Sudden change in dog's behavior towards owners

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Sudden change in dog's behavior towards owners

This is a discussion on Sudden change in dog's behavior towards owners within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hi there, A bit about my dog Rollo: He's a year and 4 month old Chihuahua mix. Generally nervous and anxious about most things, except ...

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Old 02-06-2018, 08:56 PM
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Question Sudden change in dog's behavior towards owners

Hi there,
A bit about my dog Rollo: He's a year and 4 month old Chihuahua mix. Generally nervous and anxious about most things, except for his parents (boyfriend & I). I adopted him when he was just 6 weeks from the county shelter. He was neutered at 6 weeks as well. (Not by my choice, they don't let you adopt a dog and take it home without it being neutered/spayed by them first).


I've noticed an odd change in him, and neither me or my boyfriend really know what we should do. It started last night, boyfriend was getting ready for bed and being silly and dancing around, and Rollo went into defensive mode and started barking at him like crazy, it seemed like he didn't recognize him anymore. Usually, he sees the dancing as play behavior and will run and get a toy.
I've seen him act like that before (the defensive barking), but only with people he doesn't know and random inanimate objects that he sees as threatening (example: he hates this sculpture in my dad's backyard and will bark at it any time he notices it).

Fast forward to today and he is still acting odd towards my boyfriend and now me. He has started making more intense eye contact with us, and if we look back at him, he will let out a bark which sounds defensive to us. It comes and goes, he'll be sitting in one of our laps and falls asleep for a bit, and then wakes up and will do the intense stare thing and just act weird, almost like he doesn't trust us anymore. It's not constant, he will still play with us and want to cuddle, but randomly he just switches modes and it seems like we're strangers to him for a minute or two. We have no idea what's going on and are feeling a bit distressed. He has never shown behavior like this with us before.
We've been wracking our brains to think of something that may have triggered it but we can't think of anything really.

Any thoughts/advice?
Please let me know if you need any more info!
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