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Dog people: should I be concerned?

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My golden retriever is with us on vacation at my parent's lake house in Texas (from NC). She has been here before, knows the location, the lake, the multiple family members who come and go, etc. This year, however, a couple of family members brought their dogs to visit her. The first was a male, 11 week old Jack Russell terrier; the second a female, four year old golden/lab mix. Callie was a little edgy with both dogs while inside and downright food aggressive (growling, snarling, snapping) when they came into the kitchen. She was much better out in the yard and romped with both dogs (the little JR drove her understandably crazy, though, and had to be put up after a while...barked his little head off at her constantly until we had ALL had enough!). Normally, she gets along great with other dogs unless someone growls at her first...she growls and fusses back, but no real outright aggression.


This was the first time I've seen her act this way, and frankly it makes me a little nervous. She was kind of scary. I am hoping that it was simply that she was out of her element, a bit tired and there was a crowd of people around. However, there have been a couple of other issues that have been a bit of a problem. We adopted her at 14 months out of an abusive situation and she is not always trusting of men. She wants to like everyone, but will nervously warn off men until they show that they are trustworthy (then she is great). She is submissive and obedient with family members but is definitely an alpha with other dogs, esp females. She barks frequently along the fence line when people walk by (we live on a corner lot with a picket fence she can see through). One man who walks by frequently asked us whether or not she would bite as I guess she scared him.


I haven't mentioned all of her good qualities...she is a typical, sweet golden in every other respect and we think she is the best dog ever! She's got a few things to work on, but she is an angel most of the time. Her behavior this weekend concerned me only because a. I have never seen her behave in this way and b. we have plans to adopt another golden in Dec...a puppy who will be her full brother from another litter. I am hoping that bringing a second dog into the house is not going to turn my little sweetheart into a growling, snarling alpha. I am hoping that this dog will be her companion and friend and that we can continue to have dogs who can and do go anywhere with us and do great.


What do you think? Am I overly worried or should I be concerned?

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She's probably feeling insecure being with her family, but in a strange place, and having other dogs she didn't know on the scene too stressed her out. I would not expect all of this to translate into how she will feel back at home. Also a new dog that clearly joins the family and stays is a really different situation than just visitors.

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Yeah, but she needs to be in a crate, near you if possible. It will give her a chance to calm down and feel safe knowing the other dogs can't get to her. Plus, it will prevent her from biting someone or running away -- something not so easy to undo.


If there's not a crate in the house, go to Walmart (open all night) and get one.

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