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Hi, we've had a shelter adopted Akbash for about 4 months. She was roughly 2 years old when we got her. As expected, she likes to guard things. This wasn't so noticeable at first because we have no other dogs and she doesn't guard us from things (with one exception so far). However, if we were to go anywhere (dog park, friend's house) where there are other dogs she will become very defensive of the area where we are sitting or where we put down our things. Initially, this was just with other dogs, but recently its with people too. The defensive behavior manifests as growling and barking, head-butting dogs, and snapping at dogs (particularly in the face area). It's gotten bad enough that we can't really take her to the dog park. Also, our apartment is a bottom floor apartment and she goes absolutely wild when people walk past (barking a bunch and really getting in the window, knocking things over in the window, etc.).
Quite recently, she has become very protective of bully sticks. She growls when we get really close to the bully stick and has has snapped at us a few times during this. Oddly, she is totally not protective of her food (I can hand feed her). In addition, she does not take treats well and often refuses them, particularly if distracted. She also isn't very into her toys either. This makes traditional training methods hard.
She's always been a barky guard dog, but it seems like she is getting overall more aggressive with time. She used to be fine at the dog park, and she didn't bark at just about every stranger we see.
How can we go about training this aggression out of her? I'm particularly interested in teaching her to not protect our things and ourselves as this is very annoying in environments with other people and dogs. We can remove bully sticks from her diet altogether if needed. I understand that she might always be this way a little, but it seems like it's getting worse rather than better. Besides the fact that letting her see people go by from the apartment might be bad, I can't think of what we're doing to encourage this behavior. Do you have any ideas of what we might be doing?
She has some other behavior curiosities too which may or may not be connected to this. First, she often pees herself. This isn't like she's marking or peeing in the house on purpose. It's like she's laying down and she pees herself and gets it on herself and seems surprised that there's pee everywhere. We have started giving her synthetic estrogen to help with this. Giving her these hormones seems to correspond with the uptick in aggression and guarding behavior, but maybe we're just imagining it. Also, she noses her food around when we leave and tries to bury it, which typically makes a mess (is this a sign of anxiety?).
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