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I have a dog here for boarding over memorial day weekend- he has come to stay once before for about 5 days and is generally a sweet boy. Super friendly with people, plays pretty well with my boys. He is a 3 year old german shepherdxlab (DNA tested), neutered, lives with a very tall man who for the military apartment and lives in a mobile home on the base near my apartment.

Well, today he displayed some sudden and extreme aggression. I have seen (and worked with) some aggressive, scared, violent behavior but this was the worst I have ever experienced. Imagine the most leash aggressive dog, one that obviously wants to destroy the dog he is fixated on, and then imagine that directed towards a person.

I took him out to use the bathroom by himself, right outside the front gate to enter my complex. The FedEx man drove up and got out with a couple packages and asked me a question. I turned around to answer him and I saw-almost in slow motion- as the dog's hair all stood up, his tail became erect and his ears pointed forward. He lunged against the leash, snarling and barking with his teeth bared. I tried to get him under control, but he kept lunging/snarling and at this point the FedEx man had jumped way back. This dog is nearly 100 lbs of solid muscle, and I felt as though he would pull out of my hands. I tried talking to him calmly and removing him farther away but he wasn't stopping and seemed to be getting more aggressive as I dragged him away. I reached down and twisted his collar, essentially choking him out. It took him about 30 seconds to stop and it took me a huge amount of strength to get him back in my apartment. Honestly, I think if I hadn't done that he would have gotten away from me and attacked the man. I was shaking and almost started to cry, it was terrifying and came out of nowhere.

Seriously, nowhere. I saw no warning signs, he had literally greeted someone earlier by putting his ears back, wagging his tail and licking their hands- very submissive and friendly. This dog has never been aggressive before. He will bark occasionally and has growled at night when there are noises outside the apartment, but usually he does it after my protective Akita has started.

I am scared to walk him and I don't know how to keep him under control. I don't know if I should muzzle him. I don't know what to tell his owner, because his communication is not good and I think he may get offended.
 

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I'm sorry this happened, and I wish I could give better advice but I don't have much experience with this sort of thing.
Was this a out of the blue thing, in the sense that he's never acted like this before? If so maybe there was something about the fed ex guy or something he was carrying or something that you didn't see that really freaked him out.
Hopefully someone will be able to give you some better advice, and I hope this was a one off thing for him.
 

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Hard to know what may have set him off. Perhaps it was the uniform, or ????? Dogs are dogs, and that's why it is the responsibility of the owner, care giver, to have them under control. Does he react to the postal carrier, or??? There is probably a pattern, just finding it, is the challenge.
 
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