Re: Very Aggressive Behaviour… towards People AND dogs!
You are not alone! Rosie has similar issues. Started around 6 months old, initially with children only, then with strange adults, and now sometimes even with other dogs. Barking, growling, lunging. It usually happens with people who are uncomfortable with dogs, or dogs who are defensive toward other dogs (she reads the body language). It happens on walks and when we have visitors or delivery people come to the house. At home, she has the same issue of being crazy for 3-4 minutes with newcomers, then calming down. We consulted a behavioral specialist a while back who evaluated Rosie's temperament and behavior and said that Rosie displays aggression because she is fearful. Instead of flight, she does the fight part of fight-or-flight when she feels threatened.
We need to schedule another visit, though, because although there has been a fair amount of improvement since the consult (we were given counterconditioning/desensitization instructions), we feel like things could still be much better.
P.S. Just wanted to add that although Rosie has never made contact with anyone when she is freaking out, and we have always made sure that she can't get close, we got threatened in our neighborhood by a guy that was surprised when Rosie barked and lurched in his direction (again, we had her under control, but it is alarming). He responded by telling us that our dog should be killed and that we should be killed for having such a monster. Really made our day.