|Barked: Tue Jun 11, '13 6:56pm PST |
|I adopted a one-year old border collie/retriever mix, Dexter, in December. He came with his fair share of quirks - barking at visitors, pulling on the leash, and shyness around strangers - but I was happy to discover he was excellent with other dogs both on and off leash.
Dexter showed some minor excitement when he spotted another dog during walks, but he never barked, even when the other dog did. He breezed through basic obedience classes over the winter, and was very polite with other dogs at PetSmart.
Recently, about 6 months after adopting him, he has developed sudden, unexpected and unexplainable on-leash reactivity. He is still very good with other dogs off leash, but while on leash, every time we pass another dog within a 20 ft range he lunges and barks and basically goes nuts. He is much more reactive to big dogs than small. I enrolled him in a loose-leash walking class recently and had to drop out because he spent half of the first class barking at a poodle across the room.
I also tried taking him to PetSmart this week and he exhibited the same behavior, barking and lunging at the dogs we saw when they were within 10 ft. I think that he is just frustrated that he can't get to the other dogs, but his bark is scary and I don't feel like I can take him out anymore.
I am so frustrated and confused as to why this has suddenly started! Dexter was such a great dog in social settings and I really want to be able to take him out in public again to places other than the dog park!
If anyone has any insight into sudden-onset reactivity, I would love to hear it!
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