Well-Trained 3 year old Springer reverting to bad behaviors

by ELG

Hi,


Sadie is my sweet ESS whom I rescued when she was 12 weeks old. We worked really hard together, she knows come, sit, stay, leave it, get it, roll over, and both paws. She walks next to me at the park without her leash, and when shes off leash in the woods, she knows to stray only so far before checking in.

Its been a long road. Even though I got her at 12 weeks, the damage had been done. She was viciously abused by her "breeders" before they turned the pups over to the Humane Society. She doesnt like water because they sprayed a high-velocity hose at the puppies through a crate. She gets nervous around strangers, and seemingly "forgets" people shes met a few times and warmed up to in the past.

Other than that, shes been amazing. We went from cowering under a table and not knowing how to walk up and down stairs, to this amazingly sweet, fun girl.

In the last four weeks though, things have changed, and I really dont know why. Our routines havent changed (two walks a day, 45min to an hour and a half each), dinner at 5:30, etc. The only thing thats changed is the weather, and with the weather, Ill take her to the park in the afternoons and do work while there. Ill sit after a walk with her and plenty of fetch, and work. She roams around the area, sniffing the flowers, checking out the rocks, or if shes really tired, shell lay next to me in the grass. However, now whenever someone gets within 50 feet of me, she goes NUTS! She runs at them, barking really loudly (but not aggressively), thats why Im confused. Shes not showing her regular signs of aggression - her fur doesnt stand on end, and her bark isnt a deep throaty warning; this is more like a loud, fast bark I dont know. It scares people! If they arent scared away and take the time to talk to her, she becomes her sweet self again.

Today, a kid ran by, and shes not usually fussed by kids, she likes my nephews and most kids we meet at the park, but this kid runs by and she chased him! Again, I think it was more of a playful (in her eyes) chase, but the kid was terrified. I felt awful, and embarrassed.

This has happened before, we went to the park and I sat at a picnic table to work. She spent the whole time under the table barking at people as they walked by.

Im just really confused because this has never happened before, and its the park we always go to!

Any advice would be gratefully appreciated.

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