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My puppy is 3.5 months old and we go for walks on an urban sea walk where there are many people walking, running, riding bicycles and walking their dogs, he always wants to go say hi to other dogs but I try to redirect him with some treats so he will ignore the dog. Sometimes the other owner lets their dog come to say hi, so I let my puppy go as well say hi.

Some times the other dogs are very friendly and playful but more times seems like the other dogs or get aggressive or dominant and I rapidly remove him from the situation, but seems to be a constant thing, this happens with small and big dogs (usually small dogs will directly try to growl and bite him and bigger dogs will jump on top of him and growl while looking down on him).

I usually try to ask if the dog is friendly and if they say no obviously I will not let him play, but when they say yes some of them the dogs will say hi without a problem and its amazing but other times even if the owner says yes he is friendly he would become aggressive or dominant with my dog.

This has really lowered my confidence on letting my dog say hi because now I never know if the other dog will snap at my puppy.
Every day we encounter 10-20 dogs when going for a walk so should I just not let my dog say hi to any dog when going for a walk?
Any advice would be amazing,
Thanks.
 

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Walk somewhere else or stop letting him greet other dogs.
 

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Without seeing it, I am guessing that your puppy either is displaying overly enthusiastic, in your face behavior that is resulting in the other dogs' annoyance or that all of these dogs are all leashed stopping them from leaving a "rude" situation.

If it is your pup's behavior, you need to bring it under control. If it is the leashes, reel him in a little so the other dogs don't have as much free access to him.

Three to four months is also a critical period for pups to be learning bite inhibition if he hasn't already. Have you had him play with other dogs that match his size, energy and playstyle or with adult dogs of a gentler nature?
 

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You really don't have to let him "meet" other dogs on walks. It's not a good situation because they're on leashes and often dogs aren't on their best behavior in that situation. They often feel trapped because of the leash, so they're more aggressive than usual.

Personally, I'd avoid other dogs and reinforce your dog for "watch"-ing you (that is, teach him the "watch" command and use that when other dogs come near). Cross the street if necessary. Your dog getting bullied will not have a good effect on his personality.

If you think he needs to socialize with other dogs, IMO go to a well-run puppy training class where he can work alongside other dogs or arrange playdates with nice, well-socialized dogs.
 

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You really don't have to let him "meet" other dogs on walks. It's not a good situation because they're on leashes and often dogs aren't on their best behavior in that situation. They often feel trapped because of the leash, so they're more aggressive than usual.

Personally, I'd avoid other dogs and reinforce your dog for "watch"-ing you (that is, teach him the "watch" command and use that when other dogs come near). Cross the street if necessary. Your dog getting bullied will not have a good effect on his personality.

If you think he needs to socialize with other dogs, IMO go to a well-run puppy training class where he can work alongside other dogs or arrange playdates with nice, well-socialized dogs.
I fully agree with this. Even in the best of situations leash meeting isn't ideal. The recent class I went to mention having your dog meet other dogs off leash 10 times for each time they meet on leash. Assuming you choose to meet on leash at all.

Right now I'm working on socializing my 16 week puppy. For me, that means I'm taking her out to be around more people. Different stores and outside environments and homes. We work on paying attention and working with me when other dogs are around and even when new people are around. Each day I try to earn a little more of her attention.

That being said, I was doing events with well-socialized dogs and I'll pick that right back up when my pup is ready for it. It isn't something I think she necessary needs. She played fine with those dogs. Any issues at all and you have a bunch of alert owners and trainers ready to step in with well trained methods on how to help destress the dogs. No dog parks at all. My 9 yr old dog went to a park that wasn't fenced in to play with other dogs when she was younger. At these areas everyone keeps both eyes on their dogs. Every dog respected their boundaries and each other. I eventually stopped going when all my dog wanted to do was sit by me to see what we might play together. She still played with dogs she knew but in general she always kept one eye on me as if I needed taken care of.

On that last note I'll tell a short story. I took my dog to one of those dog parks that weren't fenced in. This day there were so many dogs that I lost track of mine. Worried I began pacing around the park looking for her. I finally find her in the original spot I was standing in. She looked at me with a mixed of worry and maybe anger. I guess I wasn't suppose to go look for her. She grabbed her leash and walked me out the park... I considered protesting but if you could have seen the look on her face.
 

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It’s typical for an older dog to try to “teach” a younger one with the skills they have. Growling a warning isn't aggression, it’s teaching. They can see and smell other dogs from a distance. They don‘t need to be nose to nose.

More important, you need to set the rules. Don’t let a stranger or a neighbor push you into greetings they want. They don’t know your dog or your breed. You can say, I am training him please don’t get too close. It’s none of their business if you discourage contact.
 

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It’s a dominance issue. Just stop letting your puppy say hi.
You can't say that from not being able to observe the situation. Dogs who lunge and bark at the sight of another dog need training, that's for sure. The OP's job is to avoid the pup from interacting with the idiots or with any leashed dog. The best dogs for a pup to interact with are off leash, proven sound dogs. In all of our area that is only one, a sweet GSD.
 

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Again this is from a new German Shepherd owner's perspective....

It can help to take a few minutes to think about your goals for your dog. Assess your personality and existing behaviors. Assess your dog's personality and behaviors. Then come up with a strategy for either aligning your dog's behavior to your goals or accepting that you might need to adapt your behavior to establish a working partnership with your dog.

(I am in an interesting position, my last several dogs were very easy for me to build trust and establish a living/working relationship. I got a bit cocky with the last pup and quickly found myself over my head.)

There have been a number of very helpful things that I use to work through our issues.
1. Breathe. Above all else, both you you and your dog need you to keep a calm clear head.
2. Leadership. A couple of days ago @Dunkirk (I think) make a very good post on what it means to be a leader.

From that point, I have attempted to learn as much as I can about dog training and dog behavior with an emphasis on German Shepherds.

Finally, that takes me to what I believe you are asking about. What are the specific protocols you can use to practice/train to make progress toward my goal... according to the long term strategy?

While a bit long-winded, I like this approach because everything we do has a purpose with a desired outcome. It is easy to see that we are either making progress towards our outcome our maybe we need to rethink our approach. It also let's me develop a system that is consistent and proactive rather than reactively putting out fires.

Even if they don't use the complicated words I think most, if not all trainers, I would consider good use some sort of system. The challenge for us as new trainers is to not heavily depend on a couple of sentences how-to from a forum or youtube video. Instead, we need to figure out a system that works for us and then implement 'howto protocols' that fit into our systems.

One of the reasons many of us go to in-person dog classes is to have the instructor teach us their system and protocols for getting desired behaviors. They don't always explain the system upfront. But, it doesn't take long to figure out that there is a rhyme and a reason to everything they do.

Yes, it is time-consuming. But, it is worth it.
 
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