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I adopted a 2.5yo GSD a few weeks ago. On walks (a struggle in themselves) when she sees other dogs she barks wildly/lunges/pulls towards them. I always avoid actual contact with them since I doubt other dog owners want an aggressive appearing dog brought close to their pets, so I don't know if she'd act more aggressively when in contact. However, today I took her to the local dog beach on an extra long leash, and she was fine (though I nearly had a heart attack when the first group of dogs ran up), sniffed dogs big and small nicely, just a few playful barks, and mostly ignored them if they weren't up close.

My question is, does she act more aggressively on walks just because she's on a leash? Will this behavior eventually hinder her ability to socialize normally? How do I correct it without causing an aversion to other dogs?

As a side note: she came from an abusive/neglectful past and seems to be severely under-socialized with humans as well as dogs. Any advice would be appreciated!
 

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Yes, it sounds like it may be leash reactivity, when they are good off leash but reactive when on leash...

Here is some info/training method options:
https://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/dog-dog-reactivity-ii-the-basics

Look at That! A Counterintuitive Approach to Dealing with Reactive Dogs | Dog Training for Dog Lovers Blog

http://www.dogstardaily.com/blogs/counter-conditioning-leash-reactive-dogs-less-stress-more-success

You may be able to find reactive dog classes in your area.
 

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Sounds like our dog, Heidi, when we first got her. She was scared of people (especially men) and fearful/reactive towards other dogs--especially while on leash. We took two reactive dog classes, which helped IMMENSELY! The class usually involves high value treats and a word like "yes" and/or a clicker and exposing your dog to other dogs, first at a distance and then closer and closer. Eventually, the dog gets to a point that when they see another dog, they look up to you for a treat instead of lunging/barking/reacting. It really does work. It's something that you have to keep up on though. Heidi has regressed a bit since we've moved into an apartment and we're having to go back to the basics again.

Good luck!
 

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Thanks y'all! I'll definitely look up dog classes in my area.

For now, as long as she stays moving on our jogs when she's more likely to run into other dogs/people, she ignores them for the most part, which is good-though tiring-news!
 
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