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My dog that is 5 months old gets very aggressive towards myself and my family when she is tired/sleepy at night and will growl, snarl and even lash out at anyone that goes near her when she is trying to sleep or is tired. She is a perfectly fine, friendly, really smart and well behaved dog during the day and is completely fine around people and other dogs so we have no idea what causes this or how to fix it?

Any help would be amazing as we want to fix this so we aren’t having to tiptoe around our lovey family pet at night to avoid a possible bite and we definitely don’t want to have to give her up.

Thanks
 

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If you haven't already, crate train her. Then encourage her to rest there diring the day when tired and also have her sleep inside at night. Doing so will keep her out of your wayso you don't have bother her as much when she is tired and will likely reduce her feeling the need to bark/growl.
You could even cover with a blanket to give her more privacy.

Training wise, you'll likely do best working with a good trainer.
http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/finding-trainer-behavior-consultant-behaviorist-113946/#post1347266

To start, you are likely to need to do some counterconditioning. In this case you would likely have food in pockets all day so that you can drop or gently toss a piece everytime you are walking around/need to pass when she is relaxing.

A trainer is likely to have additional exercises for you to work on and can give you in person help.

And last suggestion, get to the vet for a thorough exam. In particular, I would want to have eyes checked, look for potential pain in the body, and possibly a thyroid panel.
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Yeah she is crate trained as she sleeps in her crate at night and even if she is in her crate and we try to shut the door or walk past she growls and barks so we are going to get a vets opinion if nothing else works
 

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Can I ask what your outcome has been of this. We are having the same problem with our 6 month old sprocker, except he will do it during the day when tired as he won’t rest or settle! Especially in car if we have been for an exciting or tiring walk!
 

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I'm following because I'm having same issue and it's very upsetting. Elsa is a 15 month old Boston terrier ...she started growing and biting at 12 weeks...first dayi picked her up... I adopted her. Tonight was the first time she showed her teeth and growled. She was sitting next to me on the couch and I stroked her face like I've done a thousand times to wake her up gently to go outside and she bared teeth and growled.shocked, scared me then made me angry. She should not be doing this when I've had her this long. Whether she is tired or not ...I've never had a dog do this. I am getting her a trainer - I have a list to go thru so praying they can help me. I feel like I'm failing at raising her to be a good dog. I adopted another one at 12 weeks ...a lab mix and hes never ever growled or showed teeth at me when hes tired and hes 4 years old now
 

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. I stroked her face like I've done a thousand times to wake her up gently
There's a big clue here. There is a reason for the saying "let sleeping dogs lie". It's a natural instinct for a dog to be immediately on high alert if woken, in case of danger. Rather than touch her, wake her by calling her name from a few feet away.

It's also worth doing a quick mention of dog body language here though too. Dogs give a series of signals that they are unhappy but often the early ones are (to humans) quite subtle and we don't notice. To a dog they are much clearer though. First there is lip licking, yawning, turning the head and raising a paw. Then the ones we do see - growl, showing teeth, snarl. Finally, nip then bite. Note that nip and bite are at the very end. However if we fail to listen to the early signals, a dog feels he needs to be clearer so escalates to stronger and stronger ones. If we repeatedly fail to listen, he may miss the early ones out altogether and go straight to the bite. So it's important to respect the growl, your dog is saying "I am not happy, please make this stop it go away". As a friend of mine says, she would rather be verbally abused than punched without warning!
 

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My dog that is 5 months old gets very aggressive towards myself and my family when she is tired/sleepy at night and will growl, snarl and even lash out at anyone that goes near her when she is trying to sleep or is tired. She is a perfectly fine, friendly, really smart and well behaved dog during the day and is completely fine around people and other dogs so we have no idea what causes this or how to fix it?

Any help would be amazing as we want to fix this so we aren’t having to tiptoe around our lovey family pet at night to avoid a possible bite and we definitely don’t want to have to give her up.

Thanks
You have two question. The first is what causes it. The second is what to do about it.

To start with familiarize yourself with the post #7.

On the cause:
What is causing this is that your dog is telling you that she wants to be left alone and you are ignoring the signals, probably because you aren't seeing the signals. A dog never snaps at you without first giving you a number of signs before that that they are uncomfortable with what you are doing. Look for websites and videos about dog "body language" so you can start to recognise when your dog is telling you that she doesn't want to be sociable at that particular moment. You can maybe start with a video like this one:
. This video is dense with information so you may need to view it more than once but it's pretty good.

As for solutions. I would recommend trying these things:
1) you need to give you dog a safe place to go to for down-time. Dogs are den animals so in fact, what you need to do is create a den for it. In our case we used the crate and laid a blanket over it so the crate is darker and closed off on the inside. When our dog has had enough of people he will go in the crate and lay in there instead of being around people. What is important is that you treat her den as a "no go zone" Do not interact with the dog at all when they go in their safe space. Another common safe space is the dog's bed. When the dog is in the bed then treat it like a no-go zone.

2) Try to understand and train yourself that a dog will come to you when they want to interact. You don't need to bring it, and in fact, most dogs need some down-time to just chill without being pet and handled the whole time. This is a mistake that a lot of people make with puppies. When the dog is in one of the no-go zones, then avoid the temptation to interact with them. There's nothing wrong, the dog is just being a dog. When she's ready, she will come to you and then there will be no conflict. This is the best way I've found to avoid "incidents" like you describe with the dog.

3) another thing to try, especially when you know the dog is tired, is the "5 second" rule. When you interact with the dog, don't stand there petting it for more than about 5 seconds. Then stop and see what the dog does. If the dog comes for more then do another 5 seconds. At some point you will stop and the dog will walk away. That's the dog telling you that it was enough. This will definitely help to avoid snapping incidents in the future as the dog matures more.

good luck
 
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