so Brody doesn't often get to play with many unknown dogs, is that right?
And seems like the few dogs Brody does get to play with, are all females?
Hmmm. Well, for real, since you are not entirely sure if Brody is beginning to display dog-aggression, now, don't get upset, it might be Brody is fine, he very well might be just fine,
but, just in case
he is beginning to display dog-aggresion, the best thing you could do, is try to get a half-hour with a animal behaviorists or a trainer to help you discover if Brody is, or is not, dog-aggresssive.
since there IS some question there, is he or isn't he? You don't want to have a set back, or a dog fight break out, to protect both Brody's lil feeling of safety, and other dogs, and anyone else around. It's hard to explain, but IF IF IF Brody IS beginning to display dog agression, well, you still have a chance to maybe avoid having it escalate by ending up in a dogfight, which could really change Brody's progress, bigtime. Ideally, you want a safe controlled setting for an evaluation by a pro, since so far, it might be, that Brody is just fine!?
If i were in your shoes, i'd call up a positive only trainer or behaviorist, who has actual hands on experience with dogs with aggression,
(for in case your lil Brody IS dog-aggressive)
and explain to her, that Brody has had limited exposure to other male dogs, and you are uncertain if Brody has some mild dog-aggression beginning to show up,
and you'd like her to evaluate Brody, and set up some type of interaction with some dogs that the trainers KNOWS are friendly, well mannered dogs.
Since it sort of sounds a lil border line
, it might be best to let Brody have his first playtimes with other males or some unknown dogs, in the most positive manner you can locate.
You want to give Brody some positive experiences with other dogs.
(some things you say about Brody, sound marvelous, like the play bow! wonderful sign!
and some things you say about Brody i can see why you have a concern, the growling at unknown dogs
) Dog-aggression typically manifests at about 9 mos old, but, if a dog lives a fairly isolated life, doesn't get to play with other dogs too often, well, it can be delayed. Dog-aggressive dogs ARE just fine as puppies.
You can not
tell when they are puppies.
It's genetic disorder, but no doubt, your trainer will not
know that, and will think it is all from having been scared that one day as a puppy, but, it's genetic, that is IF IF IF IF, and that is a big IF there, IF your lil Brody even is dog-aggressive at all. Brody might be just fine!
He might be fine. He might just need the chance to have some positive experiences with other dogs in a controlled setting. Like, don't take Brody to a dog park, nope, any wild acting dog could give Brody a setback. See, you might still have a chance here, to make sure, Brody's next experience with a male dog, or an unknown dog, goes really
well. Last thing you want to do, at this fork in the road, is make Brody worse. (and yeah, it can get a lot worse than growling) YOu want to avoid that happening.
Get a trainer or an animal behaviorist,
to supervise Brody's first playtime, to evaluate
, if Brody does or does not have issues. NOT ALL TRAINERS have any experience with such things. Specifically ASK if the trainer has any experience with aggression issues.
(not like agility stuff, but actual behavioral problems)If they don't, move on, keep searching.
And go watch her or him in action
you let them near Brody. Leave your dog at home, and go make sure, the trainer is not yanking at aggressive dogs, and scaring them, and all that nonsense that doesn't even work.
(i've had trainers swear to me they were "positive only" and then when they met MY dog, they yanked him, yelled at him, popped his neck around, tried to throw him on the floor, scared him half to death......etc etc) NOT ALL TRAINERS DO
WHAT THEY SAY
Many trainers might be AWESOME at helping your dog learn tricks or agility or heelwork! but not have much insight about the best approach to managing dog aggression, or have only heard about it or read about it in books.
Brody even has this, he might not
have it, but IF Brody has it, you'll want a pro there to prevent any dog fighting from making Brody worse)
On the bright side, even if Brody IS dog-aggressive, almost invariably, the dog-aggressive dog loves
humans. (it's the shy dogs who bite humans
SO GOOGLE YOUR TOWN'S NAME, and "dog behaviorist" and "positive only dog trainer". and try to get even just a half hour sesssion/evaluation.
Ask your vet, as well, if she knows any to recommend. Also, they'll want your dog given a full health screening, although almost all dogs with dog-aggression are perfectly healthy dogs.
Probably not what you wanted to hear, but, since you aren't 100% sure yet, what is going on with Brody, it's time to find out.
in a safe setting, to avoid making Brody any worse.
and sadly, neutering your dog won't change his growling to other males. They'll tell you it will, but it doesn't. My dog-aggressive dog did not change an iota after being neutered, neither have other dog-aggressive dogs i know of. It's not testosterone....nope.
Still, neutering IS a great thing to do,
to decrease the chance of yet another "whoops!" litter in our dog overpopulation crisis.