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I'm trying to nip this in the bud, and would welcome any advice. We had two dogs, Bella, a 60lb mix, and Jerry, a greyhound. This post is primarily about Bella.

Bella has always loved all other dogs. She's been friendly, loves to wrestle, and would get physical with larger dogs while being gentle with smaller dogs.

We moved about 2 years ago from a townhouse to a single family with a nice fenced in yard. As a result, we walked the dogs a lot less. We also moved away from our favorite dog park. Bella still had playdates, but much less interaction walking around.

Jerry was put to sleep this Friday (cancer) :( As part of our trying to take extra special care of Bella, we've been walking her a lot. On the 3ish walks we've been on we've come across a few dogs in the neighborhood, and after the initial sniffs, Bella has bared teeth, growled and snapped.

I realize there are a few variables, namely:
We haven't socialized as much since moving.
The loss of her brother (she may be feeling more protective of us?)
The general feeling of sadness in the house (She definitely picks up on this)
After this happened twice, I know that I'm acting more tense around other dogs. My fear of course is "be more relaxed and give her more slack and she might actually attack"

On Sat, she had one of her friends come over and spend the night, and it went great. It only seems to be when she's on her walks.

I would appreciate any tips, thank you so much in advance.
 

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I NEVER recommend having dogs meet on-leash. In every dog I owned it took a lot of training, and it still caused issues if the other dog was pushy. My dog learned to a) continue walking and ignore or b) sit and let the other dog get it out of their system.

I'm sure your dog is feeling stress from your household. While walking is excellent, you've drastically changed her routine which can be more traumatic to the dog, even if it's something she likes.

I would see if you can host doggy play dates for now. That seems like it works well for you.
 

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Thank you for the reply. We have the puppy playdates, and I would like to get to the dog parks more as well. Of course, now I'm nervous, but hopefully being off leash wouldn't cause a similar behavior? When walking, best to avoid/ignore other dogs until she calms down a bit on-leash?
 

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Thank you for the reply. We have the puppy playdates, and I would like to get to the dog parks more as well. Of course, now I'm nervous, but hopefully being off leash wouldn't cause a similar behavior? When walking, best to avoid/ignore other dogs until she calms down a bit on-leash?
I would keep walking her, but avoid all other dogs. Simply say, "my dog dosn't interact well with other dogs on a leash" and make her sit and let the other person pass. Unless an owner is extremely stupid or insistant you should be fine.

I would watch the aggression but I know that leash aggression has many reasons from resource guarding to feeling cornered that don't apply off leash.
 
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