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Hey, there!

Here's a little back story:

My dog, Belley, is a seven year old spayed mix breed. She weighs 20lbs, and was adopted from a hoarding situation. The owner's best guess what that she was a German Shepherd/Lab/Chihuahua/Yorkie (lol), but she looks to me to be a Beagle/Cattle Dog with a bit of Chihuahua. She's always been a smart girl who picks up on commands quickly; she loves learning and being active. By 6 months she earned the nickname Hells Belles, because she's always looking to stir thing up -- mischievously. I've had her since she was 8 weeks old, and my family has always had cats and dogs and small animals. As a young adult, she would go to work with me at the local doggy-daycare. She's always been reactive, but never aggressive. She's had some issues in her life, but nothing I couldn't correct myself. When Belley was 1.5 years, I adopted a 12 week old Pit mix, who was her companion until she died this past June of bone cancer. The vet recommended that she be in the room during the euthanasia, and everything has been fine personality-wise. She seems to have adjusted well to being an only pet.

Except for her one issue. Recently, she's become incredibly "aggressive" towards other dogs. I use the quotes because she's still fine with my parents and grandparents dogs, and any stranger who is brave enough to do a slow introduction with our dogs.

The problem starts as soon as we leave the apartment. She immediately starts grumbling and looking for dogs. As soon as she smells or sees a dog, her hackles raise, she barks, pulls on the leash, and is all together just nasty. Although she has never bitten anyone or anything, I don't trust her unless I have control. For introductions, I hold her facing away while they smell, and then vise versa before they can smell faces.

I have tried distracting her with treats, toys, and commands. I've tried turning her around and walking the other way. I've tried picking her up and carrying her by. I live in a city, and I've tried taking her out with me, and after about an hour she'll calm down to the point of just growling and pulling towards dogs, but as soon as one comes close, she's back to being an angry mess.

I'm at the point where I want to add another dog to the family, but I don't want to bring one into this environment and have them pick up on her bad behavior. I've always trained my own dogs, and this is the first issue I've come across that I can't fix. I'm open to the idea of a training class, but I thought this would be a good place to start. Any help is appreciated!
 
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