Got input from a trainer on my dogs aggression
I was at Obedience class last night and was having my dog go to the bathroom outside, everything was fine then I walked over to throw the poop bag out and she started barking at another dog with hackles up. This ended up being the trainers dog. Later in class the trainer brought her dog in to class and my dog didn't even look at her just completely focused on me. She didn't react to any other dogs in the building. She has been at dog parks, in fenced in areas off leash with other dogs and never had a problem. She has even worked on recalls off leash in class surrounded by dogs and there has never been a problem.
I talked to the trainer after class and she said from what she observed she thinks it is the dogs herding/guarding instincts acting up. She doesn't act up in the building because she has learned that it is a place with a set of rules. Outside of the building she sees dogs and doesn't like something about the situation, like they are not in the right place or acting the right way she lets them know. I had never really thought of it like that before.
Her suggestion was that I work on my dog always concentrating on me when she is on the leash outside. Praise her when she makes eye contact with me. If I notice another dog coming along try to get her to focus on me instead of correcting her bad behavior towards the other dog. Eventually the dog will realize that I am her focus and not to worry about what the other dogs are doing.
Any opinions on this observation or suggestion? I really want to fix this behavior other than this issue she is the perfect dog!
Athena -GSD- born 12/13/12
Luna -Shepherd Mix- born 3/20/99