Hello, my dog loves to chase and play with a ball to the extent where he pesters others if they have a ball in their mouth till they give it up. I am aware this is dangerous behaviour and some dogs have already reacted aggressively to his annoying habit and a couple of harmless squabbles have broken out between them if the other dog does not give a clear warning to back off i.e showing teeth. I also find when I put him on the leash and he see's another dog playing with a ball he screams, barks and whimpers out of pure frustration while jumping up in down. I have desensitized him during a few weeks training through distraction with food rewards and when he's quiet he get's his own ball to mess around with however occasionally he still will break from my grip and snatch that ball back from the other dog!
When their isn't a ball to play with he loves a good rough and tumble with the others and is highly vocal and his bite is highly inhibited. He does not grab, nor put pressure on his playmate. However, his more sensitive friends get frightened, some yelp to deter him away before he's even touched them and others go belly up which make's him look like a nasty bully when in fact he just wants to play. He has also taken a dislike to this particular nervous dog and will dominate him by keeping him low to the ground and mouthing the poor thing if it wants to get up!
It is all noise but no manners whatsoever and I have just been putting him on the leash with food distractions as we walk past and if he successfully does so he will get his ball. He's getting better though but I can't always predict when that particular dog is out on the field and I don't want any unexpected commotions!
My idea is to purchase a muzzle, simply from stopping him to successfully snatch a ball from another dog and thus rewarding himself for his misbehaviour. I also think this may teach him self control and that he will eventually learn that he is not allowed to take from others. When he wants to play with other dogs I also think that the muzzle will put other owners minds at rest because of his crazy murderous vocalisations and obviously teach him even more bite inhibition and what is suitable for different dogs. It will also ensure the safety of the particular dog he dislikes because his mouthing gets a little harder towards that particular dog than he would normally use when playing. I'd like you to give your opinions on this, I am always wanting to hear off the experts because I'm only 17, I need your wisdom haha.
I have also found that when he passes an unfamiliar dog his tail goes up and bristles and he keeps high interest on that animal. Sometimes he will give a couple of unsure barks and sometimes he will approach them with a small growl (but no teeth) and pull towards them insisting he greets them. If a dog just so happens to run up he will behave as described above but then begin to relax after a few seconds and you can tell him to sit/lie down and he'll voluntarily roll on his side for a belly rub! I have tried de sensitising him to stranger dogs by walking sideways to them instead of head on, not allowing them to greet but to simply join the walk as a pack as well as toy and food distractions. All seems to be going brilliant.
Could any of you explain to me what is meant by his behaviour? Is it anxiety? Aggression? Dominance?
ps: 'Leave it' command only works with food, other toys and balls that are not in risk of getting played with by another dog. If another dog has a ball leave it will not work he is in such an excitable state of mind.