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I have an intact 17 month old dog who up until the past 3-4 months has been generally quite well behaved off the lead. His recall wasnt perfect but we were working on it and he was great with other dogs, albeit he always ran to them and wanted to play.
In the past few months he seems to now want to growl and fight with every dog he gets close to, although with bitches he seems to be fine. He‘s worse when he’s on the lead and we pass another dog on a lead however I’ve seen him go for dogs when he’s off the lead and the other dog is on a lead. When he approaches another dog he bounces around them and makes a grab for their neck if they aren’t showing and interest in play - I should say it’s a gentle grab, but a grab never the less which can be quite concerning for the owner (and me as I have no idea how their dog will react!). Some dogs don’t react and he gets fed up and leaves them but when they respond with a growl or a grab back he goes into full defence mode and a fight breaks out.

I now feel I can’t walk him past other dogs or let him off the lead for fear of going for another dog and hurting them.
I believe I socialised him well as a pup and he has gone to doggy day care since he was 6 months old - he doesn’t get on with all of the dogs but he does most and they don’t complain about his behaviour towards other dogs.

He’s clearly in the wrong and I need to address this so I’m looking for some suggestions as to how to do this. (although not keen on using any ecollars or adversive measures or getting him neutered)
For the moment I think I’m going to have to walk him on a long lead rather than give him freedom but I worry that he won’t get enough exercise and then will become restless in the house!

Do I just focus on recall or do I do more socialisation with him......Any suggestions please
thanks
 

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Your boy has come into the teenage puberty years. His behavior is normal but, as you know, any wrong behavior needs to be nipped in the bud. The things you teach him now will last a lifetime. On leash and he gets fiesty with another? Quick little tug on the leash, tell him "NO" and make a quick right turn. Walk a little bit until the distraction dog is far enough away. Continue on your walk. The most important part of training is consistency. you must tell him no, with a quick little jerk on the leash as you turn away, every time he attempts to react. Pretty soon you wont need to turn away and, if you ever have him off leash with others (which I don't advise until you've trained him out of this behavior) he will respond to your "NO" and leave the other dog alone. It works. I done it with 3 males in the last 3 years. Good luck!
 
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