Newly Adopted Dog – some worrisome incidents

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/Dogtraining/comments/i4jnli/newly_adopted_dog_some_worrisome_incidents/

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Hi everyone! My family (me, husband, toddler, baby) adopted a 3 year old 30 lb terrier mix from a shelter just this past week. He’s very affectionate, playful, and sweet. He takes treats from our toddler so gently! He’s been great with our cat and any people and dogs we’ve met on our walks. However, there have been a few instances of aggression that makes me very worried. I’m going to outline the instances here but before I do please know that I’m also reaching out to a behaviorist and we are very consistent in trying to teach our kids proper dog etiquette.

1.) he growled at my son while he was eating. My son was not touching him or his food. It only happened once and I’ve touched the dog while he eats. I’ve even stuck my hand in his dish. No reaction at all. We’ve since been having my son helping to feed without incident

2.) my son put his head on the dog while he was laying which caused the dog to nip at him. No warning. No growl. No defensive behaviors prior. My son had done thus several times before and received some very enthusiastic licks from the dog previously so this was kind of unexpected

3.) my infant was laying with me in bed. Dog jumped up to lay with us. Totally relaxed. Had licked the baby’s arm and wagged his tail. He then put his head down to rest. The baby rolled towards him and again he nipped very quickly. No warning. Just one quick nip and put his head back down on the head

4.) brought the pooch to the vet just to make sure he’s all good and healthy. I wasn’t allowed in, due to covid, so they got him from my car. He walked in with them happily. Once inside the vet called me to conduct the exam and I heard the dog barking and growling. This dog has only let out like 3 small barks in the time we’ve had him so I was surprised. She then said the dog was trying to bite them and they needed me to put a muzzle on him. They brought him out, he was happy to see me, let me put the muzzle on him with no issue. Once back inside he was a bit calmer but had what she called stress diarrhea on the exam table. Once he was done, he came back out and was his typical sweet self.

I believe this dog is a good dog. I believe he must have had some not great experiences in his life prior to us. I believe he could be a family dog. Do you guys have any insight for me? Thanks for sticking around for this super long post. I appreciate any feedback you might offer!

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