Hi everybody,
This is my first time posting here, so please forgive me if I'm asking something that's been covered a million times already. I will try to be as brief as possible.
My wife and I have two dogs. Willy is a Doberman mix (possibly lab - we're not sure, he was a stray.) Argos is a German Shepherd/Rottweiler mix. (Not 100% sure with him, as he's a pound puppy, but that's definitely what he LOOKS like.) Willy is three; Argos is two. They are both fixed.Willy is the dominant dog, and he would often attack Argos, who would always back down. That changed last week when Argos fought back and the two were both hurt so badly that they had to be rushed to the emergency vet. (Willy had a large bite in his neck; Argos had a gash that barely missed his eye.) Keeping them separate hasn't been a problem, as Willy actually prefers to stay inside in his crate while we're at work, and Argos is just fine outside.

Hopefully we can reintroduce them at a gradual rate eventually, but for now the best thing to do is just keep them separate. (Actually, they both sleep in our room, but Argos is in the crate and Willy is next to our bed. They haven't growled at each other, and act as though nothing has happened when they see one another.)
Anyway, I'm a bit concerned about Argos. He has never bitten or attacked anybody, but I still worry that he might be aggressive. Let me break it down like this:
Stuff that makes me think he's not aggressive:
1) We have had several people come into the backyard with him over thelast two years. He has never shown any aggression, and he has always been friendly and playful.
2) My sister-in-law comes over sometime and lets herself in the backto take care of some things when neither my wife nor I are at home. He is nothing but friendly towards her.
3) He once got out of the backyard and my neighbor was able to chasehim back into the yard without getting hurt in any way.
4) When I take him for a walk, he either ignores people or wants togreet them. When people approach him, he can be a bit overly-friendly with licks to the face, but he never growls or shows aggression. Most of the time though, he just sits there so he can be petted.
5) A different neighbor tells me that she walks up to the fence andpets him.
6) He ignores the cat for the most part, and when he doesn't, it'sjust to check her out, not to attack.
7) He spent a week with my in-laws, where my wife's uncle fed him, andhe got along just fine with him and their older female shepherd/lab mix.
Stuff that makes me worry:
1) When in the backyard, he barks at people passing by.
2) There has been a couple of incidents while walking him where he hasseen somebody and growled. I can quickly distract him though, and he stops.
3) When my neighbor told us about chasing him back into our yard, hesaid that Argos "tried" to bite him. Now, something may have been lost in translation here, as his son was translating from Spanish to us. Our neighbor was smiling though and didn't seem to concerned about it. Personally, I would think that if Argos wanted to really bite somebody, he would be able to do it.4) He barked at a kid today. I was sitting outside at Foster's Freezewith him, and there were people all around. He ignored everybody and just laid down while I ate. There was a kid at a table next to us, but he paid him no mind. Later, a different kid (but about the same size) started walking up to the garbage can to throw away some leftover ice cream. Argos got up, as I think that he felt that he was going to get some.

I pulled Argos back, and the kid jumped back a bit. Argos then proceeded to bark, but I was able to distract him very quickly, and I got him to stop. Later, the kid (walking very slowly and looking right at Argos) tried to approach the trash can again (which was right next to us) and Argos got up and barked some more. He didn't bare his teeth or make his hair stand on end, but he pulled at his collar and barked.
5) He barks at other dogs while on the leash. His first reaction isto run up and check them out, but when I pull on the leash, he starts to growl. Sometimes I feel that the leash just makes things worse, and it wouldn't be such a big deal if he could just go up and check the dog out.
That's about it. Thanks to anybody who not only reads this whole thing, but takes the time to respond.
Lance C. Johnson
Martinez, CA

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