Sorry, kind of long.
A little background information...
Dax is a little over two years old now. From the first day, I've always enforced commands like "drop it," "leave it," etc., and also taken preventative measures against food aggression. None of these have ever been a problem, he's always been a very sweet and well mannered dog.
Now. Here's what just happened...
I got home, said my hellos to him, put him on a leash, took him downstairs. He gets to the grass and finds this small plant or something and picks it up, I tell him to drop it, he doesn't. I tell him again, he still doesn't do it. This is normal so far for when he finds something outside that he wants, then I'll usually just reach down and take it, to which he has always responded by just either trying to eat it faster, or by running away. This time, I reached down, he growled at me. I stopped and told him again to drop it and he still didn't. I tried to take it away from him and he growled and snapped at my hand first, then my face, then bit me. Yes, bit me. Like really. Actually. Bit me.
I've always heard that you can tell the difference in an aggressive growl and a playful or alert type of growl. Dax growls when he hears noises outside. Growls when he wants to play, etc. I've never heard this sound come out of him before. Growling, teeth bared, perfectly still, just like he was daring me to move any closer. Finally I just let him eat whatever he had because I didn't want him to bite me again, and really I was just in shock.
When he was finished eating whatever it was, he just looked up at me with his happy little face and went about his business. We got back inside and I sat down on the floor with him and he just crawled in my lap and laid there for a while, licking my hands like he always does.
The only thing I can make of this is that maybe whatever he found had another dog's scent on it, but I find it hard to believe that this situation has never happened before and that I've never seen this reaction to it. Any opinions on this would be helpful. Sorry about the length, I just can't stress enough how confused I am because he has never EVER acted this way before.