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Need Help....Starting to Show Aggression Towards Strangers

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First and foremost, I realize that if I can't correct this problem I have to put my dog down but I am looking for help in correcting this issue so I don't have to do that. Please respond with advice only.

Here is the background. Bella is a 2 year old B/W female GSP that has not been spayed. She lives in town with a 3 year old male black lab and is around other dogs all the time. She has also been around small kids and strangers all the time since she has been born. In this time she has never shown any signs of aggression towards people or animals.

The problem started about 3 months ago when she nipped a buddy of my father in law's when he was walking back to his snowmobile at the lake. She tried to grab the back of his coat as he walked away.

About 2 weeks ago we were at my uncle's shop and she nipped at a guys fingers who was out there to put gutters on the shop. Weird thing was she totally ignored the other worker and only went after the one guy.

The most recent time was this morning when a buddy came out to the lake to drop off some tools for my father in law and she came up behind him and tried to nip at his sleeve.

All three times she has done this I haven't been around her when she did it (I was either gone or inside a building), she has been away from home, and the people have been strangers to her. After the last two incidents I was able to go right outside and scolded her. I even had the person come back over around her with me there to she is she would do it agian. When I was there with her she didn't growl, or anything. She didn't even stop wagging her tail.

Does anyone know what could be causing this behavior or how it can be corrected?

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I see no one wanted to tackle this one.

Whenever there is a behavioral problem its usually because of the owner. Not a lot of dog owners like to here that.

I've seen this exact same thing happen more then once.

All the ingredients were the same.

You might have trained your dog to know his boundaries by staying in the yard, which is good. When you leave an unattended dog, over time he'll think his boundaries are his area to protect. Some breeds will develop that trait more then others. A GSP will jump in to the roll of protector real fast.

Have you every driven up to a house and there is a dog running loose. The dog either thinks your there to play with him or he'll think your a threat. IMO, a dog owner should never allow their dog to make first contact with a visitor. Your sending the signal to the dog that its his job to inspect all incomers. That would mean the dog is under your constant control at all times. When your not able to do that the dog should be restrained. A kennel away and out of view of your front door, or in the in an confined to an area where he can't get at the fount door. Are all dogs that are not under constant supervision going to become aggressive. Of coarse not.

What your trying to do is avoid is this trait to happen. When the genie is out for the bottle its hard to get her back in.

Knowing how bad habits can get started and avoiding those situations it was makes for a smart and seasoned dog trainer.

Consider it tricks of the trade, everyone learns them with what ever they do.

What to do.

All the above episodes happened when you weren't there.

Keep the dog under your control at all times.

Don't let the dog greet anyone before you.

When someone knocks at the dog don't let the dog between you and the door. Dog should be told to sit and stay away from the door.

Some dog owners think its cute to get the dog excited when there is a knock. "Wows There!" Dog barks and and displays. Your telling your dog your scared and teaching aggression.

I'm not saying your do that I'm just trying to show examples.

Obedience training to reinforce that you are the one that protects him, the house, its occupants, and all belongings.

Obedience training to assert your roll and make him relinquish all that he has taken upon himself. He'll happily take that place once there.

Field training, a dog needs a job. Your taking away his roll as

protector and replacing that with what hes breed to do.

That will build confidence in him and you as well.

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