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Old 07-22-2012, 09:55 PM
Just Because Just Because is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1
Default Aggression

I've had my dog Sam for four years. He was abused as a tiny pup, but the shelter got him at three months old (approx) and I got him at six months old. He's never shown any signs of aggression whatsoever. Out of the blue tonight, my son (17) was laying with him on the couch & Sam growled & lunged at his face. My son was fast enough to stop him before he got to him, but WOW!!! WTH?! I am dumbfounded and don't know what to do.
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:59 PM
stardogs stardogs is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: NC
Posts: 4,925

With a massive behavior change like you describe, my first thought would be that there is something going on healthwise. A full vet check with bloodwork and a thorough physical would be my first step.
Erin, Ziva, Kestrel, Aerten, and Snipe
Always in our hearts: The Amazing Maggie Mae

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Old 07-22-2012, 11:16 PM
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thehoundgirl thehoundgirl is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2,347

Yeah, I would get him checked out by the vet. If there's nothing wrong with him, get yourself a behaviorist. Not one at petsmart either, and actual behaviorist!
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:12 AM
Teal Teal is offline road...
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Northern California
Posts: 1,497

I agree with taking him to the vet. How old is he now? What breed/mix do you suspect him to be? What was your son doing at that exact moment? Did the dog have a treat or toy?

I had a similar situation once... At about 2 years old, a dog I had raised from 8 weeks old (the dog on the far left in my signature) started growling at my son when my son would hug him. I was MORTIFIED. Based on his breed, he was looking at a death sentence if he had issues - I DO NOT tolerate human aggression. But, I took him to the vet to rule out any medical issues before doing a behaviour eval on him.

Come to find out, there are nerve issues in his spine and the pressure my son was putting on his back with hugs was painful! So, a pain management system was planned out and I explained to my son that leaning on the dog hurt him. It's been three years since then, and there has not been a single episode of growling (even with accidental pressure placed on the dog).
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