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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 9 month old beagle shepherd mix who's about 50 pounds. He was born in a rural pound and I adopted him from a rescue at about 4 months old. He has always been the sweetest boy and fairly well behaved. We started obedience training at 5 months and have done it continuously. He still has some puppy habits that we are trying to break such as jumping but like I said for the most part he is well behaved. In the last month he has had 3 different episodes of what may have been aggressive barking.

1. I brought him with me to my parents house which he is very familiar with. He goes there at least 3 times a week while I'm at work because they're home and love watching him. This time they were having a party so I put him in his crate because he tends to jump and there were unfamiliar people there. The crate was in the room next to where everyone was and all of the sudden about an hour in he started barking like a low gruff bark. As if he was spooked or something. Toddler girls had been running around playing and screeching a little bit so I wrote it off as the noise bothering him because before that he had been great and just chewing his bone completely relaxed.

2. This is about a month after the party situation. My boyfriend who he has been around since I first brought my dog home was standing in the kitchen. He had already seen him that day but we had just gotten home from dinner about ten minutes before when all the sudden he did the low gruff barking directed at my boyfriend. I had my boyfriend take his hat off and as soon as my dog got close enough to smell him he realized who it was and immediately licked him and rubbed against him.

3. This is a few days after he barked at my boyfriend. We were at puppy class in local pet supply store waiting for our turn to do a drill. He was staring at a shelf of snacks when someone in another aisle dropped something. He started barking and was really spooked to the point that the trainer made me walk away to a different part of the store with him to calm him down. A few minutes later a young man was looking at something next to us and he started barking again! When we left class I put him in the car and as we were driving out he started the barking again. It was dark outside but I looked and there was no one else even walking in the parking lot so I have no idea what he was barking at.

I know this is a novel but I'm really concerned that he's going to start being aggressive toward people. Up until now he's always loved everyone, he even let complete strangers pet him on walks and is a total attention lover.
 

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If it's only a few instances, I wouldn't worry too much about it.

I had my boyfriend take his hat off and as soon as my dog got close enough to smell him he realized who it was and immediately licked him and rubbed against him.
This doesn't make much sense tho, if your BF is within 20 feet of a beagle, the dog should know by smell who it is... So unless your BF had a strange smell to him - or your dog has something medically wrong with once of his senses (eyesight/smell). When is the last time the dog was at a vet for a checkup?
 

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It doesn't sound aggressive, more like uncertainty. I'd focus on building confidence and positive experiences in new places and around new people.

The first incident sounds as though he'd just had enough and was overstimulated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Jagger. I didn't really think about the fact that he definitely would have been able to smell him from where he was. It's been a few months since he was last at the vet so I think I'll try to get him in.
 

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It could be that the smell didn't match the appearance and that's what confused him. But, I'm never one to argue against a vet check.

Also, at nine months this could be the second fear period, so you really want to keep things positive and confidence boosting.
 

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It could be that the smell didn't match the appearance and that's what confused him. But, I'm never one to argue against a vet check.
I agree with jagger. Dogs have an incredible sense of smell.
About a year ago I had to have some significant surgery and my head was heavily bandaged. No, it wasn't brain surgery!

I was a bit worried that our dog might have had a problem with my "new" appearance with all the bandaging. Not a bit of it. The welcome home is just something you can't buy.
 

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Still, dogs sometimes startle at familiar people, especially if they look different or show up unexpectedly. Unless it happens regularly, I wouldn't be too concerned.
 
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