Barking Mad

I’m not sure exactly when, how or why it happened, but we suddenly find ourselves in possession of one Aggressive Dog.

Yes, it’s the same dog we’ve always had, except Sasha has decided to stop being completely submissive and start being mean.

So far it’s only to other dogs, but considering how completely docile she’s been up until now, it’s a worrying trend.

I thought it was the other dog’s fault at the bank a couple days ago (it was obviously curling back its lips at her), but now I’m not sure she didn’t start things somehow.

And it seemed like a coincidence at the dog beach yesterday, when she snarled at the other dog who trotted by. I thought it was about the stick she had recently abandoned, even though she’s never been protective of toys before. She regularly has her balls stolen at the dog park.

But it became impossible to ignore when we were walking home and a happy dog came up to say hi. Everything was going normally, until the other happy dog looked at me for acknowledgement and maybe an ear scratch, and Sasha decided to growl and lunge, nipping at its hindquarters.

The only thing I can think of is that Sasha is a) awfully jealous of the attention shift from her to Isaac, and not interested in letting any other dogs muscle in on the limited time she gets from her people or b) suddenly convinced Isaac and I need protecting from any strange dogs.

I haven’t taken her out without Isaac, so I have no idea if he’s truly part of the equation or not, but in the meantime, it’s unacceptable behaviour and I’m not sure what to do about it (short of getting a muzzle, mostly as a visual sign to other dog owners that they should give us a wide berth while we sort things out).

Anyone have experience with a usually sweet but suddenly very cranky dog? Dog behaviour changes post-baby? Recommendations for trainers to help us work things out and get my sweet, silly, totally safe dog back?

Poor Sweet Sasha, in happier (for her) child-free times

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2 thoughts on “Barking Mad

  1. Donna

    I STRONGLY recommend Shelagh at Dizine Canine ( … she’s done wonders with helping me figure out what the hell to do with Justice and her stupid antics. Dana with Release the Hounds ( is also excellent, and I believe they do a class specifically tailored to helping dogs figure out what to do with a new baby in the house.

    Aggression is usually fear based, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Isaac is the reason. When my sister was born, our daschund Dolly got super protective of her. Never aggressive, but SUPER worried if anyone else was touching HER BABY. She’d whine and pace and drool until the stranger put the baby back.

    Dogs are weird…

    peechie Reply:

    Awesome, thanks. I’ve emailed Shelagh – hopefully we get this silliness all sorted out soon.

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