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Beau's first "agress" - how to read this - Grim was an intact male but he was submissive to other dogs. Beau is not.

Intact 2 year old male (Beau), Intact 3 year old male lab (Rem)
Meeting on lead - allowed to sniff.
Posturing by both starts. Beau lunges. No fight or damage - I stop immediately. This whole progression was very quick.

I correct and put him in sit. He is fine. No excitement or desire to escape or push it with the other dog.

I put in down stay while Rem's owner "heels" closely around Beau and I. No tension noted, was obedient.

What is proper on his part/my part? Beau struts tail curved head high - so obvious people notice. But the sudden lunge surprised me. A side of him I have not seen.

He is good with puppies. Wants to put his head over everybody else's shoulders. Has been corrected without injury by a female and backed off. He has had a few little yappers fly in his face and he is oblivious to them. Not sure what would happen if Rem called his bluff. Rem is not dominant.

Not looking for him to play with others but for me to continue to be able to manage chance off lead encounters.
 

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Rem is not dominant.
And I'm going to guess that this is why Beau reacted as he did. I'm certainly not an expert and maybe someone else will have a different viewpoint here, but whenever I see a dog aggress like that it's usually the dominant dog vs. a submissive dog, almost like it's a fun little game they have going. When I've seen 2 dominant dogs together then they seem to respect each other's space more, not wanting to get into it. But this is with dogs who aren't really aggressive, just posturing. I've never seen 2 seriously DA dogs who want to tear into each other get into a huge fight, although I'm sure it can happen.
 

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I do know the response was not until the other dog started to put his head over Beau's shoulder.....he is not reactive in the close presence of other dogs, even intact ones but this was a bit too close I think. I am certain the lead did not help. This past weekend we were crammed into a 4WD mule with another intact male dog and there were no issues.
 

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Oh, the head on the shoulder move! I hate that one, it always makes me nervous, lol. That's my cue to keep them apart. I know it's not a guarantee of a fight, but it does seem to be asking for trouble.
 

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I think this is normal behavior for a "dominant" intact male. I'm not saying it is something you want to allow, but Beau is just acting like a male German Shepherd generally will in this situation. And the other dog being Labrador might have been part of the problem. Why Does My Herding Dog Seem to Hate Labs?

For chance encounters- a solid recall is essential. If we come around a corner and there is a Labrador bounding down the trail toward us, I call my dogs, stand strong and tell the other dog to move on. If my dogs are ahead, and they meet a labrador (for example- and it is far and away the most common breed of dog out there) on the trail before I can call them back, I usually have a few seconds of a "hard stare" by my male before he'll move to dominate, and that gives me time to call him off. I'm sure you know to watch for that stiff tail, very still body language.

Happily, my male only is a problem with other large male dogs- and only if they challenge him. Usually I can tell right away if there will be a problem and control my dog.

This is a fairly ingrained male-dog behavior. I am not sure "behavior modification" is in order, if he can do his job around other dogs without a problem. I'd just put solid OB in place and deal with it that way.

Also, as I'm sure you know, many dogs are not fully mature until at least two. For my male, he was pretty goofy until around two. Then the male-male dominant behavior kicked in.
 

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I have a good recall but I am constantly upping obedience and probably have to spend 2 hours obedience for every 1 hour of scentwork. Yes, I know the encounter stare freeze with time to recall. It could be his age is why this is the first I am seeing.
 

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as soon as the postering started it was on, it just waited for one dog to react which was your dog.. some dogs will posture right away, and if the other dog postures as well that is usually the first sign of something happening ... the head over shoulder was the 2nd sign.. most dogs whether intact or not can get along or be in the same company as other dogs of the same sex as long as one is not posturing like the other.. (basically one submissive /one dominant same sex dogs and you normally dont have an issue since a submissive dog normally wont challenge a dominant dog) ( or the other dog your dog was around both dogs knew their place and knew it wasnt worth it to challenge each other whereas the lab decided to posture when your dog did which to your dog was a challenge). i know my male neutered dog does not like other dominant dogs, no matter male or female.. submissive dogs he is fine with but dominant dogs are a no no with him( last night we had guests stay over with their 2 dogs.. i was going to let my male meet them until i saw the male was intact and both male and female were dominant, so i decided there was no way they would meet my male but they could meet my 2 females since my females are both submissive and get along with other dogs)
 
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