There are types and degrees of this problem. But, if your dog lunges, barks, or growls when they see or get near another dog while on leash, they’ve got some issues to deal with. It is best to have a dog savvy person do this with you at the beginning if possible, particularly if the problem pops up with almost every dog you pass. They will also be able to determine if your dog is just anxious, or wants to play, or is aggressive. (The following method is not suitable for aggressive dogs.)
First- turn off your phone and no chatting as you will need to be more observant than your dog. Start in an area you don’t normally walk in as that could be a trigger for bad behavior. Have some exceptional treats with you but don’t use them yet. Keep your dog close to you, not out in front as fearful dogs become even more nervous away from you and try to keep a loose leash if possible.
This is one of the most useful and often used commands in your dog tool box. It is used when your dog is ready to leave the house with you, when a visitor is arriving and on a walk when you need a full stop to avoid another dog, child or car.
Start with whatever door you use most often. With your dog on a leash, stop him a little behind you as you walk up to the door. Have your arm extended back with the leash upright to let him know he cannot come forward anymore, and say say the command “‘wait”. Say it just once. If by some crazy chance he stops at that moment pop a treat that you have in you hand into this mouth.
Repeat a few times until he stops and looks up to you waiting for the treat. Now you can open the door- not quickly but without hesitation. If he is still not moving forward, praise and say “lets go” or whatever your phrase is and walk out with him behind or at your side. Now you can practice extending the time of the “wait”, Ideally, you will be able to step outside the threshold for a moment without him coming with your until you say “lets go”. Once you have this mastered it can be used at street corners, any other door or opening, to give space to other people or dogs on the sidewalk or when a visitor comes to the door.
When you first see a dog coming, move out of the way a good distance, stop, and ask for a “sit” if that is possible. Hold your treat close to the dogs’ nose and move it around to attract their attention. Speak in a slow, quiet, voice. You will have to eventually give your dog the treat or they will decide you aren’t going to produce, and that the approaching dog is more interesting. The idea is to keep attention away from the “threatening” dog until it is safely past and if your dog behaved well, give them some “happy talk” and another treat. Keep repeating this exercise until your dog starts to stay relaxed at the sight of another dog. Some dogs “get it” in 30 minutes, but others can take many sessions. Eventually, you will be able to keep walking and only use a quiet reassuring voice until you are in the clear and then produce a great treat and praise.
This is an exciting day, but it can be pretty overwhelming for a new dog. There is so much to adjust to that it’s important to keep things quiet and low-key at first by not having friends (or their dogs) over for an enthusiastic welcome. First, take the dog outside and stay there until he poops or pees In the area you prefer. If you already have a dog, this introduction should also take place outdoors.
The next thing is to introduce your dog to the house while on leash. This is the time to give a simple command like “ah ah” or “no” in a quiet voice if there is too much interest in things like shoes, beds, or garbage cans. Later, some quiet time would be nice, along with lots of petting and a first walk around the block. Tomorrow the fun begins.
Note: “wait” is not the same as “stay”. The latter is for when you have your dog in a sit or down and you mean for him to stay there until you say “OK” or “Come”, whatever you use.