I thought I would start this topic because I do give a lot of advice about dog training, and dogs in general here. Many of your questions regarding training I give the advice that you might need a professional trainer to come in and do an evaluation, then take some private lessons. For those of you who have never had a trainer in your home or worked with one, here is an over view of the first meeting with a trainer. All trainers are different but this is how I deal with an Evaluation. The purpose of the Eval is not only to guage the dog but also the owner/family. Even the most easily fixed issues on the best temperamented dogs can't be dealt with if I am not sure the owner or family is going to be able to follow through on my suggestions and be consistent in training/rehabing their dog. This is an example of a pretty typical Evaluation I deal with. This is a real example from an Eval I did just this past Sunday. Dog: 8 Month old Golden, neutered two months ago. Household: Husband, Wife (in their 40's), one 18 year old daughter who recently moved out of home to college, one 16 year old daughter, and one 6 year old boy. House: Large home, on several acres with close neighbors, fenced back yard. Other animals in home: Min Pin, 4 years, house rabbit, 4 month old pot belly big. -- Interesting note: husband has worked in Zoos as an animal trainer. Old History: Family has had goldens before. Their previous dog died suddenly while outside, no known cause of death. Dog was 11 years old and in excellent condition/health (I saw pics of him, didn't look old in any way). Got an older puppy as a compromise with family. Kids wanted a little pup, Parents wanted to 'rescue' and older Golden or mix. Found this 8 month old Golden, "Calvin" on Craigs List. Previous owner was complaining of aggression to her 4 year old son. Growling/snapping episodes several times. Previous owner said her husband was a trucker and hardly ever home, she was dogs primary caretaker and he was really mostly bonded to her. No socialization, no training. Current History: Had Calvin for two months. Had him neutered right away. Family states they spent 45 mins in McDonald parking lot talking to previous owner before deciding on this dog. They were not really concerned about the aggression for several reasons, this is all ver batim: 1) He's a Golden and they aren't like that, 2) He was submissive to all family members on initial meeting, 3) they felt they had enough training experience to deal with most dogs. 4) They felt his age would be a good compromise for the kids and Calvin would be past most of the difficult training stages. Main issues: Aggression to their 6 yo son. Dog has bitten about 5 times. Twice breaking skin. Once was over a toy. Boy left nerf football on floor, dog chews it up. Mom tells son to clean up the mess, Calvin approaches son from behind and does a sneak-attack ankle bit, breaking skin slightly. Dog does NOT move away after the bite, only leaving the scene once the Mom approaches the dog. Dog is placed outside. Second skin break was more serious, on the boy's wrist. This was when Calvin was "counter surfing" boy came in to kitchen pushed the dog off the counter, dog swings, growls and bites his wrist, then runs off. Dog is placed in laundry room after the Dad yells at the dog. Calvin also will growl at adult friends of the family, never at a woman according to them. Dog acts very submissve to all visitors, especially men. Calvin will growl at adult male visitors only when owners leave the room. Calvin has never attempted a bite or even a growl at anyone in the family but the 6 yo son. Calvin is also possessive of food, any food. According to his owners he's never bitten or growled at them, but he's gone after both the pot belly pic and the Min Pin for being around the food dishes, before, durring, and after feeding times. This issue is being managed by putting Calvin in the Laundry Room durring feeding time. Wife admits to being scared of the dog, especially over food aggression.