I am realizing that I'm still a total novice... especially when it comes to my own, so never mind someone elses.
I learned to *read* Mick very well once I joined here, but that was born out of necessity, and knowing that I had
to manage him in the safest way possible... or else.
The boys that I live with now are still an enigma to me half the time. Thank God they are willing and patient teachers.
Faust taught me that being DA and being a snotty, confident brat are two different animals... he's the latter.
Sepp taught me, just today, that I worry too much when it comes to him and other dogs... and our upcoming vet visit. He might just NOT attack every other dog in his line of vision...
We were in the yard today, playing "watch that"... Sepp was on a long lead. Down the street comes a dog about Sepps size, by himself, very un-neutered at that.
Sepp immediately got excited and very vocal, pulled on the lead, etc. I *usually* remove him from situations like that immediately because I don't want to chance any fence fighting, or fighting period.
Of course that won't let me observe how he might interact, and it doesn't give us a chance to learn anything either... it's basic avoidance.
So, today I decided to stay out there with him. I made him sit and watch while the other dog ambled along, sniffed a lot, even lifted a leg on our fence a few times... Sepp was very excited and did a front paw tap-dance while whining - but he sat.
We walked a little closer and I watched both dogs. Ears were up, tails at half-mast and wagging, no hackles, lots of sniffing the air. I made Sepp sit every couple of steps and while he was a little reluctant because he was excited... he listened. YAY for a pocket-full of treats.
I threw some treats over the fence also, and the other dog was just as delighted
Anyway - we ended up right at the fence and lots of butt-sniffing and play-bowing ensued. No aggression what-so-ever.
I kept giving treats for a few minutes and then let Sepp off-leash. The two of them ended up having the best time chasing each other (w/the fence between them) up and down for about 20 minutes... barking at each other, but not aggressively. Sepp got his jolly ball and tried to offer it through the fence... even brought it to me so I would throw it. Which showed to me that he wasn't *fixated* on the other dog, and didn't lose total focus on me.
Lessons learned... be vigilant and cautious, but don't assume the worst at all times.
Trust your dogs body language to show you how he/she feels about a situation.
Apologize for having been a ass w/your *assumptions* in the past.
I know - it's nothing "special", really, and most of the dogs on the forum act exactly like that... but it was kinda huge for me.
my big goofy brown teacher.