Hi guys, haven't posted in a while. Loki is about 9 months old right now, and she's the best dog you could ever ask for at home, around people and strangers. But she's become quite aggressive to dogs. I'm working with my trainer, but I'm not comfortable with him and I am looking for a new one. I'm pretty sure her dog aggression is out of fear--even after all the socialization she got as a puppy.
I'm just wondering from those who have been through this before; how do you relax? I've stopped taking Loki around dog saturated places, but she does love the river walk in my town, and while it's normally people, bikes and scooters, there are a few occasional dogs. As soon as I see one, I always tense up and my breathing gets quicker. My grip on the leash tightens and I can visibly see Loki tensing with me. However, I just can't relax. I know it's coming, even if we step off the path, engage or try to divert her attention. I know I'm failing her in this, but I just get so anxious.
Tonight we went out on the river walk and got pretty far before we crossed paths with another dog. I called her to heel, told her the watch me command, and we tried to pass the other dog. The paths are small, and they're fenced in, so we couldn't step to the side on that part of the river walk. The dog comes towards us and Loki breaks eye contact, her hackles going up, tail raising and she starts to lunge on the leash, barking loudly. I was so tense in that moment that I know I escalated the issue, and I really want to be better about that.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
From our walk;