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So here it is!

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Quote: I guess I am a bit baffled here because I am not dropping my leash and letting her run up to any dog that comes by. How is one to socialize their dog properly if you disallow them from socializing? ****, even one of the dogs that snapped was one that the owner approached US! (I usually ask to approach every dog we see if we see one coming because Koch wants to meet everyone)

I mean, I would not expect a dog to snap if the owner is willing to let my dog approach theirs - one should know how their dog is with other dogs. If your dog is prone to snapping when the dogs come to great, I would expect the warning.

Sure, Koch is pulling my arm off to reach other dogs when she sees them to meet them, but I don't let her run to approach other dogs, I force her to approach them slowly as the other owners approach with their dogs.
 

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One of the best/easiest ways to socialize your dog around other dogs is to pick dogs of people you know or at least ask permission before letting your dog rush up to another dog. Yes, socialization is important. But it is your responsibility to protect your dog. You can't always tell a dog-aggressive dog from a distance.

Plus, socialization is not just 'meeting other dogs.' It's meeting other dogs/people, being in new situations, working around other dogs without interaction, etc.

I own a dog-reactive dog. She's actually afraid of other dogs approaching her. I have been working very hard the last couple years to get her better about being around other dogs and not getting so upset when another dog approaches her. However, it frustrates me immensely when someone just lets their dog amble right up to mine without even asking if it's okay. It sets us back in our training.

Just be considerate of others and don't just assume because your dog is friendly that the other dog is. And just because a dog snaps does not mean it's not friendly. Growling, baring their teeth, wrinkling their nose, air snapping. . .these are all ways dogs communicate with each other. Well-socialized dogs are good at reading these signals and correctly interpreting their meanings. Dogs that are not well-socialized often ignore these "please leave me alone" warnings and things sometimes escalate.
 

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Sorry Smith, guess I thought there would be more discussion on this.

I agree with what Jaimie posted.

I was thinking of all the issues with nose to nose contact when dogs are meeting each other, particularly on leashes. The leashes, because we are controlling them, change the way that dogs approach each other, and also the signals that they give each other.

A dog on a leash, sees another dog coming straight at them, and that sends all the wrong signals. Typically, dogs that don't know each other won't come straight at each other. And being restrained, the dog that is being approached will often have a reaction, one that is not positive, even if they aren't dog reactive. In fact, as Jamie said, you will often get that snapping dog in this instance, thought the dog is really not aggressive. Often you can't predict if the dog will snap, because the dog determines that by summing up all sorts of things that us humans don't see or smell.

Like Risa, Indy is dog-reactive. I deal with that by just making sure that dogs leave her alone. She wants nothing to do with them, unless of course she makes first contact, which is rare. If a dog approaches her, I drop the leash so that she does not feel confined (don't do this if your dog will bite!!).

I think that pet stores are great for distraction training -- teaching your dog to be around dogs without feeling the need to run up to each of them. Playing and greeting best done with dogs in the neighborhood or those you meet at training or other activities.
 
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