we just adopted a three year old dog, she is very friendly towards people when they come at the house or approach her, and outdoors she isn't even interested in other people.

I've been practicing walking her and right now i think it is safe to say she looks at me as the pack leader, she very rarely pulls, just when she finds an interesting smell and a little tug on the leash brings her right back, so for the third day i think we made wonderful progress. She also pulls a bit when we stop at a grassy area for her to relieve herself i think this is normal and this is her reward for behaving during the walk, i let her smell around and pull me a little ( is this ok?).

The problem is with other dogs, at the pound we took her for a walk, and at the exit we passed a couple of dogs returning from a walk and she freaked out, people at the pound told us she was just jealous. She has gotten better we are at a point where most times other dogs bark at her and she just ignores them.

So yesterday i noticed a dog giving her a stare down i ignored him and just when we were at our closest point (5-10 m, i was not going any closer and was returning home at this point) she noticed him and started barking (not sure who started growling and barking first), i gave her a tug and/or a pat on the neck and she snapped out of it and started ignoring the other dog's barking.

Today another dog was loose while his owner was sitting they started barking at each other and i got her to stop immediately again, but then she started crying ( as in i want to socialize?), So i moved away a little bit and when she stopped crying and calmed down i decided to let her approach, she behaved very well, started smelling him (the other dog seemed a bit scared or protective), she didn't bark or growl and only when we were very close to the other dog's owner the other dog started showing his teeth, barking, and growling, mine did nothing, the other owner told me this was normal behaviour for his dog so i decided to go away.

At the pound my dog lived with another dog.

I always try to keep calm and just correct her behaviour and ignore the other dogs, but i feel she wants to socialize, but it seems other dog owners in my area are "bad owners", what can i do? And am.i doing stuff right?

4 Answers 4


As you note that she barked while pulling on the leash: teach her to be callable even off-leash or on a long leash! I don't know if off-leash walking is allowed in your area, but in my opinion every dog should be recallable even without a leash.
I have seen quiet a few dogs that are perfectly fine when greeting other dogs while running free, but TERRIBLE when restrained by a leash!
keep her on a longer leash, and call her to you. Lure her with a treat if needed, and reward her when she comes to you in whatever way works best. Treats, toys, lots and lots of praise, whatever your dog best responds to.

Once you feel secure in recalling her, you can walk with a longer leash, which has two advantages: you still HAVE a leash you can just keep short as needed, and use to tug her back when you need to, which gives security to you. But normally, you should be able to keep the leash long and slack, and you can just call her back to your side if she runs ahead more that you would like her to.
For the dog, it means she can approach other dogs without having to strain against a leash, too, which may actually help her be more relaxed.

On the whole: you seem to have good control over her, so that IS great! I see too many dogs tugging the leash permanently or being all over the place around their humans! Her coming back on a short tug and generally staying on your side or slightly ahead is good!

Depending on it working for you or not, you should look into non-dominance-based dog-training, though. Dominance-theory is actually outdated, and while I do not deny it can and will work for most dogs, reward-based training is actually the way most modern dog-trainers work now, so, yes, rewarding her when she comes to you is good.
Also, you may want to look into clicker-training. Especially if your dog is food-motivated, it will be easiest in the long-term without overfeeding on treats :).

  • We had a weird interaction today, there was a loose dog and both of them showed interest so i allowed her to approach, she was clearly reactive to the other dogs movements and afraid, as she tried to hide behind me after interacting with him for a bit, so i decided to end it there and move on, but the other dog did not, he followed us for 15 mins, always wagging his tail and trying to smell my dog who behaved very well and did not bark up until the end, the other dog sneakily tried to smell her behind she didn't like it and barked at him and he stopped following us, can i take this as a win?
    – wrong1man
    Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 13:42
  • Sounds like a win to me! Let her have some more encounters with you nearby, preferably with dogs you know are calm and friendly. Sounds like your girl knows how to behavle, and just needs soem extra-security from you. Congratulations, you are on a good way to have a well-behaved (though most liekly always careful!) dog :).
    – Layna
    Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 21:31

This could be a number of things, since you just adopted her, i say keep working with her as you are. It'll take time and repetition. It's hard to tell what environment she was in before. I would try going to the dog park when there are fewer dogs there. Let her get used to the environment and build up her confidence.
As for the other dog owners, you'll learn which dogs to stay away from. Keep working with her, sounds like your doing fine.

  • Hi and thank you for your answer. Today i had another sort of good interaction but again the other dog was not the best, the owner was also unsure how her dog would react, but mine didn't bark she just pulled slightly, so i decided to reward her with allowing her to approach, they smelled each other, but both were very jumpy with eachother's movements, then they faced each other (as in face to face, i read this is not optimal) and both became very excited/agitated and so i ended it there. But this is progress i believe!
    – wrong1man
    Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 23:57
  • Oh and i noticed that while on a walk her tail is upward and curved (not wagging) and i read this means she is saying she is in charge... Is this something i should be worried about?
    – wrong1man
    Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 0:09
  • Is she in front of you during your walk? If so, she is the pack leader. And yes, that can be a problem
    – cano
    Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 0:10
  • She varies between beeing right next to me or a little ahead or a little behind. Although even when she is a little ahead she often looks at me for a queue where to go next, and she very rarely pulls. At home she is pretty submissive i can move her food bowl around, she respects commands about no-dog zones and offers her belly often, i read these are signs the dog is submissive.
    – wrong1man
    Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 0:51
  • If this is a problem, how can i fix it? Do i keep tugging the leash until she is behind me? What if that doesn't work?
    – wrong1man
    Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 0:52

My dog does the same thing and its normal. Some dogs feel agitated while around other dogs especially if they are alpha dogs. My advice is to keep working with her and she'll slowly get used to the dogs in your area.


Barking in itself is not a sign of aggression, dogs bark when they play, when they want attention and so on. So to determine why they bark you have to take the rest of their body language into account.

And some breeds (e.g., terriers) just bark more because of their genetics. They are bred to be very attentive and barking is just normal behaviour for them.

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