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Hi all,
My male standard poodle is in need of very serious training. He has several aggressive tendencies and they are getting worse with age. It started with attacking us in the backyard when he was a puppy so now we don’t go in the backyard with him. Then here or there he would pick someone out if we had a party and randomly start barking at them aggressively. Then it started happening at the vets office started with growling and then barking and snapping so we changed vets. We used to be able to walk him and he was fine now he barks at every dog and people who come near us so we cross the street to avoid interactions. He is having a harder and harder time accepting visitors at our house and with my daughters new boyfriend it took forever to get him to except him as in the beginning he lunged and snarled and mouth him. He guards the front door when guests arrive, eventually accepts them while they are here playing with him and then if that person is at the front door getting ready to leave he is aggressive again lunging mouthing snapping etc. when five minutes earlier he was good friends with the person. He is now approaching eight. I truly think something is wrong with him.
Even one of our relatives who has not seen Luke in over a year said something has changed about him because he never used to be suspicious of strangers/people he already knows. I worked so hard at familiarizing him as a puppy with people dogs situations etc. took him to so many training classes which were difficult because he was the dog pulling and yanking and would not calm down. Also when he starts to get wound up he can not focus on any command he just goes berserk when triggered.
He’s never guarded food or toys until the other night when he had his favorite toy and my daughter’s newer boyfriend walked past, who he now accepts and likes, he gave out a little growl as he walked past. This needs to stop! Anyone know of a good behaviorist/trainer in the Chicago area?
 

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Goodness! That sounds alarming. I don't have the background to help, but would it be possible for you to video the behaviour, or very clearly describe exactly what he does ? "attacking us in the backyard " and "Barking aggressively" aren't much help - "Lunging, growling, with his tail straight up", "lunging, growling with his tail between his legs" and "lunging with tail wagging high" are very different behaviours.

Also - if he's eight, and this started as a puppy - what have you tried? How do you react when he does these things?
 

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Yes, you need a behaviorist at this point since you have allowed way too many rehearsals of bad behaviors. These behaviors are being reinforced and becoming more strongly fixed with each passing day, starting from when you surrendered in your backyard when he was a pup. You can look on this website to find qualified professionals. https://www.ccpdt.org/ You can also search here. https://m.iaabc.org/ The certifications from both of those organizations are good and both have search tools to find people near you.
 
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