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Is my dog protecting me?

The main reason why a dog growls when a person comes closer to you is because of disturbed relationships between you and your dog... which often leads to resource guarding.

Your dog isn't really saying: "I'll protect you from stranger danger mum/dad'..

But they're more saying: 'You can't touch MY mum/dad or come close to them because he/she is MINE and I don't want to share!'

The only way to fix that behaviour is to change that disturbed relationship by showing the dog that actually you are not a RESOURCE and it's NOT his job to 'guard' it from others.

We accidentally make this issues bigger by giving in to the dog (without knowing we are doing so!) For example petting them, soothing them, telling them it's okay. That's basically you saying: 'Good job Buddy, I am not to be shared you are right'.

Which then in turn makes the issue worse.

You also see this quite a bit with furniture, for example if a dog growls when you want to sit down on the couch/next to you on the couch.

Other reasons your dog may be barking/lunging on lead is because they're leash reactive and anxious (and they don't think you know how to fix the situation so they are finding a solution).. or because they're overexcited and want to go say hi to other people/dogs but go about it a bit.. blunt.

If you're having resource guarding struggles see if there is a trainer near you that can help you or check out this podcast for more info:

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