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My dog who is 2, whom we have had since he was 7 weeks old, has started behaving very differently the last 2 months. He was socialized with aminals and people early on, never growled, bite, etc. Was never aggressive, except with food which we have worked on him with. Recently he has started gettin tense around people, even people he has seen many many times, such as my 17 year old neice. Now sometimes, he comes up and puts his head in my lap and I will pet him and he is fine. Sometimes he does the SAMe thing and I pet him and his fur goes up and he starts a low growl. Last night, he was enjoying me pietting hom, rolling for me to scratch his belly, sitting up letting me scratch his ears when out of nowhere he nipped my finger. He is a Lab/Border Collie which I never thought to be agressive in nature. He is growling at all people that don't live at our house, regardless of how many times he has seen them, ie. Our Landlord, whom he has grown up around since they are right next door! People that have been around him everyday since he was a pup and has even nipped at them! What could be going on with him? He was never aggressive with anybody ever until now! Any ideas on how to stop this behavior now?
 

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It has been scheduled, but until then I was hoping for some ideas on what it could be...Are there too many different things it could be?
 

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It has been scheduled, but until then I was hoping for some ideas on what it could be...Are there too many different things it could be?
Could be that he is reaching social maturity. He sounds more like he is anxious around strangers than aggressive. When he bit you finger - what was it like? Was it gentle? hard mouthed? did it bruise or break the skin? As for growling, I never make a big deal of it (to the dog) I would rather have a dog who communicates his distrust/discomfort in that way so you can notice that things aren't going well for him than a dog who has had the growl punished out and skips the lower level communication and goes directly for a bite. This doesn't mean you shouldn't deal with the REASON your dog thinks he needs to feel uncomfortable, but you can work on that in safer situations where the dog is under threshold. After you have ruled out physical causes (tick born disease and low thyroid come to mind) I would seek help from a professional who uses positive reinforcement to guide you. And, if they suggest you jerk your dog or shock your dog when he growls, find a different trainer. Thing is, it could be a lot of things. And some of those things it could be are not aggression. You haven't provided much information on the situations, the dog's general demeanor, etc. Which can be hard to do on an internet post. Shoot, I couldn't even say if the nip to your finger was just an affectionate nip, or a request to stop what you were doing, or what. And understand that when you ask on an internet forum, you're likely to get all kinds of responses from all kinds of people. If you hire someone locally, they can ask all the right questions (expect an interview, and them wanting very specific details), observe the dog's body language and possibly pick up on some triggers. Good luck with him
 

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It has been scheduled, but until then I was hoping for some ideas on what it could be...Are there too many different things it could be?
Medically: pain, low thyroid and lyme are the most common in a young dog. You mention that he was fine until you got to his ears? Ear infections hurt, and they're not always obvious to the casual observer. I'd rule all that out first, while still managing his environment so as not to set him off.

Let me put it to you this way: Whether he's biting because his ears hurt or because some emotional thing makes touching his ears off limits, don't touch his ears for right now. Rule out illness, then we can approach this from a behavioral point of view.
 
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