Why is it that my dog gets along with most dogs, except one in particular?

My 2 year old Australian Shepherd usually is very friendly, he either ignores dogs on the street or greets them! He frequently goes to daycare, and we've never had a problem. Recently, we've been having a problem where he barks and lunges at one black dog that lives in our building. They both end up barking at each other. I'm wondering if I can do something to prevent this, or there is a good reason for this. They have never met, but have seen each other on the street before this started happening. I'm worried he will do this with other dogs.

Asked by Cooper on Apr 26th 2013 Tagged barking, walks, training in Behavior & Training
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Short answer: Do you like everyone you've ever met?

It's possible he could generalize this behavior, but if he's really so well socialized it isn't likely. Odds are he just has an issue with that specific dog.

That being said, it's preferable that he not be so reactive, no matter how infrequent it is. Teach him basic commands like "watch me" and targeting, then using them to keep his focus on you when the other dog is present. Start focusing him BEFORE he reacts to the other dog - just assume he will react, no matter what. You may need to start out working with him at long distances, or turn and walk the other way/hide when you see the other dog.

A good positive trainer can help you in this - because it really is more detailed than 1000 characters allow. Will work best if the other owner is willing to do the same work with her dog.

Belle answered on 4/28/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer