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Let me preface by saying that Martha (and I ) have some fear based issues that I have been diligently working on...and I think there has been improvement - but still have a distance to go.

We were out walking today with 2 other doggie friends. All 3 are leashed (as leashes are required). We reach the top of a hill and are walking along the flat and a large choc lab that was walking away from us, sees us and charges (runs very quickly) towards us. The owner is calling him back to no avail. I step in between the dog and Martha. Unfortunately I forget all the training:redface:....the clicking and treating and keeping her calm....I also say (yell?) that my dog has fear issues. The dog approaches my friend and her 2 dogs. I keep Martha away but she has started her barking and lunging. The owner at this point arrives and gets his dog.

I know there is nothing that I can do about the other dog. I need to focus on what I can do. My friend suggested that I should've said something once the owner arrived as there was nothing he could do when his dog was so far from him. I agree.

Any ideas how I could keep my head and not lose my training?
 

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I'm glad to see that you are committed to working through Martha's fears. Many owners don't even try to address it, so Kudos to you for that. I know I have forgotten training techniques 'in the moment' a number of times, and I'm sure many other have as well.

IMO practice and repetition are the best way to learning to keep your wits about you, in the moment. I start over and would repeat the basics you have covered so far. You can use stuffed toy dogs, or set up situations where she typically reacts and make sure you get her attention before she reacts. Once you're solid on the basics again, see if you can set up a friend with a dog using a long leash. Start from a safe distance and work through to closer distances. I would even take the latter part up with an experienced trainer, so you are setting Martha up for success properly.

Unfortunately, there are ignorant owners. Some owners just don't get whole concept of leash laws and the reasons behind them. In truth, the other owner of the off-leash dog was probably completely unaware of the potential consequences that dog fears can produce. In his mind, it was just another day on a walk. As aggravating as that is, it's not always easy to educate others.
 

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First, We've all been there done that... and I've been on both sides with a dog-reactive dog, then with an overly friendly dog. Once your dog passes her threshold, there's not much you can do, so when a strange dog approaches, all you can do is protect.... b/c you can't get away. I think you did the right thing.

When you first saw the Lab, you could've started calming...but once the Lab committed, you couldn't do much, except to keep them apart. The calming etc. wouldn't have mattered, b/c the Lab was now in your face.

And, there's nothing you can say to the Lab owner that's constructive. He knows he screwed up, and maybe he'll learn.

I was walking my GSD mix years ago, and got accosted by a Lab. The Lab just wanted to say hello, and I couldn't scare him away, and my barking dog couldn't scare him away. Finally, after I made lots of threats, the Lab decided we were no fun.

On the other hand, now I own that Lab. And, he sometimes accosts people, but he's learned to approach tentatively and then walk away if not invited. ... B/c of that trait, we used to use him to help socialize fearful dogs in a controlled environment.
 

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First, We've all been there done that... and I've been on both sides with a dog-reactive dog, then with an overly friendly dog. Once your dog passes her threshold, there's not much you can do, so when a strange dog approaches, all you can do is protect.... b/c you can't get away. I think you did the right thing.

Thank you
It was a tough situation yesterday and I felt so badly let my Martha down.
When you first saw the Lab, you could've started calming...but once the Lab committed, you couldn't do much, except to keep them apart. The calming etc. wouldn't have mattered, b/c the Lab was now in your face.
 
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