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My dog, Scout, loves other dogs but does not have very good doggie manners. When he sees another dog, he runs up to it, sniffs it quickly, and then starts to roughhouse with it (jumping on its back, biting, just rough doggie wrestling). Most often, the other dog does not want to play. Scout focuses all his attention on the other dog and will not listen to me. I would love for him to simply sniff the other dog and then move on with our walk. Scout is an eight month old German Shepherd mix. He has been around other dogs his entire life, both at the shelter and the homes he went through before coming here. He was neutered last week (6/5/12), but that did not seem to help the problem. Is this just a puppy thing? What can I do to get his attention back? I've tried using high value treats, but this rarely works. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Loki does the same, I think its a puppy thing ( so I have been told) . depending on the size of the other dog I just let them go ... but watch carefully. Normally the other dog will tell the pup to essentially F*** off and they will clue in and leave the other dog be. If there are no tell tale signs of aggression I wouldn`t worry too much.... but always keep and eye out, thing can escalate fast.
 

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German Shepherds can be stubborn about these sorts of things. What kind of high-value treats are you using? I would suggest using some cut up hotdog. (No it's not very good for them, but as long as you only use it for these high-distraction situations, it should be fine)

Dogs learn doggie etiquette from their interactions with other dogs. If dogs in the past have let Scout jump all over them without telling him to back off, he's learned that it must be okay for every dog. However, this behavior can be dangerous for Scout, as other dogs who take a more cautious approach to greetings may see this as an attack, and react accordingly.

With hot dogs in a baggie, I would take Scout to meet some other dogs. When he sees the dog, immediately start training. With the other dog at a distance, have your dog sit and stay for a few seconds, focused on you and your treat. If he does this, give him the treat and move forward a few steps, towards the dog. If he starts pulling and getting too excited, move him back to where he started and try again. The aim of the game is get him to approach the dog calmly and coolly, focused on you above all else. If he finally makes it to the dog, let him sniff, and then immediately praise him and give him more treats, and walk him away to meet another dog. If you're consistent with this technique and use it several times through-out the week, pretty soon he should be greeting other dogs with much more self-control. :3
 

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I assume you don't mean this happens while you're out on walks, right? My last dog would have, quite literally, killed Scout for that. I could keep Muggsy calm passing by a dog, but a dog leaping on him and biting? No way.

(I know this seems like a stupid question to ask, but lots of people seem to think it's totes okay to let their dog jump all over mine without any warning at all. People are weird.)
 

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This definitely needs training, and FAST!!! This is very dangerous behavior...

When you are walking, and see a dog, keep Scout at heel until you get a few feet away, then put him into a sit/stay. If he doesn't stay, and starts to pull, then walk away. Cross the street, walk the other way, whatever it takes. But make sure that he is only allowed to say hello if he is waiting to do so first.

That is the most important thing, because it gives you the ability to ask the owner if it is ok to say hello!! Then, if the other dog is aggressive, or isn't great with bouncy puppies, you know, so that you don't stop to greet, and Scout is not in danger.

Beyond that, puppy manners are harder to teach, but you CAN help him learn what is ok. After he is sitting, and the other owner has given the ok, you can either let the other dog come up to him before releasing the sit, or you can let him get up. If he LEAPS toward the log, correct with the leash, or stop and go back into the sit. If he walks calmly, then let him go.

He should walk toward the side of the other dog, or do a quick nose sniff, then to the side, then the butt. you can actually help guide him to do this, although he should get it on his own. Make sure that you are NOT forcing them to meet head-on, as this is aggressive posturing! Butt sniffing is absolutely good doggie manners.

Really, the big one is making sure he doesn't leap up without getting the other owners permission for a hello. Beyond that, sometimes its a good thing to be corrected by an older dog!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you guys for all of this advice! Yes, this happens mainly on walks. I'm assuming that Scout has never meet an aggressive dog, and I would hope that he never does. However, I can't predict what we will run into. As of now, I am able to hold him back and don't let him approach another dog unless the owners say it is alright, but Scout is going to get bigger and stronger. I wanted to start working on this issue sooner, but I wasn't really sure how to do so. Thank you all again!
 

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I agree with making him sit and stay whenever you see another dog passing. Reward for good behavior. I would not allow him to meet with other dogs for a while until he is able to focus on you. This is a good situation to train 'watch me' as well. And socializing outside of walks would do him good. A play date with various types of dogs and pups who will teach him in their own way what is the wrong way to play or act.
 
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