05-16-2018, 12:50 PM
Join Date: Sep 2015
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
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Aggression like that can be scary, it is so loud and sudden and intense. However, since you mentioned no injuries, it sounds as though it was just a very intense threat. We've always had a lot of dogs in our household and so we've seen it all. The growl and the sink-eye, the snapping, the lunge, the threat attack, and the full-blown "I want to hurt you" attack (which you can often tell apart by how ferocious it is). Only one of our dogs has ever shown real aggression towards us and it was not over food, it was because he has fear issues. Food aggression towards other dogs can turn into food aggression towards people, but that is certainly not a given.
Going to a trainer is a very good idea, especially if it is a good one who knows what they are talking about and a variety of possible techniques to try.
Sometimes it is as simple as not giving out treats in the kitchen. That can be hard, but often dogs feel the need to chase others away when treats are being handed out. My 13-year-old dog does it. He sort of stops when I tell him no, but only begrudgingly. He snaps, chases, barks, and snarls but has never come close to hurting another dog, it is all just a threat to show he means business.
The attack tended to happen between our two Golden Retriever mix brothers. Rax, the more dominant brother, would attack Arby over their food dishes, even though we fed them across the room from one another. We had to start watching them, but it was never anything serious. We broke it up just because it could become serious without someone to tell them to chill. Dogs can get worked up, and sometimes need to be de-escalated.
Again, dogs can looks scary when they fight, and it is always good to catch it early, but I wouldn't get too worried about him getting dangerous as long as you nip this in the bud and start working on it. Teaching patience, lots of exercise, and keeping in control of situations involving food can all help.
By the way, we've always had to give out bones in separate rooms because our dogs never learned to feel comfortable around one another with bones. It was just too tense a situation. They never really fought, but Rax would always force them to give up their bones to him, which wasn't fair.
I hope this helps!