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I have a 2.5 year old neutered Black Lab mix that I rescued when he was 2 months old. He is VERY skittish when meeting new people at first, going new places, and with loud noises, but I've never had any issues with aggression before. He grew up with my ex-husbands 3 year old, neutered, Shiba Inu/Shepard, who was unfortunately very dog/people aggressive, but even then, my lab never went after his dog or picked the fights. He's stayed in doggie day care/boarding before, and I've never been told there was an issue with him.

Recently I took my dog to visit family - 8 hour car ride. My brother brought over his 8 month old female Shepard to where I was staying. We had them both leashed and attempted to introduce them, but my dog starting growling, snarling and trying to get at his dog immediately. I went to bring mine back inside, and he was putting up a decent fight to get back to my brothers dog. We decided to walk them outside separately to see if that would help. My dog pretty much ignored his, but when she would come over to smell him, he'd occasionally start growling/snarling and we'd need to separate them again. His dog never growled or snapped back- she just looked totally confused.

We thought it was just a fluke, so the next day I took him to my grandparents who have a 2 year old, neutered male pitt-mix. At first, they seemed to get along fine, but my dog showed little interest in their dog. We took them into the fenced back yard - my dog kind of just wandered around and did is own thing and they chased each other for a few minutes. Maybe 10 minutes in, my dog started to growl, snarl, fur up when the other dog would approach him or me. It got to the point where we needed to separate them.

I live in a neighborhood where some people unfortunately let their dogs roam free, and on walks, I've had random dogs run up to us. I've never had an issue. My dog will smell the other dog, hop around in that play with me stance, and then continue walking with me. When he sees other dogs, he gets excited and tries to pull me to them. He's played with my neighbors Boxer & Yorkie in my back yard and my friends Doxie and Italian Greyhound in my house with NO issues. He was sharing toys/bones with the Doxie.

The other day my neighbors Boxer approached our fence (same one he's played with before) - my dog was out in the back yard and I was in the front throwing out trash. My dog started growling at the Boxer through the fence and jumped/hit the fence. Normally he'll just whine to get by her or me if she approaches the fence.

Why is he suddenly showing aggression and what can I do? I'm concerned about walking him or bringing him places where there are other dogs. He's been the only dog for about 6 months now, and the boxer/doxie, etc. play dates all took place within that 6 month time period.
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