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I know I'm new here, but I troll these forums a bit and thought you might be able to offer some advice and/or experience. I've read other posts on the subject, but each situation seems to be individualized, and... I just need some reassurance I think.

I have a male Dobe, AKC registered, who turns 3 years old this August. He was just recently neutered in the last 3 months (his sounding test for breeding didn't have worthwhile enough results vs. his health and longevity). He is my first Dobe, and I know I've likely made mistakes in his training.

He's a very sweet dog and listens to my commands, loves to get his face and ears rubbed, loves children and just being near me. We have a second dog (have no idea what breed – a rescue, just under a year old as of today) and they get along very well and my dobe is so gentle, even in their roughest playing.

He shows no food aggression, and I've routinely made sure that he understands that the treats/toys I give him are because I gave it to him (aka, I take away a bone he chews on, and he doesn't even bat an eye, he just waits for me/the command to take it back).

Within the last few months, though, he's been showing a particular type of aggression that has worried me.

I know when I'm not home at work, he'll sometimes sleep on my bed, but when I'm standing off the bed and I command him to get off, he'll do it without complaint.

However, I'll be in bed already, and he'll jump up, and I'll give him the same command and he won't listen. He'll lay down ON me, and when I say “NO” or the command for 'off', he'll growl. I tried to push him off, and he bared back his lips, barked, and lunged. Ended up pinning me down on my own bed (he's ~90 lbs of muscle) and he bit my arm, because I had put it up between him and my face, before my roommate who wasn't on the bed commanded him and dragged him off. He didn't draw blood, but his teeth did scrape enough to leave a mark.

I know I also messed up something because I got scared, and I know that's a sign of weakness that he can sense. But he was also going for my face, and it's difficult not to feel frightened when it is out of the blue like this and you have a Dobe baring his whole mouth of teeth at you.

He has done this twice now, with about 4 weeks between each 'incident'. This is the ONLY time he has EVER shown a type of aggression toward me, and he does not do the same thing to either my roommate, other people, or the other dog. It's only when he's being super close to me in particular.

I love my Dobe, but the only solution I know of is Final. Is this something that I can get trained by a behaviorist? He listens to my commands otherwise, and my roommate's as well, except in this situation, so it somewhat confuses me if this is some sort of dominance behavior when it happens at no other time? Is it a genetic trait that I may have lucked out on with his breeder? Can we get past this? I just need a little advice, I think, because I don't know what else to do.
 

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denormalized
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Step 1: go to the Vet and get bloodwork done to make sure there is no illness and BE SURE TO GET THYROID TESTED and post the results on here. The Vet will only do T4, but that is a start.

Subsequent steps depend on step 1.

Good luck and tell us what the results are - get a copy of the results. Explain to the Vet why you are there.
 

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You need to be in touch with a professional, immediately. You also need to stop letting your dog on the bed, for everyone's safety, until you are working with said professional. I would crate your dog while you are sleeping for everyone's safety.

I'd look at working with a professional trainer and/or a veterinary behaviorist.

A good starting place for trainers can be found here: Search for Professionals

Veterinary behaviorists: Member Directory « ACVB

Do NOT set your dog up to do this again. Safety first.
 

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You shouldn't do this alone. You need a professional, and when I mean professional, not jo blow trainer down the road that uses force/dominance/alpha rolling/I'M THE BOSS type trainer.

Look for a certified trainer that uses BAT, LAT, positive reinforcement, structure and boundaries as their training program.

Have you spoken to your breeder about this behavior?
 

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I agree with all of the advice you've gotten so far. I don't like the sound of the solution possibly being "final" though. If the results of veterinary testing come back clear, there is probably something wrong with your relationship with the dog in that his training has been lax in some way. He doesn't have enough respect for you to be trusted not to assert himself in the bed or on furniture. The fact that he scared you is understandable but not good at all. He needs retraining with a good professional and needs to learn that nothing in life is free. He must earn all of his perks and that they come from you when he complies. He may be a dog that forever loses bed and furniture indulgences.
 

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Bad Wolf
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Do the medical tests outlined above and in the meantime look for a trainer. This is fixable. The 'final solution' is just that. You havn't even looked at considered or completed the first couple available solutions. Good luck, please don't give up on him so soon.
 

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Also, if the behavior or medical issues are not something that you are willing/able to work through please consider a reputable rescue as opposed to other avenues. Good luck :)
 

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Holier Than Now
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Do you know your dog's pedigree?

Is there information available from your breeder, on the temperaments of his ancestors? Family traits?

Any other incidents with any of his siblings, that you're aware of?
 
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