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I have a male rough collie who is turning 1 year this month. He is a very sweet dog who loves to play with other dogs. He has been through 2 rounds (12 weeks) of group training and frequently visits the dog park. However, for whatever reason when he is on the leash he barks at other dogs like he wants to kill them. He had gotten better about this for awhile but now seems to be getting worse again. When he gets close to another dog all he does is sniff and lick them so I do not understand why he barks so aggressively. It is starting to scare other people with dogs who walk by me when I am walking him and I dread seeing anyone else on the side walk. We have tried the gentle leader (calmed him for a little bit) and otherwise he is very well trained and obedient. I know rough collies are notoriously vocal but there has to be something I can do! Any suggestions would be so appreciated. I am beyond stuck :(
 

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Sounds like your dog might be slightly leash reactive. Some dogs don't like meeting other dogs on leash because the leash is restricting and they are forced, generally, to meet face to face. I would suggest doing some calmness training. About how far away does your dog start barking? You want to start about 3 ft away from that threshold. Grab a friend and his pup and have him stand far enough away that your dog does not react. Treat and praise your dog for being quiet, calm and looking at you. Do that a few times then move in. If your dog starts reacting negatively again, move back. You might have taken a step too close for him. Repeat, repeat until you are close to the other dog and handler. You want your dog to associate the leash and other dogs with treats and calm.

Note: this can take a long time so prepare to manage this as you go. A "watch me" command is essential!
 

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Before he goes by the other dog, when you see the dog, get him in a sit position and focus on you. This is called the "watch me" command. You hold a treat near your eye and say "watch me". Get his focus on you and the treat, if he breaks the focus just gently tug on the leash or say his name to get his focus again. Do not give the treat until the other dog has passed.

I do this with my dog who doesn't like certain breeds and trucks. He can now walk by trucks that are zooming on the highway. Dogs we still have a ways to go, but this trick does work. Also some dogs can get others riled up. I learned that Boxers stare and that's a challenge to dogs, my dog reacts to that as if he wants to beat up the Boxer. Just be calm too and try to refocus your dog on you.
 

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Also, is it aggression or is it just excitedness, wanting to meet&greet and play?
This... my dog barks and barks and barks at other dogs on leash, to the point where I have had people tell me he was vicious and anti-social and should not be out in public. But if you watch his body language, it is all play-bows, jumping, and tail-wagging in circles, none of which are signs of aggression (and are all signs of excitement). Reactivity is actually very common (small dogs that bark at everything that go by? That's reactivity). Most people just don't know that it's a behavior that can be altered, and is actually pretty easy to manage successfully.

We have found off-leash group walks to be very helpful; Snowball seems to be associating seeing other dogs with getting play time and off-leash time, so is not nearly as reactive now as when we got him. We also do a combination of Look At That (LAT) and Watch. In the first, you treat the dog heavily for calm behavior when it is looking at the stimulus (another dog). In the second, you ask for a "Watch" or a "Look" (whatever your command is) and then treat heavily when the dog looks at you. The second requires a strong foundation of a "Watch"/"Look" command to begin with.

I feel the two methods kind of work on different things.... LAT seems to be better for turning a negative stimulus into a positive one; the dog learns to associate seeing another dog with getting lots of treats (a good thing). "Watch" trains the dog to look at you when it sees another dog, which keeps the dog more focused on you than on the other dog. Kikopup has come good videos on Youtube about counter conditioning and reactivity. Additionally, I found the book "Feisty Fido" to be quite helpful.
 
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