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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there! My Monty is 17 months old. I have had him for just over 3 months now. When I first got him, he was amazing around other dogs on leash - and now he is snarling/growling (kinda scary stuff..)

I am very distressed about this. He is very sweet with people, kiddos, and some of this close dog friends (spends weekends together at the cottage, playing... )

He is NOT fixed, and with covid booking an appointment has been tough. He is booked for October, thank goodness. Couldn't be a day earlier. Is this maybe the reason?

He also got a terrible hot spot on his head, and needed to be careful for play around other dogs back in June. I don’t know if I’ve done this, and now it’s getting worse...

I no longer know what to do, and feeling so discouraged. Would love feedback- help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I bumped your thread up so it would be in the top discussions for today since you haven't received any replies yet.
Oh, thank you so much! I really appreciate this. I wish everyone could meet Monty. It’s so out of character for him. Appreciate any advice from others. I have reached out to a trainer as well who work with goldens.
 

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I have three intact males, ages 1, 3, and 11. I don’t believe neutering has anything to do with this issue. I don’t allow my dogs to greet other dogs on leash. I don’t allow play with any dogs other then ones we are around on a very regular basis at training days, etc. You would probably be shocked at the amount of growling, chasing, rolling each other over my youngest two do during play. Even in a CGC (Canine Good Citizen Test) dogs are expected to calmly pass by other dogs on leash from a safe distance. It’s never a good idea to put two dogs on leash nose to nose, or close together. My general rule is 6 feet of distance.

I would recommend taking him to obedience classes so you can get him to focus on you. In a group class you would be exposed to other dogs on leash and it would teach both of you how to handle those situations. In the mean time don’t put yourself, or him, in situations that concern you. Search this site for “leash reactivity” I’m not sure that’s what this is but the training tips will still help. Dogs don’t need to socialize with other dogs to be happy. I bet after two sessions of obedience classes (a few months) you’ll have no issues. I prefer going to AKC clubs, not PetSmart for classes. Best of luck!
 

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You have adopted "almost" adult dog, he was on his best behavior for a month or two,
and now he is testing what he can get away with...
like others said, obedience training first, ..........
neutering will make no difference to his "reactivity"
pretend you are starting with a puppy.......it will take time and effort to make him in to a dog you can live with,
good luck :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have three intact males, ages 1, 3, and 11. I don’t believe neutering has anything to do with this issue. I don’t allow my dogs to greet other dogs on leash. I don’t allow play with any dogs other then ones we are around on a very regular basis at training days, etc. You would probably be shocked at the amount of growling, chasing, rolling each other over my youngest two do during play. Even in a CGC (Canine Good Citizen Test) dogs are expected to calmly pass by other dogs on leash from a safe distance. It’s never a good idea to put two dogs on leash nose to nose, or close together. My general rule is 6 feet of distance.

I would recommend taking him to obedience classes so you can get him to focus on you. In a group class you would be exposed to other dogs on leash and it would teach both of you how to handle those situations. In the mean time don’t put yourself, or him, in situations that concern you. Search this site for “leash reactivity” I’m not sure that’s what this is but the training tips will still help. Dogs don’t need to socialize with other dogs to be happy. I bet after two sessions of obedience classes (a few months) you’ll have no issues. I prefer going to AKC clubs, not PetSmart for classes. Best of luck!
Thank you so much for this feedback. Very helpful. I have contacted a trainer who works with goldens in area- and hoping they can help. He’s a very* smart dog, so I hope this works in my favor. Can I ask- How do you avoid dogs going nose to nose when walking on the sidewalk? Right now I am taking him to the other side of the road, and reinforcing calm behaviour.
Really appreciate your feedback. I’m learning a lot these last few months- but I know he has amazing potential.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You have adopted "almost" adult dog, he was on his best behavior for a month or two,
and now he is testing what he can get away with...
like others said, obedience training first, ..........
neutering will make no difference to his "reactivity"
pretend you are starting with a puppy.......it will take time and effort to make him in to a dog you can live with,
good luck :)
Wow, is this true with dogs? (This idea of a honeymoon period with an almost adult dog...?) If so- it makes a lot of sense! He was almost too good to be true when I brought him home in June.
I have contacted a trainer.
 

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Wow, is this true with dogs? (This idea of a honeymoon period with an almost adult dog...?) If so- it makes a lot of sense! He was almost too good to be true when I brought him home in June.
I have contacted a trainer.
If another dog is coming toward me on a sidewalk i heel my dog on the side of me that is away from the oncoming dog. I will slide my hand down my leash to shorten the length and say “watch me”. My dog will focus on me and heel until the other passes. If the oncoming dog and owner don’t seem “respectful” of boundaries I will move off the sidewalk (or as far to the side as I can get) and have my dog sit. I may even kneel down and pet him and talk to him until they go by. (Maybe give a treat to start out) Don’t be afraid to tell other dog owners you are working on training and ask them to keep a safe distance. Anyone that trains their dogs will respect that request. My dogs are ALWAYS asked to sit before anyone touches them. It becomes automatic. If I stop walking they sit.

We live on a farm so my dogs are not on a leash daily. I travel often with them and they need to be well behaved and adjusted. A dog that lives on a farm needs good obedience and socialization to go to Fort Wilderness at Disney World and hear all the sounds and see all the people. Socialization of dogs doesn’t refer to other dogs, but people and situations.

I compete in performance sports with my dogs and people are always respectful of keeping distance between dogs. Last weekend I was at a training day with my youngest dogs mom and she wanted nothing to do with him. Lol There are dogs I allow mine to run free with, but never with a toy involved, and I always KNOW both dogs are well trained and want to play.
 

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I have a very dog reactive rescue BC mix and my Golden, who is fine at a distance but was a jerk in his younger years any closer than six feet or so. I always have treats and a clicker with me on walks and will turn 180 degrees if needed to keep space with other dog owners who clearly either can’t read the room or are glued to their phones or both. My goal is to keep both dogs focused on me and keep them at a sufficient distance where they can be successful. Neither one needs to win Miss Congeniality with strange dogs.

There’s a good book called “Click to Calm” by Emma Parsons that addresses several types of dog reactivity. You might want to check that out?
 
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Great recommendations. Agree with obedience training and group lessons preferably. Once you have good obedience with attention first and foremost on you, you will not have to worry about passing other dogs on the street. This is not quick or easy but definitely achievable. And life on a walk will be much less stressful.
Don't hesitate to take the same class multiple times. Different dogs will be in the class in a supportive controlled setting will allow you to proof Monty.
 

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I never let 6-month old Archie greet other dogs…ever! I do the same as previously posted. if it’s going to be a tight pass, I sit him with his back to the oncoming dog and tell him to watch me. I too shorten his leash by sliding my hand down. If we’re able to pass the other dog, I tell him “close” and shorten leash. Then as we get closer, I tell him “leave it” as we walk by. In both scenarios I give him tons of praise afterwards. If other owners initiate a greeting, I tell them he is not allowed because he’s in training. I’ve never had anyone push it after that.

Now petting him is a whole other story. I live in a tiny touristy beach town. I do a lot of downtown training walks, but was always being asked if “they” could pet him. That’s a tougher one because to stop and answer breaks the entire training sequence, so I bought him this adorable little vest with a Velcro badge that says In Training on both sides. When he wears that it’s like the parting of the Red Sea. People actually step to the side as we walk by and ewww and awww. There are days when we do a downtown training walk without the vest, because he is also learning how to greet people, or settle at my feet if I stop for a few minutes to chat.
 

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With dogs, everyone has their own guidelines to follow and i respect that. What i can only add, is what i'm doing with my pup. Since my doggo is 10w old, he doesn't compare exactly to your 17 month old doggo but dog interactions go like so, where dog himself/herself makes a contact with another dog, on their own terms, rather than human forcing the contact upon.
When dogs meet, especially when both are on leashes, their noses touch first since they want to sniff the other one. But it's the butt of a dog where dogs sniff each other.

My pup barks when he sees another dog and desperately tries to get closer. Barking means that my pup is letting me know that someone new is in his sight - that's normal. Growling usually means to "keep away" but my pup also growls when he's playing.

Also, try keeping yourself calm and confident since if you're nervous, doggo will pick it up and become nervous themselves, resulting in unwanted behavior.

Overall, i agree that for best help, you need to look towards training.
 

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Hi there! My Monty is 17 months old. I have had him for just over 3 months now. When I first got him, he was amazing around other dogs on leash - and now he is snarling/growling (kinda scary stuff..)

I am very distressed about this. He is very sweet with people, kiddos, and some of this close dog friends (spends weekends together at the cottage, playing... )

He is NOT fixed, and with covid booking an appointment has been tough. He is booked for October, thank goodness. Couldn't be a day earlier. Is this maybe the reason?
Dogs should never meet and greet one another on leash - it's asking for trouble. There are a lot of dogs in the area where I live, and if somebody brings their dog over to us or asks if they can meet mine, I just say "no, sorry, he's not good with other dogs" and walk on. A dog on a leash isn't in control of what happens and it creates insecurity, hence your dog's growling and snarling. If you persist with on-leash greetings, you'll make things worse.

I have a 5 year-old male dog who is not neutered, and while he's fine with virtually all other dogs off-leash, he can sometimes be insecure and growly on leash (although he's fine more often than not). Our 11-year-old neutered male poodle is worse. Neutering has nothing to do with it and neutering your dog won't fix this particular problem.

Dogs don't need constant interaction with other dogs. They need interaction with their humans. I take my dog for occasional group walks off-leash with dogs I know well, that are trained and friendly, and he has no interest in them whatsoever. He's pleased to see them for about 30 seconds, will play and chase them for a bit, then he goes off and does his own thing, or interacts with the humans in the group, or brings his ball for me to throw for him.

Neutering may change how certain other dogs react to your dog. Other unfixed males and some neutered males react aggressively to males that aren't neutered.

Don't force your dog to play with other dogs and avoid on-leash greetings, and you'll be fine.
 

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I adopted a then 21 month old, unneutered, untrained male who will be 4 yrs old in October. He loves humans, children and babies. He has always gotten along fabulously with my two females (a now 14+ yr old and a now 8 yr old). Out walking he is leash reactive towards other dogs both male and female. It's something we've worked on very hard, every time we are out since day one. We had been going to training classes but then Covid hit, so I'm back to working in my neighborhood. Suddenly there are numerous families walking with dogs, many of them totally clueless on dog etiquette. I do let them know that they are not to approach regardless of what they say. I had one "moron" try to approach even when she saw my dog getting hot under the collar.

His was a huge puller on leash but has greatly improved as he will return to heel position if I stop or slow down which I will do if I feel he's getting too far ahead of me. I am working on the "watch me" command. I am currently clicker training as I'm not a fan of choke or prong collars. We practice heeling, sit, stay, down while out walking. He will scan the horizon for other dogs but since I'm constantly watching him, I remind him that he's to focus on me, not the other dog. There are times that he will try to totally ignore the watch me command and still act the moron if approaching/passing another dog. But I keep at it until he calms down, watches me, then we move on. As mentioned above, he has come a long way.

So after all of this, I'd like to advise the OP to keep working at it. It does take time. Practice, practice, practice, consistency and perseverance. It's workable if you keep at it.
 
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Hi there! My Monty is 17 months old. I have had him for just over 3 months now. When I first got him, he was amazing around other dogs on leash - and now he is snarling/growling (kinda scary stuff..)

I am very distressed about this. He is very sweet with people, kiddos, and some of this close dog friends (spends weekends together at the cottage, playing... )

He is NOT fixed, and with covid booking an appointment has been tough. He is booked for October, thank goodness. Couldn't be a day earlier. Is this maybe the reason?

He also got a terrible hot spot on his head, and needed to be careful for play around other dogs back in June. I don’t know if I’ve done this, and now it’s getting worse...

I no longer know what to do, and feeling so discouraged. Would love feedback- help.
Hello AshleyChristina, you have lots of good advice here and will be taking him to a trainer, that is the best. I have seen that dogs react one way on leash, more protective, aggressive, than off leash. When your trainer says he's ready, a dog park can be a good place to teach him how to be a dog socializing with other dogs. I would go with the trainer who can show you how to manage him and how not to react to normal non escalating play that can sound serious. I am so glad you are working on it! I have seen similar dogs come around with a fair amount of work and careful consistent exposure to socialization.
 

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Hello AshleyChristina, you have lots of good advice here and will be taking him to a trainer, that is the best. I have seen that dogs react one way on leash, more protective, aggressive, than off leash. When your trainer says he's ready, a dog park can be a good place to teach him how to be a dog socializing with other dogs. I would go with the trainer who can show you how to manage him and how not to react to normal non escalating play that can sound serious. I am so glad you are working on it! I have seen similar dogs come around with a fair amount of work and careful consistent exposure to socialization.
No, no, please don't take your dog to a dog park. Dog parks are terrible places. They're full of poorly trained dogs with owners who know nothing at all about dog interactions and behaviour. It's a recipe for disaster, especially for a reactive dog. The last thing the OP's dog needs is to interact with a bunch of unknown dogs - it would be the polar opposite of "careful consistent exposure". This dog already plays happily with dogs it knows and likes, on weekends. It doesn't need any additional doggie playtime, and it especially doesn't need to be placed in a situation that would make it feel even more insecure.

It's an absolute myth that dogs need to play with other dogs all the time. They don't. What they need is to be trained properly and to interact with their humans.
 

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Hi Christine, my experience is different, but I respect your opinion. Please note I advised that when the trainer felt the dog was ready and under the trainer's guidance to consider a dog park for purposes of socialization. I have had many dogs and my current one is the most socialized (can read social cues and give them and modify his behavior accordingly) due to consistent play with other dogs. Yes, an occasional issue at the dog park is to be expected, but overall, it has been an enriching experience for my dog.
 

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Hi there! My Monty is 17 months old. I have had him for just over 3 months now. When I first got him, he was amazing around other dogs on leash - and now he is snarling/growling (kinda scary stuff..)

I am very distressed about this. He is very sweet with people, kiddos, and some of this close dog friends (spends weekends together at the cottage, playing... )

He is NOT fixed, and with covid booking an appointment has been tough. He is booked for October, thank goodness. Couldn't be a day earlier. Is this maybe the reason?

He also got a terrible hot spot on his head, and needed to be careful for play around other dogs back in June. I don’t know if I’ve done this, and now it’s getting worse...

I no longer know what to do, and feeling so discouraged. Would love feedback- help.
Do you know if your golden was ever attacked by another dog before you adopted him? When my boy was under a year old, he was attacked at a dog park. It changed him. A completely irresponsible dog owner was 20 yards away with their back turned talking to someone and his dog came right over and just attacked my dog. I learned my lesson and he’s never been back to a dog park. He has plenty of friends in our neighborhood that he gets along with just fine, but, there are some dogs now, that just light him up.
It’s weird, he seems to dislike certain breeds.
 
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