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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I have an 18 month intact spaniel who was well socialised with dogs from a young age. He's always been brilliant with other dogs both on and off the leash but now all of a sudden he's lunging at dogs that pass on the street. He's been at the vet recently so I cant imagine he's in pain or anything. He's also intact because we've been advised not to neuter as he is hand shy but we are now considering the male implant to see if this might help.


We're now going to start treating the dog as we pass other dogs etc and train him to focus on us but any advice would be great, it's quite sad to see him go from super friendly with dogs to now being unsociable. Has anyone else experienced such a quick change?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There hasn't been an incident I'm aware of but that's not to say a wee thing hasn't happened that I've just not noticed. It's just difficult when something small can affect your dog so drastically :(
 

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could it be that the "wee thing that happened" was that your dog is starting to act like an adult dog? ;)

When they start growing up a lot of dogs get less tolerant when it comes to dogs they don't consider family. that doesn't have to be a bad thing if you as their human partner is able to keep the sutiation safe and as unstressful as possible for everyone.

start doing leash training as often as possible (short training session, every day, perhaps even start using a house leash) and train in areas low in stimulus. when he's doing fine there slowly (!) move to more exciting areas.
when he's escalating you went to fast and you start anew with a little less exciting area.
perhaps standing and waiting or sitting somewhere and watching dogs walk by is easier for the beginning instead of asking your dog to problem-free walk past them.

it is important to not constantly overwhelm your dog by putting it in situation it is not able to face.
make it easy for him to be successful.
don't letother dogs close to your dog as long as he's in a overstimulated or fearful mood. It won't teach your dog that dogs are okay.
be gentle when you make him face the situation and make sure that you are always there as a buffer area between him and the other dog.
make your dog feel safe beside you, by acting predictable and dependable and generally making being close to you rewarding for your dog.

your goal should be for now that he tolerates passing a dog calmly when he's on leash. Don't expect that he becomes the most dog-loving dog ever, but i think the majority of dogs can learn to ignore the other dog to some point. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the advice, we've bought a halti to stop his leash pulling so should hopefully keep him a bit calmer on the leash and we'll work on avoiding walking past dogs etc. It's just a shame as he was such a dog friendly wee pup and now he's not so much.

it's a bit sad for him that he won't go back to the way he was now.
 

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it is of course your own decision but I try to not use aversive methods against dogs.
I personally think, that positive rewards, patience and making leash training more fun and rewarding for the dog is evenly effective and better for the relationship between dog and handler.
 
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