5 Month German Shepherd Puppy Barks and Raises Hackles but is Perfectly Friendly
I have searched high and low to find an explanation for my 5 month puppy's behavior and I still have yet to find one.
He is a very friendly guy, loves other dogs and people, and has never showed aggression besides being a typical bossy male gsd, which was quickly nipped in the bud within the first few weeks of having him.
However, every time we are on a walk if he sees another dog his hackles go up and he barks and lunges at the end of the leash (he is trained to walk on a loose leash), and the same is true whenever we are in the yard taking a potty break. He is roam trained and I live in a quiet neighborhood so I take him outside to potty off leash. He will bark at runners, walkers, neighbors, etc. but won't leave the yard. But when he sees a dog, he bolts into the street towards them same as on the leash, barking and hackles raised. This has only happened two or three times. He looks and sounds awfully mean but as soon as he gets there he's Mr. Friendly, ears down and relaxed, tail wagging, wiggly body; trying to give kisses to both the dog and its owner. He should be in between fear aggression stages, is not an extremely aggressive or territorial dog, and has never had a bad previous experience with another human or dog.
I have scoured the internet and books for explanation for his behavior and have found nothing. I'm taking him out on a long line from now on, but I want to stop this as soon as possible. To me fixing and overcoming his behavior is much better than just simply stopping him from doing it. Plus, I'd hate to be on the other end of this ordeal, he looks and sounds so scary, and is only going to get bigger, therefore louder and meaner looking! Also it'd be horrible if one of these days he darts into the street while a car is coming.
Help, explanations, similar experiences, solutions, please!