Here`s another great article:
Will try to keep this short but definitely requires a bit of context…
TLDR: Our dog is acting very aggressively towards walker; new home/environment playing a factor?
My fiancee and I have a 4 1/2 year old Wheaten Terrier who is quite high energy, and can thus be a lot to handle for some folks (particularly visitors, even if he has had long walks all day will be very tough to manage). His "possessive" behavior began around when he was 1-1 1/2 years old, prior to that he always got along with other dogs and loved people/is still very lovable with us.
We attempted to get him some training, where they diagnosed him as being possessive of us two (we had mistaken this for "protective" behavior). Unfortunately, due to my work unexpectedly taking me out of state for a bit we were unable to keep up with going to the classes. Fast forward to today and his behavior is largely unchanged: gets along with and loves meeting people, but only likes dogs who are smaller than him, puppies, or female dogs (less threatening presumably?). Other dogs are easy enough to avoid, but we will always need a walker as we both commute 3-5 days a week.
He has never been aggressive towards dog walkers in the past, but we recently moved from around a 750 sq ft apartment into my parents' second home which is roughly 2000 sq ft and furnished with my parents' things. The first month or so he was great with the walker, no complaints. More recently, he would start to growl a bit if the walker put his harness on but we had chalked this up to the fact that he was sick at the same time and on some meds. After he was back to being himself, things have been fine for the past couple weeks, until today of course.
I received a text from the walker laying out the above situation.. continuous growling, occasional lunging, etc. He was unable to walk him as a result, so I left work early. Ever since I returned home, he seems very out of sorts/almost depressed. Are his reactions and behavior toward the walker a result of him becoming possessive of this new environment with its different furnishings, larger size etc.? I'm at a bit of a loss here.. he never acted this way towards other walkers, and seems to greater separation anxiety nowadays (barks at us from top of stairs when we leave). It feels like our only option will be to do some very intensive training in the future.
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