We need some help/advice. We are having issues with Harley (our BRAT rescue being aggressive/growly toward people when they come to our house. This is a new thing that has developed and we just can't figure it out. It scares me because it seems like he does it more toward kids that come over (esp. kids who have animals & so have that smell on them). His hackles go up, the other day he sort of snapped at one of the kids' friends when she came in the door and today we had someone come over and I was holding his collar when they came in the door and he snarled & was very mean about the whole thing.
We feel like his behavior toward other dogs changed after he was attacked @ the dog park (I posted about it on the basenji forum) and I don't know if this relates to that also or what. He has NEVER shown the least bit of aggression toward our kids except for normal minor "stop doing that" sorts of warning growls (hope that makes sense).
He seems super aggressive when they very first come in the house, then if we keep on him (holding his collar, CLOSELY monitoring contact) then we can let him go and he does pretty much ok. Although it seems like if he "forgets" they are here (like the strange kid is in another part of the house for a while) we have to start all over again. Then later, he tries to "play" with them by jumping up & nipping…but this is something he doesn't do w/our kids...it's obviously playing & reminds me of how he has played in the past with other dogs.
Ever since the dog park incident we've been unable to have him around other dogs. He & my parents' dog (a Bichon) used to get along just fine & play but now we can't let them be around each other. That's a somewhat separate issue, as it doesn't worry me that much & is easier to control. But we have a bunch of kids and a very open home and it is impossible to limit the kids (ours & others) in our home.
I'm so worried because obviously if he bites any children we can't keep him. I just want to get this figured out and the behavior addressed ASAP because right now when there are people over we have to keep him locked up in other areas of the house or I have to be hyper-vigilant to be sure he isn't getting aggressive toward any kids in the house.
Do you have any ideas/suggestions? Help!!