I have had a rescue dog for 5 months now (Emily). She is a 15 month old shih tzu, poodle (?) mix. I got her to save a life and as a companion for my 18 month old shih tzu (Bandit) as well as for a family pet. In the house, the two dogs get along great; running, playing and napping together. They both enjoy their walks, but Emily has a problem. Everytime we encounter other dogs on our walks, Emily goes crazy- jumping, running in circles, yelping, crying and screaming so loud it sounds like she's being beaten! I don't know what to do because this behavior makes it almost impossible to take the dogs for walks- which I know they need mentally and physically. I thought of taking Bandit on walks alone, but that's not fair to Emily. Also, I have taken both dogs to the dog park and Emily does fine. She is friendly and plays with the other dogs. She only has this issue when on a leash. How do I control this behavior? I need help! I don't want to give her back to the rescue, my family loves her, and she is a very sweet, loving dog who deserves a home.
You should get with a friend and set up a situation where you can expect the other dog to pass by and correct Emily's behavior. It sounds as though perhaps she has been attacked by another dog while on leash, You will need to practice on a leash without other dogs around then one at a time ask your friends to bring their dogs by and correct her or remove her when she freaks out and praise her when she ignores the other dog. This will probably take some time to work out but it can be done! Stay Positive and Good Luck!
My best advice would be to make sure she is a trained as possible off a leash. If she has to be leashed than I would completely ignore the bahavior when it happens. Dont force her to get close to the oncoming dogs, but dont baby talk her and tell her she's okay because than she thinks this is behavior she should repeat. Pretend like you dont even notice and keep walking. If the other person has a problem, tell them its a social issue and to please ignore her, you do not want to encourage this behavior. Take her to a dog park (if possible) with limited dogs, after she is comfortable there, put her back on the leash and chill. See if she reacts the same way, dont reward her, but dont punish her either, ignore it. When she is leashed and she freaks because of a dog, bring out a treat (something she really likes) and use it to take her attention away from the other dog. When the dog passes and she settles, give her the treat. Try these things and see how it goes. Some people will tell you thats your dog can pick up your attitude as well, dont walk in fear of running into another dog. Just chill, and hopefully your dog will soon follow.