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My 18 week old english pointer puppy loves to play. We have been taking her to puppy socialization classes and she has socialized with older dogs at her boarding facility. She is tons of energy and excitement which tends to scare the shy dogs so she has really only socialized with braver dogs. All those interactions are going well and the trainers think she is doing great. The problem happens when we take her for a walk or to my husband's uncle's house.

When we take her for a walk and she sees another dog, she pulls on the leash, barks with excitement and jumps in the air. Today, my husband asked one of the dog walkers walking by if his dog gets along well with other dogs, the man said yes so they proceeded to let the dogs meet. Our puppy sniffed the other dog's nose for a few seconds then leaped on his face with excitement (the other dog was twice her size). No play bow or anything else to indicate a desire to play. The other dog reacted with a growl and jumped up to push her off. My puppy backed away then ran towards the other dog again but my husband pulled her away.

My husband's uncle lives an hour and half away and as they are the closest family we have, we go up for the day at least once a month. That has slowed a little since we got our puppy. My uncle has a very old Shiba Inu that has arthritis in her back legs and has trouble moving around. When we first introduced them, we asked that my husband's uncle put the Shiba Inu on a leash and take her down the street so they could meet on neutral ground. Our puppy sniffed noses and butts with the Shiba but then proceeded to leap onto her back. The Shiba yelped in pain and growled at our puppy. Our puppy backed away and kept a respectful distance from her for part of the day then kept trying to engage the Shiba in play. She would play bow and playfully paw the air near the Shiba, and each time the Shiba would growl and we would move her away. The next few times, we kept our puppy on the opposite side of the room and often in her crate while we visited. This last weekend, we went up there and tried the introduction since our puppy had been better in classes and the instructors said she was doing well (and picking up hints) with other dogs during boarding. She once again leaped on the Shiba who yelped and fell. We pulled her away and didn't let her near the Shiba again.

I feel like she does well at class and during boarding (we board at our training facility) but outside of that she has issues with taking the hint that the other dog does not want to play. I understand that my dog will not get along with all dogs but how do I teach her to leave other dogs alone?
 

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it's going to be harder to back track what has already been taught. That being out on a leash in public is about the other dogs. Dealing with a pup who needs to learn staying on task first around other people and animals. Spending the time to go back to basics of working first with no expectation of interacting. Once you get a good work ethic first then a reward can be you give the command to be release to go meet or play. As far as being let loose and not going after the one Dog (Shiba) the one dog they can win at .. be ahead of the pup .. the moment the pup starts going in that direction physically or visually you (out-recall).. the pup back to your side. If they can't recall then they not ready to be let loose where they could cause long term emotional harm that may lead to changes in their behavior to other dogs.. to someones dog..
 

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For me, I don't do on leash greetings - never much and beyond about 16 weeks never (my poor husband continues to be baffled when he forgets and I'm yelling 'DROP THE LEASH' but he's gotten better). I do PLAY DATES where I arrange to have the puppy meet up with another puppy or dog and let them play off leash in an enclosed area for fun and socialization, but random meetings with random dogs? Rare at any age and non-existent once they hit about 4 months old. This also applies to greeting most PEOPLE, though less strictly (ie: they can still greet some people sometimes but a lot less often).

Once they hit that age the goal shifts from 'look, fun stuff!' to 'yes, things exist in the world, it's mostly irrelevant to you'. So, that's pretty much my advice. Use food and toys, look into 'look at that' protocol so that your dog learns to glance at things and then focus back on you, and don't allow on leash greetings. Set up some play-dates with dogs who will appreciate a rough playstyle and use that opportunity to call pup out for excessive roughness. Otherwise? Focus on 'IGNORE OTHER DOGS' when you're out and about as a goal.

But. I'm a performance home. My dogs need to be off leash and focused on me around a lot of other people and dogs. So other dogs and strange people just CANNOT be that valuable to them.
 

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It's pretty normal for puppies to exhibit poor social manners, just like children. They jump at faces and on dogs and stuff like that, just very poor manners. They do learn, but you have to be careful to not let your pup interact with a dog (say, an old arthritic dog) that they could hurt with their poor manners.

I would say that continuing to take your pup to puppy play dates is a good way to go. They tend to learn from each other. Not all adult dogs enjoy puppies, while some adults just love them and would play with them all day, so proceed carefully! I mean, it does sound like your pup is learning and paying attention to social cues, but if the pup begins to ignore them it's probably time for a nap!

It's your choice whether or not you let your dog greet other dogs on the street, but if she's prone to jumping up on them, I would probably not do that until she has learned some manners. The other dog may like dogs, but may not be tolerant of puppy shenanigans.
 

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My 18 week old english pointer puppy loves to play. We have been taking her to puppy socialization classes and she has socialized with older dogs at her boarding facility. She is tons of energy and excitement which tends to scare the shy dogs so she has really only socialized with braver dogs. All those interactions are going well and the trainers think she is doing great. The problem happens when we take her for a walk or to my husband's uncle's house.
Normal puppy behaviors. Confident puppies tend to fly at other dogs' faces. They learn over time that it's inappropriate. I would recommend more exposure to appropriate and healthy dogs in appropriate settings. My almost-9 month old still comes off strong with dogs sometimes and gets told off with a growl. The difference between now and a few months ago is he respects the other dogs' social cues a lot more now. It's still a work in progress since he's a puppy! But at the ~8-20 week mark, they just flail everywhere!


When we take her for a walk and she sees another dog, she pulls on the leash, barks with excitement and jumps in the air. Today, my husband asked one of the dog walkers walking by if his dog gets along well with other dogs, the man said yes so they proceeded to let the dogs meet. Our puppy sniffed the other dog's nose for a few seconds then leaped on his face with excitement (the other dog was twice her size). No play bow or anything else to indicate a desire to play. The other dog reacted with a growl and jumped up to push her off. My puppy backed away then ran towards the other dog again but my husband pulled her away.
Because you asked, "how do I teach her to leave other dogs alone?" it is worth noting that when your dog is pulling, jumping and barking at other dogs, and then you let her greet the other dog. You are reinforcing the pulling, jumping and barking. Your dog is learning 'when I throw a fit, my person lets me go see this other dog.'

I agree that avoiding on-leash greetings in never a bad idea. It doesn't mean you need to frantically avoid every dog you see. But dogs who greet on leash learn that habit, and then become frustrated when they can't, and then the dog becomes reactive. On-leash greetings create all sorts of tension. The sooner your dog learns that other dogs on leash-walks are irrelevant, the sooner she will start leaving other dogs alone. I think it is very valuable to let dogs play and interact with other dogs in OFF leash situations.

As a general note, unless you want those behaviors, it is worth not letting your dog get anything if she is pulling, barking and jumping. For example, even when I arrange a playdate with my friends' dogs, we start away from each other, reward our dogs for focus, and the leash is not removed and the release cue is not given unless both dogs are totally calm and focused. This means even when we are meeting up for a play date, our dogs aren't going crazy trying to play with each other. When they play, our hands our off and they get to do their thing. But every freedom and resource is earned and the dogs learn that throwing a fit never gets them anything.
 

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Thank you everyone for the advice. My husband and I are no longer going to let her greet dogs on leash and most people. As this has only happened a handful of times I'm hoping she figures it out quick. We do have another puppy that we do playdates with so we will keep with that and the puppy playtimes at the training facility we go to. I will be sure to make her sit and be calm before letting her off the leash to play.

Today when we took a walk, a person was behind us. My puppy kept sitting facing backwards towards the person every few feet. Do they usually figure it out after a few times or do I need to do something special so she realizes she can't greet the person?
 

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Where I live " on leash" is the county, city and community law. Period. There are fines for violations. As with many laws, there are law breakers. A unleashed dog rushing me and my dog gets sprayed or Tazed. I have no patience with people and out of control dogs. I learned the lesson the hard way after my dog was bitten twice early on. To this day four years later she does not like to go to the areas she was accosted. She will at my direction but she will be very wary. Yet at big events like dog walks where there are other dogs on leash she is fine. I just don't allow dog meets dog contacts. We can walk nicely but a couple feet apart.

My dog gets socialized at dog classes where there are controlled exercises for this. Many dogs get along fine but some simply do not like other dogs and want to be left alone with their owners.

She Is extremely people friendly but just prefers to not meet other dogs.

Byron
 

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Thank you everyone for the advice. My husband and I are no longer going to let her greet dogs on leash and most people. As this has only happened a handful of times I'm hoping she figures it out quick. We do have another puppy that we do playdates with so we will keep with that and the puppy playtimes at the training facility we go to. I will be sure to make her sit and be calm before letting her off the leash to play.

Today when we took a walk, a person was behind us. My puppy kept sitting facing backwards towards the person every few feet. Do they usually figure it out after a few times or do I need to do something special so she realizes she can't greet the person?
Keep luring her forward with a treat, or move to the side, and have her sit and wait for the person to pass.
 

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Thank you everyone for the advice. My husband and I are no longer going to let her greet dogs on leash and most people. As this has only happened a handful of times I'm hoping she figures it out quick. We do have another puppy that we do playdates with so we will keep with that and the puppy playtimes at the training facility we go to. I will be sure to make her sit and be calm before letting her off the leash to play.

Today when we took a walk, a person was behind us. My puppy kept sitting facing backwards towards the person every few feet. Do they usually figure it out after a few times or do I need to do something special so she realizes she can't greet the person?
lol puppies can be so innocent silly cute :) They learn sequences very easily when they are repeated over and over again.. This is how we walk on lead , this is how we walk on lead when a distractions happens this is how we act when people approach.. Just pick your individual OB skills for each event and work on learning them individually, and how to apply them to specific events.. They pick up the routine as you go along from practice
 

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I think you can correct the about face by creating a " watch me" command. Start by using the command and immediately reward when the pup looks at you. You can start this in the home. Use it for anything you want the dog to look to you first.

It takes lots of reps and sometimes extreme value treats. When there is a dog distraction just say " watch me" and quickly reward success. It's best to start with other dogs a long way off as the distraction is diminished. But sometimes it just happens very close. Still be aware and reward when the dog watches you.

The idea is to get the dog to look at you as soon as he see another dog by himself. When this happens you need to give lots of praise and very high value treats. Let him know he did the right thing.

Byron
 

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Most pups will figure it out through age, exposure, and training.
1. Find a fenced in area where she can run and have a play date with a dog that is a similar energy level and play style. Even better if the other dog is a few months or a few years older. The similar energy level will reduce the chances that your dog overwhelms the other dog, and an older dog will snark and reprimand an out-of control pup.
2. Try to offer play opportunities with various known dogs. People with high energy dogs can be grateful to have another dog available as an energy drain.

I have a large, high energy dog, and he learned to play nicely and to self-handicap by playing with a young GSD pups and others. Mikee is a 3yo Lab mix and we're in a class with an 8 mos Boykin and an 8 mos ACD. Even though Mikee is twice her size, the Boykin is overjoyed to have a dog that can run with her during after class play time. The ACD is a little out of control and is still nipping hard, trying to herd. Mikee is able to body block him, but the Boykin is not yet strong enough to make a decisive snark and reprimand that the ACD listens to, so sometimes the ACD gets a timeout. We allow all three dogs to play, until it's clear that the Boykin is escalating, and the ACD is just not getting it. After a few minutes, the ACD is allowed to return to play - wash, rinse, repeat ... Mikee is learning to improve his play, the Boykin is learning to stand up for herself without going over the top, and we hope the ACD will learn to play without nipping so hard. Mikee plays with another ACD, who took a year to learn to control his nipping ...

If you're going to be out and about interacting with other dogs, then controlled opportunities for exposure to experienced dogs will help [you and ] your dog learn the social graces. Lessons learned in Off leash play dates can help with on leash interactions.
 

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I NEVER let my dog greet and meet other dogs on or off leash. I do not even let my own dogs out together (but I have reasons for that).

"Socialization" of puppies and dogs is often misconstrued to be meeting other dogs and people physically. It is NOT that. It IS getting your dog out and around new things and people and other dogs in classes and learning to focus on you and doing that is "better" than other "stuff" like people and dogs and the environment in general.

I suggest you read "The Other End of the Leash" as it is very good for pet dog owners. It explains why leash to greetings are so bad. It forces dogs to greet in an unnatural manner (face to face). Face to Fact is a people thing but dogs find it rude. Dog's prefer to circle and sniff butts which people would find rude (I hope!!).
 
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