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Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:05am

I have a 2 year old labradoodle. He has been the absolute best dog I have ever had. He is loving, playful, smart etc. One of my reasons for getting him was so I could have a partner mountain bike riding. I trained him since he was a pup to stay with me on the trails and he does. He LOVES to go with me riding. We go 4 or 5 times a week. I did some basic obedience but he is so good now I don't do a lot of enforcing sit, stay etc. I did get him trained to be a therapy dog and we occasionally go into nursing homes which is really good with the people. He is off leash most of the time (please don't condemn me!!) because he is either in the woods with me, at work with me or home. Two times this summer when he was on leash he growled at a dog that came up to him. I didn't think much of it, then a couple of weeks ago, he growled at a dog that came up to him while we were stopped on a trail. This got me very upset because he usually just wants to play with other dogs or just ignores them if we are running/riding past. I went to local trainer and did a private lesson. She feels like it is just fear aggression, but he needs to be on leash all the time and we have to go back to strict basic obedience. I am literally in tears. He is such a sweet and loving dog and truly is very good and mostly obedient. I always get complimented on him, especially his trail etiquette. I really feel like a failure. I want him to keep riding with me because he loves it so much and it is such great exercise. I guess I will work on the obedience training. She says this will boost his confidence and he won't be fearful. I hope so. Any thoughts? Suggestions? If you are a on leash only person, please be kind. I am berated a lot for letting him run freely in the woods, although it is a very common thing here among the mountain bike community.

    • At 2 years he is going thru anew faze. With vicki,zoe,zinc,zed,zemo&zinnia, Sun Dec 31 10:05pm
      a little of the trainers advise I think he will fine. Around 2 they hit that fear stage. He will get thru it. You obviously are doing a great job with him! He is a lucky doodle!
    • Here are 2 suggestions - first work at home on come, sit and down. Reinforce it on the trail as well. Hi value treats. Lots of praise. Every single time you see someone else on the trail, he comes to ... more
    • What did the other dog do?SD&B, Sat Dec 30 8:08pm
      Was the other dog impolite in some way? Did the other dog invade his space? We can't expect a dog to tolerate others' behaviors when we as humans wouldn't. Why do you/the trainer think he was... more
      • replyJuanelle, Sun Dec 31 10:15pm
        The other dog came between my son and I (which was a big space) and they sniffed each other's tushis. When my dog growled, my son grabbed him and firmly told him no. I called him and he happily came. ... more
        • Just a thoughtKit and Maggie, Mon Jan 1 7:30pm
          It may have been the presence of your son that made the difference. He may feel protective of your son, especially if your son is a child? But maybe even if not. Mags is very protective of my EDD on... more
        • It's hard to judge from hereSD&B, Sun Dec 31 10:47pm
          but it doesn't sound like it was truly problematic. Dogs communicate and that's okay. If he was happy after and nothing happened and he obeyed you coming when you called, it doesn't sound too bad.... more
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