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Canine Behavior/Aggression towards my daughter


Hi, we bought a 7 month old schnauzer yesterday. While I know it will take a little while to get used to everything and everybody, he is lunging at my youngest daughter who is 7. He also lunged and growled at my husband. My husband quickly put him in his place and it all fine. He continues  to watch my daughter and when she makes a sudden move or just walking past, he growls and sometime lunges even though we have dicsiplined him. Any ideas or help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Thank you for your question.

I'd like some more information about this dog and the circumstances in which he growled/lunged.

1. From where did you buy this 7-month old dog? A breeder, a pet store, adopted from a rescue or shelter, on a street corner?

1a. How big is this dog? What does he weigh?

2. Why was he being sold at 7 months? Most puppies are sold by 8-10 weeks. Do you know if he was sold and returned? And if so, why was he returned?

3. What, if anything, do you know of his history before joining your family less than 24 hours ago? Did he have regular interaction with men, children, strangers, etc? Do you know what his living situation was before you bought him?

4. What exactly did your husband do to "quickly put him in his place" and what exactly is being done to "discipline him" when he growls/lunges toward your daughter?

Once I have these details I'll be better able to discuss your situation and make suggestions that are specific to your family and this dog.

I look forward to your prompt reply, addressing each of these questions. (you can simply use the "reply" button in this response to reply.

Los Angeles Behaviorist

Canine Behavior

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Jody Epstein, MS, CPDT-KA


IF YOU BELIEVE YOUR DOG IS ILL OR INJURED, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL VETERINARIAN IMMEDIATELY. THIS IS NOT THE FORUM TO ADDRESS URGENT MEDICAL ISSUES. I AM NOT A LICENSED VET AND HAVE NO DIAGNOSTIC SKILLS. ***I have been answering questions on All Experts for over 8 years now. I enjoy being able to offer assistance in this forum. I do need to be clear, though. If you’re looking for free advice about a specific behavior question, you MUST submit your question to me via All Experts. If you bypass All Experts and write to me directly through my website, I will ask you to submit via All Experts. On the flip side, if you’re local to Los Angeles and you wish to speak to me privately about an in person consultation, please go through my website. I appreciate your assistance in keeping my volunteer work on the volunteer site.*** I can answer questions about the following canine behavior issues: obedience, timid/fearful & fear-based aggression, nuisance behaviors, families that are expanding with either new human or new animal members and many other issues. If you have potty training questions please first read my trio of blogs at If you still have questions after reading the blogs you can post your specific questions here. PLEASE be as specific as possible when asking a question. Give me a detailed example of the situation - dog's behavior, body language, circumstances surrounding the issue, what the consequences are (another dog's response, your response), etc. I can only provide insight if I can get a picture of the whole scenario. If I ask for further details, please provide them. In person I would normally observe for at least 90 minutes to assess the situation and the dynamics before offering tools and suggestions to modify it. In writing it is ever so much more difficult. Thank you for your participation in the process.


I have been a professional obedience trainer for 9 years, and specializing in behavior modification for 8 years. I have owned dogs my entire life. I own my own dog training and behavior modification business called Nutz About Mutz.

I am a Certified Profession Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), #2133301 ; I am a member in good standing with the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), #77763 ; I am an AKC certified Canine Good Citizen evaluator (CGC), #71253

Publications ; ; Multiple articles in the local pet magazine Pet Press (found across Southern California)

I have a masters degree (MS) in Animals and Public Policy, with a minor in Animal Behavior, from Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. I also have 3 years of graduate education in Animal Behavior and Learning from UM-Missoula and UL-Lafayette. I continue to educate myself to canine-specific behavior through extensive reading, online interactive workshops, vidoes and attending canine behavior conferences, workshops and seminars. Beginning in March, 2017, I will be the Behavior & Training Manager at Second Chance Center for Animals in Flagstaff, AZ.

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