Aggressive Cocker Spaniel/ English Corgi Mix
(Windsor, Ontario, Canada)
We have a 4 year old male Cocker Spaniel/ English Corgi mix dog. He occasionally shows protective aggression towards new items that he is given. For example if he is given a new toy he will take it under the bed and growl if anyone even takes a step in the direction toward the bed. He has also recently been given a new food and he showed aggression toward that as well. It is getting worse over the last month especially toward my boyfriend (who is the actual owner of the dog) but not toward me (female). Recently it has gotten much worse with my boyfriend with him even making the gesture to walk near him or try to put the leash on him. He has bitten my boyfriend twice in the last 2 days (which never really happened much before, and we are thankful that it has been nothing serious).
As of now, we have not really been able to punish him for these behaviours because we don't really know how, and we are afraid to put our hand toward him. He usually gets into the "head down aggressive position" with teeth baring and growling.
Do you have any suggestions for us of how we should handle this? We have not tried any professional training or anything yet since it is just recently becoming a real issue. Thanks for your time, we look forward to hearing from you!
Heather and Kyle