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When Louie meets other dogs on his lead he growls and often snaps at them. He was fine when we first got him so maybe he is trying to protect me? He isn't aggressive when he growls and snaps if that makes sense. He does the same thing when he meets larger dogs off leash. I figured its his way of telling them to back off and give him space and not be too rough with him?

Its not a massive problem, but some people do react badly to this sometimes and act like he's agressive which he really isn't in the slightest!

I'm also working on his recall as he gets distracted by other dogs and quite often runs off to greet them, which usually involves him growling/snapping at the other dog when it tries to sniff/greet him. After that he is fine with them unless they are too bouncy or over enthusiastic then he tells them off.

Is his behavuour anything to worry about or is he just making a statement coz he's so small?
 

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Oooh fab! I will buy a can to try! Thank you!

How do I use it? And how effective is it in what sort of legnth of time? x
 

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Trigger is like this and he just doesn't like other dogs charging him. Fine with me if he doesn't want them shoved up in his space. And sorry if other people don't like it, they chose to let their dog come say hi. He isn't aggressive or mean he just won't tolerate them dog-handling him LOL.
 

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Trigger is like this and he just doesn't like other dogs charging him. Fine with me if he doesn't want them shoved up in his space. And sorry if other people don't like it, they chose to let their dog come say hi. He isn't aggressive or mean he just won't tolerate them dog-handling him LOL.
That sounds very much like Louie! Except he is the one who will charge over to say hi! Though in all fairness he just goes for a wee sniff and a growl, not bouncing all over anyone like most of the other dogs do. He does not appreciate big bouncy doggies in his space lol.
 

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Has he had a negative experience with other dogs? I know that my Dary behaved much more defensively after he was taken down by a Golden Retriever that somebody let loose (Dary was older and crippled at the time, despite being 85 lbs.) and his interactions with other dogs were never quite as positive. What I did as far as other people's perceptions (and this was a critical issue, because Dary was a Doberman) was tell them, "He's been attacked by other dogs and is afraid, so he's acting defensively." I got to where I could spew this out pretty quickly while wrangling my scary-looking but scared, sweet boy.

It is also possible that, rather than "protecting" you, he's guarding you as a resource. I went to a seminar once and Dr. Patricia McConnell (The Other End of the Leash) described this as the dog saying, "This is my owner, she pets me and feeds me and takes me for walks and she's the only one in the whole wide world and she's MINE." (She did it with the coolest lips-back snarl, which I cannot duplicate.) It doesn't sound like Louie has a major issue, but a distract-and-reward technique may work.

I've been there, and I know how upsetting it is when your dog is not seen by others as his true self. Good luck with Br'er Louie!
 

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Has he had a negative experience with other dogs? I know that my Dary behaved much more defensively after he was taken down by a Golden Retriever that somebody let loose (Dary was older and crippled at the time, despite being 85 lbs.) and his interactions with other dogs were never quite as positive. What I did as far as other people's perceptions (and this was a critical issue, because Dary was a Doberman) was tell them, "He's been attacked by other dogs and is afraid, so he's acting defensively." I got to where I could spew this out pretty quickly while wrangling my scary-looking but scared, sweet boy.
I think this is what happened with my dogs. They used to love meeting and greeting other dogs until they were attacked by an off-leash bulldog and now they go crazy when they first see other dogs. (I have been trying to use positive reinforcement and it seems to work after they get used to seeing other dogs, but they always get very anxious when first seeing another dog). Taking it day by day, but yes it is frustrating because they are not aggressive, just very scared and defensive since then and I try to explain the same thing that you do to people.
 
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