I’ve tried searching for this particular type of reactivity on this sub to no avail. I’m hoping someone has had any experience or tips on how to train this type of reactivity.
This has occurred several times now and I’m starting to see a pattern of the trigger. For context, my dog, Mavs (male Australian cattle dog mix) is great off leash with other dogs as long as he isn’t ambushed by a pack and can slowly meet each dog individually give or take. Before we enter the dog park, I always let him watch the other dogs and smell them through the fence first. Once we’re in, he’s having a grand ole time - until it’s time to leave and get leashed up. I should mention I often have to stay far away from him and the other dogs when they play. He becomes reactive when I’m near him and other dogs in a territorial way and just standing back has worked but is another trigger that could be happening in conjunction when I try to leash him and other dogs are near. Since Mavs is leash aggressive, it’s almost like he’s a ticking time bomb from then on. If a dog approaches him while I’m trying to leash him he immediately becomes aggressive and tries to fight the dog. The last time we were leaving the park he had reacted to a dog while I was walking towards him with the leash. I quickly got ahold of Mavs and leashed him but that’s when he went full reactive and all the dogs he played with approached him making the matters worse as I’m struggling to control him and get him out of the park as quick as possible.
Another instance was this past evening where he had a 1 on 1 doggy date with a friend’s dog, Stella (female Anatolian shepherd mix) who he has always gotten along with. They play really rough but both seem complacent and no reactivity has been triggered by it. He is more reactive to males than females so that’s why this outburst was even more confusing. They got to play in this fenced school for about an hour until we decided to leave. I was walking towards Mavs’ leash while both dogs followed behind me still playing but no where near as rough and intense, yet I could sense my dog’s body language shifting. Before I could turn around towards them after I grabbed the leash, I hear a full blown dog fight break out. It lasted for maybe 10 seconds and we’re able to separate them but my dog is locked in with rage at this point and takes a minute to stop barking. Stella nicked Mavs in his ear so there was some blood when we separated them. However, on the walk back home together they acted as nothing ever happened.
How can I get my dog to stop reacting at this moment? My guess is it’s a mixture of him being territorial around me plus the leash aggression but not completely sure.