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I'm seeking further guidance for my 7 month old pit mix puppy (a rescue), who barks uncontrollably at other dogs. He's generally a good dog; although rambunctious and high-energy, he is sweet and does like to cuddle. Unfortunately, he is perceived as dog-aggressive ( direct words from the vet tech at the hospital where he was staying for day boarding after he was neutered) due to this behavior. The vet tech described his barks as very dominant or assertive, which I personally do not think is correct.
He's already 45lbs and strong, so we're urgently trying to find a good method to train with him.
The barking usually happens when he's on leash during walks, and when he sees any dogs near home. The barking sounds pretty aggressive, and he pulls to get to the other dog. Sometimes the barking is accompanied by whines and high pitched barks. The two times when he has actually approached other dogs when he's barking, he's tried to play with them, which is why I think he's not dog aggressive.
He does relatively well when we are at the dog park, but does bark, pull, and whine when we're in the parking lot. He likes to rough house and has been learning to respect boandaries at the park.
He completed his puppy training class a few weeks ago. We encountered the same barking issue while there.
He's very food motivated, so we've tried taking him to places where he can see dogs from a distance and give him high level treats. In all honesty, it hasn't been too successful. As soon as he sees a dog within his line of view, he goes crazy barking and pulling (lunging?).
We try to take him on walks when we don't anticipate seeing many dogs. When we do encounter them, we try to walk the other way, but he pulls towards the other dog.
He's a very intelligent puppy, he generally picks up commands well. He does need to work on impulse control, and we practice "leave it" during meals and short training sessions. However, he does still try to jump on counters and tables if he smells food.
He used to bark at strangers on walks, but that quickly stopped as he got out of the house more.
He gets 1 30 minute walk a day. We use treat dispensing toys and chew toys to keep him busy at home, along with a few short training sessions during the day. We plan on increasing the time walking to 2 30 minute walks.
Thanks all for taking the time to read this! We appreciate any advice.
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