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Hello,

We have a 1-year-old corgi who is generally very sweet but he gets extremely vicious in the following situations:

1. trying to grab something he's chewing that he knows he's not supposed to have. He doesn't mind when you take his toys away from him but if he has a shoe or a piece of paper, he'll attack you if you try to grab it from him.
2. around dinnertime. Sometimes he takes his food calmly but sometimes he gets scary, but it's more illogical here. For example, my mother was fixing his plate the other night and he kept snarling and growling at her and then ran to and attacked my dad, who was walking away and about five feet away as well. I was walking towards the food at the time and it would make more sense for him to attack me, but he attacked the one walking away. Tonight, we were going through pictures in the kitchen and he attacked my dad, again, like we were denying him food or something. Maybe he has something against my dad but he attacks all of us and can also be very sweet to my father.

We don't really know what to do. My brother suggested that neutering him would fix the issue and our dog trainer said he has a protective syndrome. It's very frustrating because there's no rhyme or reason to his behaviour but he's biting us so hard that we bleed. It's obviously uncomfortable for us to have to deal with him, especially since he's gentle most of the time. We are consulting the vet when they reopen on Tuesday but any help would be much appreciated!
 

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First talk to the vet and make sure it's nothing medical going on. Things like thyroid problems and neurological issues will cause aggression, but if it was that I'd think it'd be more random.

I've never heard of protective syndrome before and looked it up and didn't see anything on it. I'd seriously be questioning your trainer on what that is and why she does not think it's resource guarding. Better yet I'd hire a board certified behaviorist to help y'all since he seems to be redirecting the aggression and has shown he is willing to attack. Here's a link that will help y'all hire one if y'all decide to go that route http://www.dogforum.com/training-be...ainer-behavior-consultant-behaviorist-113946/

I doubt that neutering him will fix the behavior, it may lessen the aggression a bit but not fix the underlying problem.

What does your trainer have y'all doing to fix the behavior? Aggressive, dominant based, techniques will likely make the behavior worse.

I think at least part of the behavior is resource guarding, like your trying to take the shoes from him. He's found the shoe and has it, therefore to him it's his. You take the shoe from him you've stolen it from him, once you do that a time or two he feels like he has to defend his stuff. To combat that you need to prevent him from getting what he shouldn't have in the first place, then work to teach him that letting you see what he has gets him something better and 99% of the time he'll get back what he had (so practice with what he can keep!) http://www.dogforum.com/training-be...guarding-causes-prevention-modification-7511/

Why he's redirecting aggression onto your dad I'm not sure and it's why I think hiring a behaviorist will be best. Not being there to see the behavior I really don't want to hazard a guess since if I'm wrong I tell y'all to do the wrong thing and that could make everything worse.
 
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...Protective syndrome? Did the trainer say "resource guarding" or actually protective syndrome? If it's the latter I'm a bit concerned because that sounds rather wacky and I'd suggest you get another trainer.

But either way, your dog does have resource guarding, which means he guards something very aggressively because he doesn't want to give it up. Many dogs who do this only do it with certain things--not all. So for your dog it seems it's shoes, paper and his bowl, but not toys. Also, it sounds like when he bit your dad it was "redirected aggression". This means your dog was in attack mode, but instead of attacking the person who evoked it (you walking towards him) he just attacked the person closest to him--your dad. Sometimes certain dogs are also more likely to attack people who walk away, rather than toward them.

Either way this is unacceptable and you do need to work on this. Right now I would recommend only feeding him in crate. If you don't have one, get one. I also wouldn't allow him to be in the same room with you when you prepare his food. If he has a forbidden object you don't want him to destroy or something that might hurt him if he chews/ingests it, toss a bunch of food across the floor so he chases it, and quickly pick it up when he's a safe way away. I also wouldn't give a dog this aggressive full access of the house, so limit him with baby gates. I hope a trainer can help you with this.

Also Rain already said it but neutering won't make this problem go away. It can SOMETIMES help with aggression but usually doesn't do much. I would recommend neutering regardless, but don't expect it to change him.
 
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Hi,
This does sound like classic resource guarding, made worse by his experience that *his* stuff is regularly taken away from him. It's unlikely he knows that he's not allowed to have this stuff, dogs don't really think like that. In his world, he found it, he likes it and since he has it, is must therefore be his and he doesn't want you taking it away from him. You'd probably feel the same if someone kept coming along and taking your stuff away from you.

If he can't find stuff that's not his, he can't think it's his, so first step is to prevent him from getting that stuff. Second step is teaching him that you don't always take things away from him, but you do trade him *up*. And, you often give things back anyway, so he doesn't need to fear having it stolen. You should also teach him a reliable leave-it command, which means that when he starts going for stuff, you say "Leave It", and he does. Drop It is also good, so that if he does have something in his mouth that he shouldn't, you can say "Drop It" and he will. But you should start out with the management and trading-up training, then expand to leave it and drop it. Look up kikopup and Zak George for really good info on how to teach this stuff.

The attacking is redirection - the dog is excited or anxious, for some reason, too emotional to control himself, and he has to do SOMETHING! Unfortunately, he chooses biting. He no doubt feels more confident biting a person who is not facing him, which is why he went for your dad rather than you. My dog, who is very fearful, was once presented with a very scary situation (for him), consisting of two strange humans, two strange dogs and a puppy all coming toward him on a narrow path where there was no escape. He chose the puppy to attack. The puppy was not hurt, but very scared (and everyone else was extremely upset). Hate to advertise my dog's bad behavior, but just an indication of how fear affects dogs and how they will choose the least scary 'threat'.
@Rain and @traciek88 have both given excellent advise, too.
 
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