I used to have the same issue with my pup a couple of months back. She is almost 10 months old now. Off the leash, she'd be okay with everyone but once she was on a leash, she'd get super protective. I addressed my concern with the instructor, and his advice has been very helpful. She doesnít bark on a leash anymore (occasionally, she will at a dog, but only if she wants to play). Here are some points:
- If you haven't done so, do obedience training. Itís a must.
- Learning to walk on a leash ('heal') is crucial. There must be no tension on a leash. (Think of it. Right now you probably pull on a leash when you see a human or a dog nearby. This tension is carried over to your pup. He gets scared/concerned and starts barking.) You shouldn't punish him if he barks either, it will only elevate his stress levels.
- Bring your pup to very crowded areas and sit on a bench. Let him get used to seeing and being surrounded by people. I know. It sounds absurd, but please believe me, it really worked in our case. Don't care (I know, itís hard to not careÖ) what other people think if your pup barks at first. Your first concern is your dog and his well-being.
- Just to add to this. Make sure your pup has all basics down and is fully house broken. You must be viewed as his master by him. If he still runs around your home without listening to you, put him on a leash at home. Yup... It does wonders. Also don't let your dog on a couch, unless itís deserved (that is if you let him on a couch). This will only increase his protectiveness.
I really hope this helps!!! Don't get desperate. It will get better. I promise