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My Dog is Scared of Other Dogs on Walks

My Dog Is Scared of Other Dogs on Walks

We were out walking our dogs early one morning,  when around the corner comes our neighbor, Mary, walking her dog Dunkin. Upon spotting our dogs Duncan went “ballistic!”

Leila headed away with our dogs as Mary came over and  immediately started to apologize.  “I just don’t know what to do Jim! I need HELP!”  My dog is scared of other dogs.“I don’t know how to handle him when we meet other dogs!  I’ve tried Everything.

I’m so scared and nervous that he’s going to get out from his collar and hurt himself or another dog. “Even on our very first walk Jim, he started growling and snapping at the other dogs and then he would run behind me. Nothing has changed from the day I got him. It’s just not getting better! Even though I’ve taken him to a group class at the local PetsMart, he still is terrified of other dogs when we walk.”  The more Mary talked, you could see her sense of helplessness draining  her energy and confidence.

At Her Wits End

Mary had tried everything everyone told her to do – and more:  She read books, She read stuff online, Group classes, Dog parks,Inviting friends with nice dogs over to her house, even the awful pinch and choke collars.  No luck. At dog parks he tried to attack dogs that came close to him. When shopping at PetsMart he growled and snapped at dogs  in the isles even almost screaming at times.

Not a single technique or tip she was given by others had worked.

She almost whispered, “Please – You have to help me. Can You FIX My Dog?”

Unlike a bike with a flat tire, your dog is NOT broken!

I explained to Mary that Duncan was just reacting to his surroundings like a dog that is afraid and nervous WOULD react.

I told Mary:  so much of your dog’s success with anything, especially being scared of other dogs, is to a large extent, dependent on you and what you do! 

YOU, Mary, are  the person on the other end of the leash.  

When Mary made these simple changes, her confidence grew, her control of Duncan  AND her surroundings increased and Duncan will felt  and sensed it.  

They now are both comfortable and confident on their walks.  She learned to NEVER underestimate her dog’s ability to learn, change and adapt to his surroundings with her help.

  1. Gave her a  new level of CONFIDENCE – NO HARSH CORRECTIONS NEEDED!
  2. Teach your dog:   “YOU have his back” —– HUGE
  3. Learn how easy it is to  use these tips and  be in control.

None of these involved harsh corrections or  picking up your dog.

Let your dog  know that he or she  can be confident and unafraid by simply following your lead. 


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Jim Burwell, is Houston’s most respected dog trainer for 25+ years, serving over 10,000 clients. Jim takes the science of dog training and shows you how to make dog training work with your family and dog. He gives you the ability to get the same great dog behavior from your dog.

50 replies
  1. Client Care
    Client Care says:

    Hire a positive reinforcement trainer to work with you and your dog on ONE ON ONE lessons

  2. Julie Self
    Julie Self says:

    Hi, i have a 2 yr old rescue lurcher, she is scared of other dogs, even anx when one is behind her, sometimes she yelps and trys to run away. I try to avoid them but hard in a field when shes on her walk.
    Regards Julie

  3. Asheesh
    Asheesh says:

    Hi, from India.
    I have a four months old beagle. Unfortunately I started his socialization pretty late, as my vet told me not to take him out until he is 3 months old. He is too afraid of all dogs. His tail will go between his legs and he become submissive whenever other dogs come towards him. He tries to hide wherever possible. They are only licking him (and in case of few Labs, they paw him a little). I always end up picking him up, which may not be too smart on my part.
    He is even shy or afraid of dogs of his own size.
    Last time he even tried making friends with a female lab, but she had temperament and after few minutes of playing she actually bit him (not the playful kind). Then he got scared again.

    I am worried that this fear will remain with him. In full honesty, I have been taking him out just for 4 days regularly.
    Any helps or suggestions or at least a “it will all be ok” response?

  4. client care
    client care says:

    I am confused. How are you keeping her a safe distance away when” “when we go outside to play I always fee awful because she walks up to other dogs like she wants to investigate but if they sniif at her she shows her teet and snap” Everytime you allow that, she is rehearsing the behavior you do not want and it will never change. You have to better manage your dog’s behavior so she can’t keep repeating this.

  5. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    If the barrier does not shield you from the dog (you say as soon as the dog reaches you) then you need to move further away. Your dog NOT being neutered has an “indirect” affect on this whole issue. Meaning, the dog that is approaching becomes aware your dog is intact and will begin to react to your dog and your dog will then react to the other dogs heightened energy. So it Does have an impact in an indirect but important way

  6. Brenda
    Brenda says:

    Hi Jim,
    I loved the tips and they are all in agreement with the best information I have read about fear in dogs (and I’ve been trying hard to educate myself)! I have a 13-month-old miniature poodle, Tobey, who is very sweet but very fearful around other dogs (of any size) and unfamiliar people (to a lesser extent than other dogs). I have never seen him growl or show his teeth – except during a training session where a large dog lunged forward (playfully) toward him and he couldn’t get away as he was cornered (in hindsight, the trainer did NOT handle it properly). Other than that one time, Tobey isn’t one to growl/show teeth/bite; his response to other dogs is essentially “flight” and not “fight”. I try to form a barrier between him and the other dog, to make him feel safer, but the problem is: he gets so panicked that he starts trying to run away so intensely that I can’t even do that most of the time! He pulls hard (and it’s practically the only time he pulls on his leash), runs around in almost every direction and even in circles, and sometimes gets tangled up in his leash – it can get really chaotic! What do you recommend, if I can’t use the “barrier” technique properly at all times? (Don’t know if this is relevant, but as soon as Tobey spots the approaching dog he freezes – he stops dead in his tracks, and his tail drops between his legs. I usually get into barrier position right away, and try to reassure him “It’s okay, Tobey, I know you’re afraid, but I’m here and we can do this together”….but once the dog reaches us, Tobey gets so freaked out that the barrier is disrupted). Also, does neutering help fear at all? (Tobey is intact but will most likely be neutered soon as we have no breeding plans).
    Please help if possible, and thank you so much in advance! So glad I found your website, and I’m considering private online coaching with you (would prefer in-person/in-home, but I live in Canada).

  7. Jim
    Jim says:

    Judi – your question is multi-faceted and not a simple do this, do that. It does not sound like fear or aggression to me. I would try using a Gentle Leader with your dog, gives you much more control. Caveat: read ALL the directions and allow your dog time to get used to is. It looks like a halter on a horse and it takes dogs a bit to accept it. TOTALLY NON-AVERSIVE. but give you better control of your dog. Other than that, at this point, do NOT give your dog harsh corrections. Any further advice would take video coaching or private lessons to help you

  8. Jim
    Jim says:

    Tressa: There were 3 great tips on this blog post that I offered for free. You might want to go back and sign up for them

  9. Tressa
    Tressa says:

    She just goes spastic when we’re walking and another dog is walking towards us. I keep telling her NO NO No but then she really starts spinning out of control. What am I doing wrong?

  10. Judi Davison
    Judi Davison says:

    We adopted a 3 1/2 year old 80lb Labradoodle a year ago. He walks perfectly on a leash and around people, the problem is other dogs. The minute he sees them he begins to pull towards them and moans. We can’t walk passed them and end up either going way around them or turning around. It doesn’t seem aggressive but who knows and at 80lbs it can be intimidating to others which puts.them and their dogs on the defensive. Can you provide any suggestions?. We are currently using a cloth training collar and trying out correct him when we can.

  11. Tori
    Tori says:

    Hello! I have Tipper, a 7 year old Corgi Heeler mix. I adopted her a year ago and she LOVES people but cannot stand other dogs. She came from a multidog home so I have no idea why she dislikes them now. I guess her previous family elected to adopt her out because she was fighting a lot with another dog in the house. We now live in an apartment where it is just her and I. When we go outside to play, I always feel awful because she walks up to other dogs like she wants to investigate but if they sniff at her for too long she will show her teeth and snap. Doesn’t matter the size either, big, small, her size! I always keep her a safe distance away and her previous family said they would introduce in the front yard then release them all into the back, but Tipper is not having it. I am honestly too nervous to bring her to any class because I think she will attack another dog and she never goes to PetSmart or dog parks. How can I help her break this?

  12. Jim
    Jim says:

    Samantha: Any dog behavior always has 2 common elements: the environment in which the dog lives AND the relationship with its owner. Sending your dog off takes you and your home completely out of the picture.

  13. Samantha
    Samantha says:

    I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much. BUT, whenever I take him for a walks we have problems. So, going for walks is always a challenge for us. And he barks and howls A LOT.
    My husband and I were thinking about taking him to ‘doggy school’, but then again, it’s extremely expensive, and the nearest ‘doggy school’ is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? THANK YOU!!!!

  14. Jim
    Jim says:

    Hi Susan. Yes we can help you either by doing in home training if you live in Houston or live, private video coaching. Give us a call 713-728-0610 and we can discuss options that are best for you

  15. Susan Barr
    Susan Barr says:

    I have a 5 year old English cocker. We rescued a 10 year old mutt who was living in a very bad situation who is the sweetest dog alive. Our Engie lives upstairs and the rescue is living in our heated (and quite plush) basement. The Engie is petrified of the mutt and won’t even go downstairs by herself. When she does see him, she barks nonstop. We don’t plan on bringing the mutt upstairs but the barking is hard to listen to. Can you help?

  16. Brandon
    Brandon says:

    Hi, I have a 9 week old puppy and since we brought her home she is just terrified of other dogs. whenever we take her out if she sees or hears another dog she just loses it. she doesn’t get aggressive she just tries to flee. The difficult part is we can’t seem to find her comfort zone at all. Even bringing her around very docile obidient dogs and letting her advance on her own terrifies the poor thing. How can I socialize my puppy to other dogs if even very calm one on one encounters freak her out? Thanks for any help!

  17. Megan
    Megan says:

    I have a three year old rescue dog named Lucy, she was raised a house with other dogs, two adult, and one other puppy. But it is now down to just her and her 3 year old sister a Lab Weim mix Sally. Family will bring their pups over to play occasionally and Sally the lab is of course happy to play and run around our yard with them. Lucy on the other had is scared, she will hide behind a chair in our living room where to she has a dog bed (her safe place) or will sit in my lap to get away from the other dogs. When she is in my lap she is shaking and trembling the whole time. Everyone thinks she just needs to get used to these dogs, but she seems genuinely terrified. My family is now thinking of bringing a new puppy into the home, and I don’t know how Lucy will react!! Any advice?

  18. Jim
    Jim says:

    Laura: thanks for your email. It is not possible to “fix” all the problems you are dealing with via email. As you already know there are hundreds of articles on my website that are
    free for you to read and put into use. If you’d like personal input/help from me, if you don’t live in Houston then I can help you this way:

  19. Laura
    Laura says:

    Hi Jim, my dog is nervous of every dog or person and has been since we got him. He barks the minute he sees a dog or person, I distract him and walk in opposite directions. Problem being it seems to be getting worse, he will notbtake his eyes off the said dog/person and constantly growls and barks, at home saying no in a firm voice stops barking but out and about he just doesn’t listen. When out and about you can’t stop dogs bounding over to say hello, but buddy just runs as far and as fast away as possible, usually taking the other dog too, the other dogs think its great fun but his heckles (can’t spell) come up and he is terrified and won’t come back until I’m clear of any dog or person. He also has a problem with digging up the garden, even after a walk and he is panting, what that about, he digs my flower beds and grass. Last but not lease, around midnight he goes mental. He gets 2 hour long walks every day with 2 half hour walks. We have tried ball but he is too thick, I throw the ball he gets it, then gets distracted every single time and comes back without it, I have also tried toys too to no avail. Please help my hubby wants to get rid and its causing major problems.

  20. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    Lorri: I can not help but believe that something medical is going on with your dog as this has started so suddenly. If your current vet can not help you, I would find another vet who will help you.

  21. Lorri
    Lorri says:

    I have a very gentle English Pointer cross bitch called Shula which we rescued when she was about 2. She is around 10 years old now and has always been very quiet, and maybe has barked once a year at something she doesn’t understand…big yellow tractor, the man delivering oil with a big pipe, red lawn mower opposite, etc, but we have always taken her up to the scarey thing straight away and she ends up wagging her tail and realising it is OK. Se just never barks, not even at the postman, or anything at all. Because we had a B&B for the first 7 years we have always been with her. She comes to France with us, and always travels really well, in fact she has been the perfect dog until the past few days.
    We moved to France from UK permanently in September, and live in a very remote area of the Dordogne in the middle of a wood. Shula has been here many times, and never had a problem. Up the hill from us is a farm and they have about 7 dogs of various shapes and sizes, which hand around in a pack and bark when you walk by. About 5 days ago they all came sniffing around Shula and annoying her, and she nipped one of the terriers…not hard but enough to make it give up. The next time we tried to walk past she stopped about 500m away and refused to walk any further. Just put the brakes on and said no way, so we had to turn back and walk the way we had come from home. She has now started barking relentlessly, and worse during the night, to the point where we have had to get some mild tranquilizers from the vet in order to help her sleep. She’s so stressed, stares into space and listens for any noise at all. We originally thought it was the owlets squealing during the night, but really aren’t sure. She’s obviously very upset by the area and noises now, and we are just at the end of our tether.
    She kept us up all night barking last night, and we usually try to calm her, and take her outside to show her nothing is wrong, and she wags her tail but keeps barking like crazy. I have just walked her up the hill to where the dogs are and she was absolutely fine, I gave her treats and had no problems at all. The farm dogs weren’t there, but she was happy to trot along in front of me, and have a good sniff. We’ve come back home, she’s been sat in the sun, and seemed fairly happy, then started the barking again! Please help.

  22. Jim
    Jim says:

    Biamca: she is a baby and you need to socialize her in a way and in places that make her feel safe. Let her socialize with friend’s dog who are NICE and GENTLE. Don’t get your puppy too close
    to others too soon. Let her go on her terms.

  23. Biamca
    Biamca says:

    I have a three month old pup that I bought from breeders. She’s very friendly with people at home but as soon as I take her for a walk if she sees another person or dog or hears a dog bark she freaks out. Pulling on the lead, trying to do back flips to get away. As soon as they’ve walked away she’s fine and turns to look at them. I don’t know what to do. Please help!

  24. Jim
    Jim says:

    Kristen – not nearly enough info here to diagnose and advise. If you dog is doing this when you are in the near vacinity it could be what we call resource guarding. Lots of articles on the website about that. Again, I do not have enough info to give you any guidance. I also do private video coaching which would benefit you.

  25. Kristen
    Kristen says:


    I have a 4-year old Springer Spaniel whom I’ve had since she was 8 weeks old. When she was a puppy, I took her to play with my parents’ dogs (who were 12-13 at the time) daily, and took her to the apartment dog park at least once a week. She also met my brother’s dogs, who are also Spaniels and were 3-4 at the time. She has always been fearful of a wide variety of things (school buses, unexpected noises, etc) and after my brother’s dog bit her face when she was a puppy, she has been uncomfortable around other dogs.
    Last year my fiance got a Labrador puppy. For a while, my dog would leave the room when the puppy came in, but eventually she got used to our new dog. Now, 99% of the time they’re fine – playing, eating dinner next to each other, going on walks together, etc. However, every month or two, my dog lashes out without much more than a 1-second sideways glance in warning. When the other dog comes near, she slashes at the other dog’s face and has drawn blood a number of times. It doesn’t seem aggressive, in that she doesn’t go after them in a predatory way or keep after them, but it is certainly not desirable! She’s done this to our friends’ dogs as well. She’s generally okay in the dog park as long as they others will leave her alone or she can run away.
    With so little warning, it is hard to stop her in the act or correct her before she can injure the other dogs. Please, is there anything we can try? I don’t want to give away my dog to protect his, but it is hardly fair that the friendly Lab keeps getting eaten, and he is losing patience.

  26. Jim
    Jim says:

    Shirley: For this you have to work her at a comfortable distance at first. It will take time. Put her in a sit and then praise treat for tolerating a strange dog at a distance first. Gradually get closer after successful sits.

  27. Shirley
    Shirley says:

    Jim: I adopted a Shih Tzu. She was found in the street and there’s not much info. She’s about two years. Someone in her past trained her very well. She is extremely bright, lovable and stubborn. When I walk her and she sees another dog, she goes into a frenzy. She will not respond to anything if we are within a certain distance. I try to avoid dogs but would love to walk her a longer period of time. I hired a trainer and it was difficult for her as well. There was slight improvement but the trainer stated it may take some time. I live in a senior community and when she has her fits, it disturbs the whole community. I am asking Iggy to stop and sit while on the walk. I tell her to look at me. I give her a treat. When she spies another dog at a distance and starts her fit, I say quiet. If only for a moment, I say good quiet. Is there any hope? The trainer stated that it may never completely be ok.

  28. Jeannee Taylor
    Jeannee Taylor says:

    Thanks. I appreciate it. How can I contact you ? I really want to do more with my girls but it is difficult when I can’t seem to correct their issues and most trainers just think jerking harder on the pinch collar is the answer to everything.

  29. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    Jeannee: I would need a lot more information to help you work through these issues. Happy to help you with tele-coaching if you don’t live in Houston, or private lessons.

  30. Jeannee Taylor
    Jeannee Taylor says:

    Hi Jim!
    I am not sure if my bella is afraid of other dogs or what but I have been meaning to e-mail you about her behavior for a while. We have Bella and Sophie. 2 GSD sisters. They are a year and a half now. Right from early on, when I would walk them and we would encounter other dogs or even near a fence which she senses a dog behind, Bella goes nuts! barking, jumping, growling, even nipping my leg in her psychotic fit. I tried to “correct” her with the pinch collar but this made her MORE crazy! I have started to stop, put her in sit and tell her calmly, “no”. This has helped some but not solved the problem. I am not sure if this is fear or what but she has been with another dog, her entire litter, etc. from the get go. She is a high energy, high prey driven pup. What is this and what can I do?
    Second issue; Sophie, her sister. I had always walked my dogs daily, and sophie was great at it. She also was an awesome rider in the car. I say was. When they were just a year old we moved back from Corpus Christi to north of Austin. Their first long car trip. It was a saturday evening buy time the moving truck was loaded and the sun was setting as we traveled through San Antonio with lots of semi’s whizzing buy us. I had placed my hoodie in the window to shade them from the setting sun and I do not know if this contributed to Sophies new fears but now she is afraid of trucks of any kind and she looses it when we get in the car. She will not walk any more . She throws herself at me and tries to drag me back into the house. In all fairness mom was a bit tired and stressed, slightly impatient whith all their whining on the trip. I was alone with them in the car for the first time on a long ride and was very nerveouse about keeping them safe. They had seat belts (the kind for dogs) on and kept getting tangled in each other, forcing me to stop and untangle. I know some of this IS my fault but how do I get her over this now?
    any help appreciated!

  31. Jenny Smith
    Jenny Smith says:

    I have a 4-54yr old rescue Miniature Schnauzer fearful of other dogs, except my second dog. He was exceptionally fearful of men, so since all Schnauzers are pigs, I took him to the local park on a weekend, when families are out. I sat at a distance from them and called to the men, asked them if they would come up quietly to my dog, not an aggressive dog, quietly talk to him while holding out a small goody, if he wouldn’t take it to drop it in front of him and quietly back away. Now no man is safe they all get begged at!! But his scared behavior with other dogs has not been as hard to treat. I tried one day at doggy day camp and really traumatized him, now I am trying the dog park when there are only a couple of dogs there. It is gradually working! Slowly!!!

  32. Shelley
    Shelley says:

    Thank you, Jim. I will follow your advice. Should I be sitting at the window with him and treat him as soon as he starts to do a low growl….while I’m saying, “Leave it”, or am I them reinforcing the initial growl? I hate to keep all my shutters closed all day long. Any other advice would be appreciated.


  33. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    Maggie — you can contact me through [email protected] to set up tele-coaching calls which I have done in the past with dog owners across the country resolving their dog problems including issues with sibling rivalry. You getinstructions (handouts) from me just like a private in-home lesson prior to our calls — we talk for an hour — then I send you an mp3 recording of our coaching call for you to listen to any time you want. I usually set up 3 one hour calls spaced 2 weeks apart. It works very well — especially with folks like yourself that commit to doing the work. Let us know what you think about this alternative at [email protected]. I’d be happy to help that way. Jim Burwell

  34. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    Jan: The first thing I would work on is your “sibling rivalry” issue to develop peace in the pack. I have an article on why dogs fight which gives you a link to a one hour presentation I did on this subject. It’s packed with good, helpful information. Since I don’t know what you’ve put into practice with the other trainer, it’s difficult to know where to start. Let me know if the presentation helps.
    Here’s the link:


  35. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    Stacy: It seems like you may have a combination of fear/aggression and territorial aggression. There are two ways fear aggressive dogs address stressful situations: they become reactive and charge the dog/person to create distance or they increase distance by running away. The only tool your dog has to create distance is to be reactive. What I would do is to get with an “R+” or positive dog trainer that is familiar with Behavioral Adjustment Training which teaches your dog to learn to “offer up” a more appropriate behavior to create the distance. It’s a process but well worth the investment of time.
    The next thing I would do is not allow your dog to “rehearse” territorial aggression from the house, driveway gate or back yard. This behavior just transfers to his outside walks and contributes to his bad behavior.
    Doing those two things would be a great way to begin rehabilitating your dog.


  36. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    Shelly: The very first thing I would do is not allow your dog to “rehearse” territorial aggression from the house, driveway gate or back yard. This behavior just transfers to his outside walks and contributes to his bad behavior.

    The next thing I would do is to continue what you are doing with treats on walks. Things to check on: 1.) Treats should be high enough in value to compete with the other dogs; 2.) redirect to a sit as you “face” your dog (body blocking him at first); and 3.) Although not always possible, try and work at successful distances at first and gradually get closer to the distracting dogs. I really like that you are aware of the timing – before he becomes reactive. Keep up the good work.


  37. Stacy
    Stacy says:

    Thank you!!

    Jan- now that you mention it, the spay seemed to trigger issues with Nelly, too. (Nelly is the fearful one we have!). Our two girls got along swimmingly at first, but after the spay we started having problems. It’s been a year, and we have it controllable- but it’s not to the level we would want it.

    That’s an interesting point!

  38. Maggie Mustantig
    Maggie Mustantig says:

    Hi Jim~my Partner & I rescued two emaciated starving dogs from the middle of a 4-way, 3-Lane, w/extra left turn lanes in all 4 directions, intersection. They were darting in & out of traffic, confused, disoriented. Of course we snatched them up, brought them home, built them a nice big run, separate from the yard, a cozy shaded shelter that included crates, blankets, etc. we got them fully vetted & spayed, though we waited until they both finished their heat cycle & false pregnancy. They live outdoors with a very large fenced yard, trees, dog run & a spacious, covered enclosed on 3 sides ,’den’. None of my previous dogs have ever been outside dogs, so I am adamant (my partner says, ‘obsessive’) about their well being & care. I have worked with them on the clicker & they have mastered sit,down,stay. Come is not 100% but is probably at around 95%. One is a Pit Bull (most likely a mix), the other, maybe Lab-Malinois-Greyhound. They are EXTREMELY bonded, whimpering & crying if separated. Our household consists of me, my partner & his two teenage sons.
    That’s the background, here’s the problem/testimonial solution:they fight each other. It was pretty bad in the beginning, which is when I started following your blog, signed up for your newsletter & your 7 daily tips. Everything you suggested that I have been able to implement has been a HUGE success!!! I am indebted & grateful. They sit/stay for their food, sit for treats, affection, everything. They have not fought in over three months, which I consider a victory, however, Ivory (Pit) has a low ‘flash point’ & is pretty reactive to most anything going on on the other side of the fence i,e., workmen, dogs being walked, squirrels running from tree to tree, the next door neighbors being in their own backyard etc. Generally, this is not a problem unless Hershey joins in on the barking. At that point, Ivory turns on Hershey, snapping & biting at her mouth. As long as Hershey doesn’t retaliate (which she has learned not to do) there is no problem, though it sounds very menacing. I have worked with them both on the fence line with these distractions, ignoring the behavior I don’t want (excessive barking) & rewarding the behavior I do want (sitting quietly or coming off the fence line to me, ending in a sit. I just realized I probably need a ‘mat’ out there off the fence line to train them to go lay on the mat when a distraction occurs-duh!). Anyway, my partner walks them & he has worked with them to sit when other dogs/people are in sight. He has had decent success.
    Where do we go from here? We would like to be able to take them to the dog park, but don’t dare due to Ivory’s reactivity. Once she hits the flash point, it is darn near impossible to get her attention annnnnnnd she won’t back down (part of why Pits get such a bad rap, in my opinion). Do you make house calls to Dallas? So far your recommendations have changed their (& our) lives!
    <3 ~ maggie

  39. Leila Martin
    Leila Martin says:

    Stacy: Thanks for joining in on the conversation. Jim is out training but he will answer your question later today. Thanks! Leila

  40. Leila Martin
    Leila Martin says:

    Shelly – thanks so much for your question. Jim is out training but he will answer your question later today. Leila

  41. Leila Martin
    Leila Martin says:

    Jan, Jim will answer your question later today – he is out training and will respond when his training is done today. Thanks so much for contributing to
    the conversation. Leila

  42. Jan
    Jan says:

    I have a 4yr.old boarder collie Nina that we’ve had since she was a puppy. She was socialized and around lots of people ,did great with play & meeting new people for the 1st year,After I had her spayed at about a 1 old shortly after it was like someone flipped a switch . we started having behavior problems between our two ( Molly was 4 at the time , Nina 1+) fighting between them and Nina fearful and aggressive toward other dogs, much like you described in your story above. We brought in a trainer/behavior she evaluated the situation didn’t think we could fix the problem and recommended rehoming one of them. I’m here to tell you that didnt happen ,we commit for the long haul with our dogs. We did learn a few things form the trainer and have been able to manage the two with out too many out breaks. We can get Nina to sit at a distance to another dog if they move she goes on the defensive and we start over. Most people aren’t comfortable with this so don’t get to practice much. Any advice would be appreciated.

  43. Shelley
    Shelley says:

    Six months ago we moved to a new town home in a walkable community; people and dogs out walking by our house/on the streets. Our 3 year old golden doodle has become reactive to other dogs, and to skateboarders, when we walk him or when we are in our new house. He barks, growls, lunges. He wears a Gentle Leader head collar, which does help some. Needless to say, walking him has become a challenge….we’re always trying to look around the corners, making sure the coast is clear before we proceed. Yesterday, I did have some success: I treated him generously when we saw another dog (and before he became reactive)….should I be doing this regularly, and is there any other technique you could recommend? Thanks!

  44. Stacy
    Stacy says:

    My dog is VERY fear aggressive! Her comfort distance seems to be non-existent. As soon as we get outside, she’s growling and barking at other dogs. She attacks windows when dogs/people…birds… are walking by the house. We have a gentle leader, and small corrections seem to help, or at least take her attention off of the other dog long enough for me to lure her away with a treat.

    We have a 2nd dog, and the two get along relatively well. But they do have their moments. The fearful dog will puff her razor up and get a little defensive when it comes to bones or if the other dog gets too close. But for the most part, they’re friendly with one another.

    To throw another wrench in- we have a 1-year-old. Dogs are great with him, but our fearful pup is pretty scare of him, too! She has a love/hate- she loves to lick on him as long as its on her terms. When our son walks up to her, she runs away terrified.


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