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Canine Behavior/random aggresion


Baggio wrote at 2013-11-07 16:03:59
Hey there,

I would second your mom's response - flight is usually the best way out.

But it might help to clarify a few details:

1. When you say he's not friendly to other dogs - do you mean ALL other dogs? Or maybe just to males, or to specific breeds or types (e.g. smaller or larger) dogs? (If it's selective, it might be the same with people as well - there might just be certain "people" he doesn't get along with - similar to how there are some people humans don't get along with. )

2. Is this the first time your dog saw your mom? If not, did you ever appear with your mom in the presence of your dog? (This might contribute to the extra hostility towards her. If he's used to interacting with your mum, this would never have happened. )

3. How did your mom call him off? Was it a physical movement, or a verbal command like "off"? (If she tried to physically budge him, then this might follow as a natural response - after all, your mum isn't his "master" - who is she to think she can call me off? That's probably the reasoning behind his behavior.)

4. When baring his teeth at her, was this followed by a low growl? (If this is, he's most probably annoyed that she has disturbed his "status quo", per se. If this happens, your mom did the right thing by going away )

5. Do he make it a habit to sleep on your bed? If not, do you permit it when he does come on occasionally? (If you allow him to sleep on your bed, he'll think that this is his territory, and there's probably no reason for him to leave. He might actually allow your mum to sleep WITH him, but not push him off of his own territory. )

My interpretation of this is simply a case of your him not being too used to being around your mum, but also the fact that he's being interrupted from his rest.

If you're still concerned, I recommend an excellent dog behaviour guide here: where it details a lot of dog behaviours, what cause them, and what you can do about it. You can head on over to check it out if you're interested.

However, based on what I observed, I don't think that this is a cause for concern, so I wouldn't worry about it too much.

Hope this helps some!

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.

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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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