My family and I have a 9year old rescue cocker spaniel, we've had him for almost a year. We are his 4th owners (first was elderly, didn't walk him and overfed him, second gave him up when new baby came, 3rd basically couldn't be bothered to have him). We all absolutely adore him, he's gentle, loving and reasonably obedient. He is our first dog so unfortunately I have no dog experience, this is why we chose an olDer dog.
Just recently he's started being protective or jealous if me or any of the dc talk or pet other dogs. Last week my youngest dd (2) was petting another (huge but very gentle) dog, our dog was up running in the hill. When he spotted dd he came racing down the hill, got between my dd and the other dog, started gently pushing my dd away with his body and growling at the other dog. I put his lead on and left. Then again yesterday he growled at 2 working sheep dogs that my ds was talking to, all dogs were off lead (we were at a beach, we were the only people there but the two dogs came down from the croft house above). He growled and chased the dogs, one ran off before I got him on the lead but the other stayed. I took him away but he continued growling until my ds stopped.talking to the dog.
He has never been like this before and to be honest I don't know what to do for the best if it continues. We, obviously, love him most but he can't understand us just telling him that!! Any help/pointers would be really appreciated.
I have three very protective, highly dog (and everything) aggressive dogs, but I don't see it as a problem, its a benefit to us (we live in a country where start rabid dogs roam), plus their breeds have that as one of their main traits, so I'm not sure how much advice I could suggest. Has you daughter been ill? Mine get hyper protective when one of us isn't well. Could it be a medical issue, is he generally is good health, have you changed his food or routine recently?