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Hi, I have an 8 year old male golden retriever / husky cross who is showing signs of aggression. He has always been protective over his food dish and we have have tried everything that is recommended by other dog owners and vets with no luck.

He is also the type of dog that fits in the "let sleeping dogs lie category". If he is sleeping or relaxing he tends to bark or growl if you get to close or pet him. The other day he was relaxing and I went down to his level to pet him and he started to growl. I spoke quietly and softly which typically works however this time he started to bare his teeth and when I motioned to pet him again he quickly turned and snapped and nipped my hand breaking the skin. For the first time I was actually frightened.

I also have family in for the weekend and he has been acting very strange. He is normally a very loving caring dog excited and happy to see people but as soon as they came in he was sulking around with his tail between his legs and growling. All they would have to do is look at him and say "hi Joey" and he would growl.

I Plan on taking him to the vet this week to see if something is wrong - if he's hurting.

Has anyone else experience this kind of behaviour? My main concern is that of my 3 year old daughter. I'll be honest - my initial reaction when he snapped at me was - I love ya buddy but your gone in the morning. I would just hate to see anything happen to my daughter.
 

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Low thyroid can cause aggression. Get a vet to do a blood test including T-4 levels.

Pain from arthritis can also make them grumpy/aggressive.
 
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