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For as long as I can remember, my dog will crouch when a dog approaches. This used to not be a problem, but she has since started bolting at them really fast until she practically crashes into them and will not listen to any instruction at this point.
I'm pretty sure she thinks it's a game. But I hate it. It really annoys or scares some of the dogs. This has ended up in some altercations with other dogs. She's big too, she's a golden retriever crossed with who knows what else.
I try my best to cue her when she starts to crouch, but she doesn't listen. I have also tried distracting her but it doesn't always work. I have given her lots of praise when she has positive interactions. I think she feels my tension when she starts to crouch, but I can't help it! I worry that I've ruined her play by scolding her or feeling tense and that I've somehow made it worse.
I really like walking her at the off-leash dog park, and she used to get a lot of play time there. But now it just feels like a half an hour of being worried she's going to get in a fight.

I would love some suggestions on how to train her to stop doing this. My gut just wants to get a shock collar and buzz her every time she crouches because I'm so fed up. But I think that will just make it worse and then cause her to think that play is bad.
 

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She probably thinks it's fun. She might even believe the other dogs are having fun, too. Sometimes dogs start to think if they're having fun, everyone else must be, too.

She clearly wants to interact with the other dogs. My suggestion would be to teach her that this behavior results in the opposite of what she wants. The minute she starts to crouch/stalk I would say "ah ah" and immediately turn and walk the opposite direction. Do that until she stops fixating on the other dog, then try again. Continue doing this until she stops.

It might be difficult to consistently do on walks, since other dogs will continue walking on their path regardless of your training. If the dog gets too close, walk on the other side of the street or find a space where you can take your dog away from the path until the other dog passes.

In some cases, dogs teach each other well. They will "tell each other off" by growling/ snapping in response to rude behaviour. Interacting with other dogs MIGHT help, but I would be sure only to allow play with other dogs you know are social and friendly to other dogs. I'm also unsure about how your dog would react if she was "told off". You know your dog best. It might depend on age, too. Adult dogs are much more forgiving with younger dogs, as they can smell their hormones and know that they need to be taught their manners. It's the same as how humans would be much more tolerant of rude teenage behaviour than they would from another grown adult.
 

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First, please do not get a shock collar. There are far better ways of resolving this without causing your dog discomfort and if she associates the other dogs with the shock, she may become aggressive. Tools like these may interrupt a behaviour but they don't address the cause so using them generally causes a new, and usually worse, behaviour.

Cueing her after she starts to crouch is too late. It's a little bit like applying the brakes after you have driven the car over the cliff edge. So keep whatever distance you need before she is likely to crouch and lunge. As Christine says, you may need to be selective where you walk and who she interacts with. You could also train a ”watch me” to keep her focus on you when other dogs are on the periphery of her 'zone'. You can reward this heavily, ideally you want her to think that engaging with you is actually more exciting than other dogs so take favourite toys - maybe even one special toy that is only used for these occasions.

It certainly isn't fair on other dogs to allow her to do this - another dog might tell her off but (a) he shouldn't have to, he has a right to enjoy his walk, (b) you could get a fight where both dogs are injured or (c) the other dog might be old, or unwell, or nervous - it really isn't fair and frankly, it's very bad dog manners for her to do this. And the more she practises, the more she will do it so you really do need to step in.

To allow her a bit of freedom, I'd suggest a long line. This will give her some freedom while allowing you to keep control. Long lines should only be attached to a harness, never a collar because when she runs she won't know when she is going to reach the end and a sudden stop could seriously damage her neck.
 
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