Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: San Francisco
Dogs Name: Admiral
Dogs Age: 18 Months
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Calming an aggressive dobe on leash.
Fellow Doberman Owners,
Our pup is just turning 18 months old and he is calming down a lot, but he still has a huge play drive. When we are walking on leash he is very bad about getting worked up when another dog is approaching. He will respond very well to my commands to sit and wait while the dog approaches, but once the dog is very near, Admiral will often lunge out towards the dog in a burst of Doberman energy and let out a bark or two, tail wiggling furiously.
It is very clear to me that this is aggressive but not at all vicious. He wants to greet and play with the other dog, but it often frightens the other dog owner (and usually sending their dog into a play frenzy even if the other dog was very calm before).
I respond by apologizing to the other owner controlling him with a hand on his muzzle, putting him back in a sit while speaking very firmly, then putting him in a down and making him wait. He is very good about all that.
I have considered keeping a bitter spray bottle on hand to spritz him on the back when he is in the act of lunging, but I was wondeing if anyone else had any advice for how to combat this behavior.
He can pass every other element of the AKC Canine Good Citizen test, but this one is quite a challenge.
A Frequently Embarrased Dober-Dad.