We obtained Jake four years ago from Lab Rescue in Atlanta. He was between 1 yr-2 years. Don't know much about background before arriving to Lab Rescue.
GREAT dog! Laid back and gets along so well with other dogs, kids, people and have even used with special needs kids. Never barks or shows aggression or over stimulation. Great to have around puppies as he keeps them in line without being too rough. We have two boys - now ages 6 and 11.
Only problem we ever had was keeping him in yard - nothing works. We have learned to work around with good success.
We live in neighborhood with sidewalks near a school - always lots of walkers of all ages at all times of the day. Never a problem.
About a year ago, out of the blue, Jake reacted to elderly gentleman walking alone on sidewalk in front of our house - Jake went nuts and barked/lunged/hair standing up. I was there and was able to get Jake into down position - but obvious dog was rattled. Only thing I could figure, gentleman wearing a fishing hat?
Six months later - same situation. This time a mentally challenged adult male walking down the sidewalk and gesturing/talking to himself. Again - dog went crazy. I have NEVER seen Jake act like this. Again, I was there and able to put into down position….although much harder this time. As before, afterwards - Jake trembling and "excited."
Now, Jake not allowed out in front of house - EVER. Even if I am present.
We take to the park most evenings for long walks and play-dates with other dogs/kids at the park.
What would cause these aggressive outbursts? And what can we do? Doesn't happen often enough to be able to address consistently.
Note - workmen in our house….NO reaction. Jake would open the door and welcome them in if he could.
Appreciate any insight or suggestions.
Welcome to the forum!
Your situation is a tough one. Is there any way you could set up controlled socializatoin for him with someone who would act like the elderly or mentally challenged person (in movement and behavior) and they would throw him treats (or you could treat him for controlling himself)? Start at a distanct and work to the point of being able to be in close proximity without him acting out. This could take quite a while to desensitize him - and several sessions I would think.
Who knows what may have happened to him prior to you having him that might have caused this kind of reactionary behavior - but I think the only way to undo it is to have positive associations replace the negative.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Could he be afraid of men.
It was odd with ERnie too. Some he didn't react to some was frighteing the speed he reacted. As soon as I took him to the male vet he wet nuts. I slowly introduced him to men, getting the ones he seemed to trust a bit more to give him a treat. Four years later he is good, but men are not allowed to sit on the floor near Ernie.
Whatever it is with your dog and you may never know. I would do as Sharon said too.