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In the past my pup has been roughed up by two dogs and ever since then has not been well behaved around other dogs (barks and lunges). My friend has a ridgeback with an amazing temperament, so we got our two dogs together and it went really well! Tito still barked at first but once he got up close to smell the other dog, and the other dog engaged him, things were great. They’ve now walked and played together four or five times in the last week.

This same dog came over today and again Tito sniffed him and acted relatively calm besides just being his excited puppy self. But after about two minutes Tito began barking right in the dog’s face, sort of lunging a little, did not play bow and honestly sounded and looked a little ferocious. This is my first GSD and because he’s had little interaction with any other dogs besides when we see them on walks, I’m not sure how to interpret the barking. It only lasted a few seconds and once we stared walking with the two of them, Tito was totally fine. They walked and played together after that and Tito never barked again.

From Tito’s body language, I didn’t get the impression he would harm the other dog, but that bark did make me nervous. How would you interpret this behavior?
 

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Hard to tell without actually knowing your dog to be honest. My Shepherd is extremely vocal when playing with dogs he is not familiar with. At the dog park he acts sort of like the police and breaks up fights with a vicious bark if he sees other dogs getting out of hand. Not all barks are inherently aggressive. If he's only barking, I wouldn't be too concerned but I'd keep an eye on it. If he's snarling and showing teeth, that's a different scenario entirely and should be concerning. Just keep socializing him, he'll improve around other dogs overall over time.
 
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