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When I’m walking with my dog he will lay down when he sees another dog, whether or not they’ve met before, and when the other dog gets closer he will either start growling (usually if they growl first) and lunge aggressively or just lay their until they get closer and lunge toward them and greet them. Why is this and how to stop it? He only does this when he’s on leash
 

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He likely feels anxious but being on lead, he can't get away so has to put on an even bigger display of 'I'm big and scary, don't mess with me'. And it generally works for dogs, the scary thing usually does retreat so it becomes a reinforced behaviour.

He will have an invisible radius of space around him where he feels secure. It's called flight distance, anything within that space triggers his fight or flight stress response, which you may have heard of.

Find out what that is and keep him far enough away from other dogs that he is relaxed. Reward him for being calm. Gradually, over weeks and months, not days, work on reducing the distance.

This may mean you have to be selective where you walk - choose places with good visibility so you can give other dogs a wide berth, or where you can turn and walk away easily.

But - be aware that if your dog has had a stressful episode the stress hormone can stay in the body for up to 48 hours so a distance he was comfortable with the day before might be too close that day. So the safe distance can change, watch his body language.

Trainers describe behaviour like this with reference to the three Ds. Distance, as above but also be aware of Duration (your dog might be tolerant for 10 seconds, but not 15) and Distraction - how distracting the stimulus is; a calm dog might not trigger any reaction at a given distance but a bouncy one might.

Alongside that you could train a 'watch me'. As your dog looks at you, mark and reward the behaviour. Ask for longer periods of watching. Then if a dog approaches, after you have worked on the distance issue, you can get your dog to focus on you and not the other dog. BUT - some dogs find this scary as they cannot see the thing they are anxious about so you need to judge your dog.
 

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I can really recommend this method we have used it with Murphy who suddenly became afriad of all other dogs and people prams bikes bins etc.. Using rewards is nice too it makes you feel happy and relaxed as well as the dog which is important a dog can tell by the tension on the lead if you are not happy so they know something bad is coming when you tense.
So staying calm using a soft voice and rewarding helps to reduce tension all round.

Murphy is now happy to greet 99% of dogs 90% of people and will walk calmly past a pram or bike as long as its not too noisy or dangerously close. He then pauses and looks up for his reward because he knows hes been a good boy. It does take time but its well worth it to have a calm relaxed dog at the end of the lead and not some wild thing doing the crazy dog dance.
 

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I can't find a leash that's tiny enough to fit my little foster beagle pups but what I noticed was, if they saw another dog being walked outside of our fence, the boy lays on his back and acts submissive, while my little lady will attack the fence and all hell breaks loose.
 

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Definitely stop her attacking the fence, at the moment if she is a little pup it could be play, but you don't want it to become a habit. Block her access to the fence or supervise her so she can't do it.
 
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