Felix did well with his obedience today. We introduced Sit from a Down and will introduce Placemat tonight (YAY!). We had no back talking and no pouting or whining. My husband, Claven, took him on a nice long walk today for exercise and he has done great with most strangers he has met so far.
One of the reasons he is here is that he is highly reactive to strangers and other animals. He has been able to walk with other leashed dogs and work around the kitty without acting overly agitated. I have been correcting him for inappropriate behaviors such as staring, lunging, barking (or chirping, yodeling, screaming), and because I have not allowed him to escalate to an overly agitated state he has been controllable around other animals.
When it comes to strange people he is sometimes defensive at first. He was not fussed about my mom but he is suspicious of my dad. An interesting thing happened with my sister when she came over. She arrived early to the house and so Felix was still out in the house with me when she came to the door. She entered through the front door and greeted Felix with a "Hello! Who are you?" and Felix stared at her then barked very loudly and would not stop barking until I clapped my hands and said "NO!" loudly. Once I told him "No" he stopped barking and moved away. While his reaction to my sister was not appropriate it was not what is popularly called "red zone aggressive." He did not bite, he did not try to bite (and he easily could have) but instead barked and gave her a very clear warning that he was uncomfortable with her. I was able to step in and correct him for his barking and my sister was able to enter the house unmolested.
This tells me that he isn't really out for blood. He acts scary and that is what he wants. He has learned that by barking and growling the people who make him nervous go away (my sister certainly wasn't going to call his bluff). It isn't appropriate but it can be fixed if his owners are firm and confident in their leadership for him. If he has confidence in his owners to protect him and the house he will not feel that it is -his- job to protect the house and the pack. He is not a dog that wants to dominate people. That much has become clear while training him. He just needs his handler to be clear and decisive with him in order to keep him under control and appropriate.