be so bad.....
 

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That would be very surprising if it really was aggression. Why would he be showing aggression to your husband and to people he knows well? :confused:

When I adopted Rafi he did this exact same thing. When he was excited (such as the ball scenario you mentioned) he would leap into the air and snap in my face. He would also grab onto his leash and try to drag me down the street while growling.

I'm sure it would have looked pretty scary to someone else but it looked like a high drive dog missing impulse control to me. I didn't take any privileges away from him (because it's highly unlikely he could understand that the snap was what lost him those privileges) but I did teach him to put a toy in his mouth when he's excited.

To this day (almost 6 years later) he gets a toy when he's super excited and he chomps really hard on that toy and jumps around and growls with that toy in his mouth.

So...hopefully what you are seeing in Bug is a lack of impulse control. If you were seeing true aggression toward his people then I would say he has a screw loose.
 

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"when your dog isn't doing what you want you have to stop
and ask yourself what am i doing wrong". i read that somewhere.
terrible 2's and punky years don't exist. i think people use that
as an excuse when they don't train consistently, don't socialize
consistently, don't train correctly then it's the dog is going through
some stage. people go through the stages, the lack of doing stages.
 

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I agree Doddiedad-I think we gave him too much leeway- thus a return to more strict lifestyle. I disagree about not being punky years- I see no reason not to acknowledge that creatures other than humans have developmental stages. Rules challenging, sowing your oats and seeing how far you can push things- absolutely terrible twos.

The whole body language in this dog changes when he does this snap. If he were not prevented from making contact it would be a bite. The fur is up across his back, his body is stiff, his vocalizations change- all in that moment when he jumps. While Beast had some solid aggression I felt he was pretty predictable and I never felt I would be surprised if I got nailed (all the genetic handler aggression I'd been warned about for his lines never seemed like something we could not manage or train)- and I fully expected at some point I might be nailed. This Bug behavior seems/has been unpredictable. He tried it on my husband a week ago- Husband sitting on sofa, dog passed by then doubled back and jumped up at his head with a snap- minor contact because of swift movement.
 

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Just to add- we did not take privileges away as a punishment.... we put him in a down stay and ran him through some paces inside...after a few weeks of this it was time to refocus on the basics especially more so at that moment. I will not allow that- it could put his life in danger! I can understand an exited driven dog...we had Beast, I get it...I have seen Bug in that mode...this is different.
 

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Ok, do me a favor then and take him to the vet for a full work-up. Ask them to do blood work, a full physical and an eye exam. This is not normal behavior, even for a dog trying to climb rank (which doesn't normally happen like this). If he were disrespecting your leadership he wouldn't be trying to bite at a sudden movement.

Anytime there is a sudden change in behavior (you say it's "unpredictable") then my first stop is always the vet. Many years ago I evaluated a gsd who had started jumping on people and snapping at them when they moved. It turned out that he had pannus and it wasn't being treated aggressively enough. The dog was slowly going blind and the world looked completely different and much scarier than it had looked so he snapped at literally anything that moved quickly into his sight range.

I don't want to tell the rest of the story because it did not end well but they did not make the connection between his physical problem and his behavior until it really was too late.
 

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No laser light games have been played with him?
I did think of this too. That would explain sudden hand movement but the OCD dogs I have met are usually focused on the floor or the ground or the walls, looking for reflections.

To the OP: I have had two fear aggressive dogs. One I adopted at 5 months old, the other at 4.5 years. One was genetically fearful, the other came from an abuse/neglect situation. In both cases their fear aggressive behavior showed up within a few weeks to a few months of joining my home. Before they were fear aggressive they were fearful. As their confidence grew, the aggression started.

I understand that you have a lot of experience with dogs but every dog is different. Please have Bug checked out by a vet.
 

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I evaluated Bug when he was in the shelter. I found a confident, drivey, happy dog with no fear. I would find it odd that after a year of being in the home he suddenly developed fear aggression. He was neutered either at the shelter or before so it's not hormonal.

If his hackles are raised and he's tense, I doubt it's just a new way of showing frustration. Jax jumps towards my face, body slamming me and screaming when she's frustrated but her body is not tense nor are her hackles raised. Could this be a way of demanding attention? It's an aggressive act but is it truly aggression? Or a teenager screaming in your face to get attention but is all talk?

Even if it is frustration or a belligerent teen, I would think it would be handled similar to what dNk is describing. Training, supervision and impulse control work.
 

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I am having a similar problem with a similar type of dog- 2 y/o fixed, rescue with no previous issues with people in the year plus I've had him....

Any luck with your problem yet?
 
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