I have a beautiful 5 y/o chocolate lab, Molly. We were there when she was born, very involved in her weaning process and have had her since she was 12 weeks. We also have a 6 y/o yellow lab. Molly has always been wonderful with us and our other lab. She is actually my 9 y/o son's dog. He has always been able to do anything with her or to her as toddlers often do.
However, she is not a social dog at all. Her bark is very very aggressive. She has gotten out of the yard a few times and has surprised a neighbor who in turn surprised Molly. Molly then nipped her on her ankle. I was also told by another neighbor that he had to kick her to get Molly away from him as she was very aggressive towards him on his own property.
She is wonderful at home, protective, but lets newcombers into the house after a good sniff. I do see the aggression in her and am afraid that she will hurt someone. We had been told by the dog warden last year that she needed to be put down, but after a little research on our part, Molly is still here.
As I said, we have had her, her whole life and she was never abused so I don't know where this aggression is coming from. Molly doesn't deserve to be put to sleep, but I don't know how we can keep her. I know the lab rescues won't take her because of the aggression, but I don't necessarilly want to keep her either as it is a constant stress issue and battle making sure she doesn't get loose. This does happen a few times a year as my 9 y/o will occasionally leave the door ajar and if not watched, the dogs will run out. Any insight would be much appreciated.
Get thee to a vet for a full checkup. This may be a medical issue.
Then hire a contractor to fence your yard. You absolutely cannot risk her getting out unattended.
Kelrobin Cleveland Street Denizen, CGC, RN [Parker]
"Dear George: Remember, no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings. Love, Clarence" -- IAWL Screenplay (1946)
And get a healthy homeowners' policy if you can still buy one. You do have a problem with her. And if your 9 yr old can't be trusted w/ leaving doors open, then that is a problem too. He's plenty old enough to understand the consequences of a dog getting out, killed, or in trouble.
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
Second the idea of teaching your son to be more careful about controlling the dog's escape route - he is plenty old enough.
And on the subject of training - - what have you done with this dog? Aggression is not just born of abuse. When dogs are poorly socialized as puppies/young dogs they can become "hyper-vigilant" at home and lack adequate social skills in public. Also, some dogs have genetically poor temperaments.
You need to take some action to address her behavior. I would consult with a behaviorist or a trainer who uses positive training methods.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.