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Hi all,

Sorry first time poster here! I am after a little advice if anyone could help me?

About 6 months ago, we adopted a lovely rescue Dog called Bentley from a no-kill shelter in the uk. Bentleys background is that he was found as a stay at 12 weeks, taken to the rescue centre, where he was adopted 6 months later, he was with his previous owner for around 18 months before she couldnt look after him anymore. Bentley had been in two or three fights with a few dogs and wasn't reacting well and was too fear aggressive, he was then given back to the same shelter where he stayed for 6 months before we got him.

As soon as we got bentley, we knew he was going to be hard work, he pulled ferociously on the lead, had a skin condition that meant he scratched continuously, would lunge and bite other dogs, would run off and follow his nose anywhere it took him, he has a very strong prey drive as we think he is part scent hound (looks like a rottweiler Beagle) was greedy but very skinny. Nethertheless we perceived with him, took him to a one on one trainer who taught us skills on how to cope with his aggression and walking problems.

Six months down the line, we can have him off lead for his twice daily walks, hes put on weight, he has learnt to sniff other dogs but doesn't really lunge anymore, can be around our friends dogs, his skin condition has more or less gone, he has learnt 5 or 6 new commands and is happy to be at home and doesn't suffer from anxiety, we absolutely adore him but we've run into an issue that we are afraid we can't fix.

He has a few times snapped at my partners brother, quick nips of the hands, they seem to be completely random and when the person is paying no attention, He has also nipped at my partners work colleagues hand when he has taken Bentley to work, it would appear random on both instances so we almost have not wanted to address it.

However, this weekend I had my 9 year old brother to stay whom Bentley has met before but has never really paid attention to him. As soon as i bought my younger brother into the garden, Bentley air snapped and it looked like tried to bite him, i immediately took my brother in the house and left Bentley with my partner. Later on that afternoon, Bentley walked past my brother and did the same thing again, so again they were separated. I should note that my little brother wasn't interested or in Bentley's space at all. The next day as i bought my brother into the house, Bentley began to bark and lunge at him, to which i had to send my brother upstairs to make sure the dog didnt hurt him.

I should also mention, this isnt the first time bentley has been around children, we were told he was fine to be homed with children and he has played with our friends 3 year old (albeit a little boisterously, previously)

Both my partner and myself are looking to have children in the next few years and it has absolutely terrified us that he make act that way in the future, he is a medium sized dog, but very strong and now weighs over 23kg.

We have gotten to the point where it has worried us so much we have been considering whether to rehome him for our sake and his. It is not something we have ever even thought about, we are absolutely in love with him and have come on leaps and bounds, but it might be a dealbreaker for us.
 

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It sounds like you might need a professional behaviorist's help; I'm perplexed by the ability to play with a 3-year-old, but the snapping at a 9-year-old. Also by the snapping at particular family members and work colleagues, but not others presumably.

If you are considering children in the future, I wouldn't assume that Bentley would react to your own child the way he has reacted to select, relative strangers. But only a professional can observe Bentley and tell you if this is pervasive aggression or something more manageable.
 
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