Help with friendly greetings...
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Thread: Help with friendly greetings...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    DefaultHelp with friendly greetings...

    Hello! This is my first post, although I have been reading all the posts on this website for almost a year now.

    Jake just turned 1 a few days ago. He is such a sweet dog - friendly to everyone. Here's my concern. Jake greets other dogs (mostly when on-leash) in, what I feel, is an aggressive (and totally unacceptable) manner. He kinda lunges at the other dog and tries to jump on them while growling. I correct him and he stops and then "socializes" in a normal friendly manner. Not only do I find this behavior upsetting, but others do to because he appears as if he is an aggressive dog and he really isn't.

    Same thing at the dog park. If he is inside the fence and another dog comes up to the fence to be let in, he jumps up on the fence and barks (again in what appears to ME to be an aggressive manner). After the initial behavior, he calms down and plays in a normal friendly manner. Many of the dog owners at the park know Jake and it hasn't been a problem, but if a new dog owner comes I feel embarassed because I can sense what they are thinking - that an aggressive dog is at the park.

    Let me know if you need more information. Anyone have any training suggestions???? PLEASE! I need to get him to greet other dogs in a friendly manner.

    Thanks in advance!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    DefaultRe: Help with friendly greetings...

    First off, Welcome to JL.

    It's not "aggression." I hate that word and all it symbolizes. It sounds like over eagerness to meet a new friend. It's sometimes worse on leash because the dog can feel trapped by the leash and is unsure if the other dog is friendly. My last lab (a rescue) had never been socialized and was afraid of other dogs. When we met a dog she did not know I would drop her leash so she could get away if she felt the need. My Nellie who is almost 7 is a nut case when she meets a new dog. She barks, hair on her back stands up and she appears unfriendly. After one sniff of the other dog she is butt tucking around like a lunatic.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    DefaultRe: Help with friendly greetings...

    Thank you for your kind words. I can tell you understand this behavior 100%. Jake has always been a very cautious dog - his hair IMMEDIATELY stands up once he gets out of the car at the dog park. I wish I could drop the leash, but his recall is AWFUL. Another thing is that I have to ask dog owner's in my complex NOT to allow their dog to just come up to Jake. Oftentimes, this gets ignored, so I have to redirect him or walk a different way to keep him calm.

    Thanks again!

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  6. #4
    patm's Avatar
    patm is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    SE Ohio

    DefaultRe: Help with friendly greetings...

    Is there any way that you could take him to some basic obedience classes? Even if they know some commands, such as sit, lay down, stay, etc., it helps tremendously to take them to structured classes with other dogs. Emilu also has trouble with "greeting" some dogs, and I have had to really work with her so I could continue to show her in obedience. Becuase she was used to being around other dogs and is pretty far along in her training, what I did might not work with you. I would suggest using a prong collar for your walks for a while, when you see another dog, have your dog sit and reward him for sitting. Let the dogs sniff briefly, turn him away , have him sit and again reward. I also agree that he is not being "aggressive" - this is a fairly normal greeting of a dog that is more cautious than others. Continue to work on your recall, although you can expect it to fall apart at the dog park for a while. There is nothing wrong with redirecting him and walking away if you need to - sounds like a good thing to do for now. Good luck.

  7. #5
    AngusFangus is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    DefaultRe: Help with friendly greetings...

    Well, this is very interesting and I will be reading. This sort of sounds like Angus.

    I am questioning whether his behavior is just over-eagerness too. ??? He lunges and growls, hair up, at new dogs he meets on leash. Not usually off leash though.

    I had never considered that it might just be overenthusiasm. {pondering}

    Connie and "The Boys":
    Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
    Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD

    Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
    Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever


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