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My 2 yr old Pyr/Bernese Mtn dog mix has recently began to be more aggressive.

Lady has always been barky and leary of strangers,but to our family she has been sweet, protective, and loyal. If she was being corrected it was not uncommon for her to walk of grumbling, but she listens almost every time. I have had her since she was 5 weeks old.

She has never been physically aggressive.

In June she got loose and ran into the road and was hit in the head by an SUV doing about 40. She lived and the vet said there was no permanent damage. She was sore and unusually grumpy for about 2 weeks. Ever since we have watched her become more verbally aggressive with strangers and even snapping once. Which he was warned she doesn't like strangers and he still wanted to see her and tried to touch her.

The main problem now is the other day she took a cookie from our 19 month old baby. I swatter her back end, not hard just to her attention and she turned and nipped me in the face. She has never done anything close to that with me and I have been using a swat since she was about 6 months old. I am worried that she will hurt my kids so I feel like I need to give her up, but she is part of this family and with her stranger aversion she is not going to be easy to re-home. I don't want to give her to a shelter because again her stranger aversion would most likely result in her death.

She has so much love in her, right now she is laying on my feet sleeping (Pyr thing). But unless I can come up with a good method to curb this behavior I will have to giver her up. She is 90 + lbs and could easily kill my children.

If you have successfully dealt with this before please let me know what you did. I want to keep my friend.
 

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Was there no formal obedience work done anything else besides the swatting on butt and I'm not knocking that just asking what exactly have you done. It does sound like you have had hidden problems before the car hitting dog.

How did vet know there was no permanent damage done. Head knocks with a person can be hard to spot and you have the person able to talk to the Dr. I have no idea how the dog could explain/complain if there was a head damaged problem.

You mentioned dog walking off grumbling, not sure how a dog grumbles versus growling so you have had warnings before. Feeding a young child around a dog can be a tricky problem but a personal choice I guess.
 

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If she was being corrected it was not uncommon for her to walk of grumbling
I swatter her back end, not hard just to her attention and she turned and nipped me in the face.
Obviously not a dog that responds well to correction. Fact is, most don't.

Hire a quality one-on-one trainer to teach you 'hands off' / R+ ways of dealing with your dog's particular issues, firsthand. That's my general advice.
 

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One of my dogs was designated "handler aggressive" by the first trainer we had and she refused to work with us. It's because whenever she gave a leash correction he would snap at her or go up the leash, depending on the severity of the correction she gave him.

My new trainer solved this problem rather easily.. "so just stop correcting him." The simplicity and truth to that statement really stood out to me. Definitely find a trainer who is well versed in aggression and reactivity towards humans. Once the dog realized that I had a lot of good things to offer him and that I wasn't going to hurt him, he started to trust me and take the "advice" I gave him while introducing him to strangers seriously. He's now a dog that I can take in public and not be nervous about how he reacts to people we meet.
 

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I definitely agree with Lindbert and think that a dog may be more motivated to exhibit good behaviours if you pay attention to those more and really reward him when he's being gentle around the baby, well behaved, etc. Particulary if you're in public, keep rewarding him when he's being calm and friendly to people, and try to distract him away from something he may be doing destructively (Ex. chewing your shoe).
 

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That's horrible that she got hit in the head by a suv.
I'm sure you were frantic and scared about the whole situation, but did you let your dog know that? Were you overly submissive and babying her because of the ordeal? I've seen many cases where something traumatic had happened to the dog and the human was so scared and frantic, coddling the dog, baby talking to dog for a long time because they felt so bad as to what happened. I've noticed in a lot of situations like this, the dog will usually become dominant and snappy. I'm not saying that this is what happened, but think back on how you acted with the whole ordeal.

Also, she could have easily gotten brain damage from a 40 mph crack to the head. You can't just walk away fine from something like that perfectly fine...Maybe she's still in pain or her brain might be overly sensitive now and even a slight tap on the behind could have been very painful to her. I would seriously consider getting a second opinion from a different vet.

When you bopped her booty and she turned and snap at your face, I hope you corrected the hell out of her. I would get a professional in there to help you handle the behavior. You got the dog and it's your responsibility to help her to overcome this problem.
 

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I am very sorry to hear that she got hit...that is tragic. :-((((

Did she just start this after getting hit? I would try looking into more tests for her neurological damage. I can't see one's head getting hit at 40 mph with a 3 ton machine being okay after that.....She might be reacting out of pain. I got rear ended a few years ago on the high way in a traffic jam. The lady hit me at around 40 mph (thankfully it wasn't at 70 mph due to the jam) and I suffer from severe head pains still to this day.
Pain can make animals react very defensive. Try looking into more tests for her brain. Help her out. Don't throw her away.... :-(
 
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