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Hello everyone! I am looking for help with my aggressive alpha dog. We have tried general obedience and he is a good dog when he is in a good mood. But when he gets mad he is belligerent. And because he can be so aggressive, I get a little scared of him myself. He has nipped at my face before because I was snuggling with him and made a sound he didn't like, so I am apprehensive. I do feel he would bite me if he felt threatened enough by me.

The issue is, he isn't aggressive with STRANGE dogs (he doesn't have much exposure to strange dogs but whenever we take him out of his house/yard he turns very docile), he is only aggressive with OUR OTHER DOGS! He growls when they walk by, he blocks them from us, doorways, food, etc. And occasionally, for seemingly no reason, he attacks.

I don't want to keep them in crates, they don't need to be in crates for house training purposes, just to keep everyone safe! I don't want my other two dogs to live like that.

Can anyone offer advice?
 

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Threre's too much info missing to get a clear picture but...

1) Dogs really don't like being hugged/snuggled and need to be conditioned for it. This begs the question, how long have you had the dog, and where did he come from?
2) Forget about what you think 'alpha' is and focus on the behaviors you'd rather have...you need to train those behaviors and ask for them as an alternative to the ones you don't want.
3) Dogs don't attack for no reason. They attack out of fear or because it works. Clearing this up in his mind and yours, and to get what you want with your dog, I'd recommend a certified trainer. I wouldn't short cut it or take it on yourself unless you have a history of doing so.
 

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Some of this sounds like resource guarding...didn't know if anyone else thought the same?
 

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Thanks! I have been reading about resource guarding. While some of it seems to apply. I am not sure that's the full issue. Yes, Angus is aggressive around food. But we, or the other dogs, have never tried to take food away from him. What I mean by aggressive towards food is that just buying a new bag of dog food and bringing it in from the car we have to put it away and out of sight immediately! If we set the bag down he will growl and attack if either of the other dogs come close to it. When it's feeding time and they are all being crazy and excited, we have to really watch him to make sure the activity doesn't send him into attack mode. Usually we keep him in the room with us while the food is being dished out to keep anything bad from happening. I have read how to deal with dogs who have this resource guarding issue. While I think some of it may work, I am not sure how I would train him when it comes to US. He will literally lay down on the floor in front of us whether we are on the couch, in bed, at the computer, and if one of the other dogs even looks like they are headed this way he stands up and scares them off. Not even always a growl or anything, he just intimidates them. Or he will lay in a doorway keeping the others from leaving or entering a room.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Threre's too much info missing to get a clear picture but...

1) Dogs really don't like being hugged/snuggled and need to be conditioned for it. This begs the question, how long have you had the dog, and where did he come from?
he love snuggles, he really does! He very lovable most of the time. Just one time I made a noise in my throat or something, like a little grunt or something. And he took it the wrong way. I have had him for five years and he was a rescue.
 

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He can be resource guarding you (that's what it sounds like) it doesn't always have to be food/toys it could be the couch a person anything that the DOG finds high value....I'm still thinking it's resource guarding but it COULD be something else...anyway I would do as suggested and find a GOOD dog behaviorist that doesn't believe in being the pack leader or alpha
 
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