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My dog (~7 year Lab mix) is mostly well-behaved on leash, though he still has a few triggers that we're working on (mostly harmless, but can seem intimidating to other dogs and/or their owners).

One of these actions is laying down when he sees another dog, paws in front of him so he can quickly jump to his feet. It only seems to happen when the other dog is a bit of a distance away but headed in our direction, and doesn't seem to matter the size or breed of the other dog. Unless I intervene or the other dog changes direction, he will always jump to his feet and dash towards the other dog. It's always been in a playful (if intimidatingly energetic) manner, but given the intensity of his focus on the other dog while this is happening, I'm concerned that it may not always be harmless.

I've also seen this behavior in other dogs, sometimes towards my own dog and sometimes with other dogs.

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You're misinterpreting this. Our two Huskies show the very same behavior and it's not being aggressive or getting ready to pounce. Quite the opposite.

As Kosh mentioned, it's to show submission to some extent and signal "get over here, I want no harm".

The following "jump start" is more some kind of over-anticipation and the dog no longer wanting to wait.

Overall I wouldn't try to change this behavior as it's basically a positive one. As for the dashing portion: I usually try to hold the leash firm and tense so there's little to no room for the dog to jump forward.

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Dogs lay down to show submission, when they do this, it looks like a bow, the head will be low, the forelegs stretched out, the back raised up. From your description, it sounds like play pouncing. Young dogs do this in play with each other. Can you give some more specifics, like what breed of dog this is, as some dogs have a high prey instinct and "play pounce" to get ready for the real thing later on in life.

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  • My dog is about 7 years old and a Lab/Shepherd mix. He has shown to have a bit of a prey drive (chases squirrels and rabbits) but gets along well with dogs overall. He doesn't play much but when he does it tends to look and sound aggressive (chasing, growling but never any teeth). – raumkrieger Dec 20 '18 at 23:16
  • @raumkrieger This sound like normal social behavior, if a bit over-enthusiastic. You should ask the other person if they are ok with your dogs playing together. The dogs probably understand the signals much better and either start playing as well or signal that they don't want to. – Elmy Dec 21 '18 at 8:15

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