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My boyfriend and I just adopted a dog from the ACC in New York City and her name...


My boyfriend and I just adopted a dog from the ACC in New York City and her name is Zoe. We love her to death and although we have only had her for two weeks she seemed to have adjusted great and has a very special bond with the two of us. Living in NYC she comes in contact with several dogs a day on her many walks. Zoe doesn't seem to like other dogs. When we are out on walks she growls when another dog walks by and always tries to run over to attack the other dog. Zoe is a 24 lb. spaniel/collie mix. Once I let her interact with another dog and she began attacking, violently so I had to rip her off and let her know it was not ok. There is a dog in my building, an other male dog whom she loves and just wants to sniff and be around. We also tried introducing Zoe to a friend's dachshound. They seemed to get along but my dog tried to continuously hump the other female dog, trying to show dominance. Please let me know how i should proceed with helping my dog to interact with other dogs.

I know how frustrating that can be. It's great that she has a couple doggie friends she likes too. I would work with a trainer to get her leash behavior under control because reading her body language and making sure your timing is good are both very important. Until then, you may want to use a Gentle Leader head collar or Easy Walk harness to walk her on. Both will help prevent pulling, but the GL will give you control of her head and you'll be able to stop her from trying to run towards the other dog. Then take fabulous treats with you on the walk and whenever she sees another dog, but while it's still far enough away that she's not growling, begin to treat her. Treat her THE WHOLE TIME she passes the other dog and try to put some space between Zoe and the other dog so she doesn't get too excited or feel threatened. Eventually she should begin to look towards you for her treat when she sees another dog, rather than growl at it. Making sure she's far away (so she can feel comfortable) is important to her success. Gradually you'll be able to get closer to the other dogs. PetSmart offers free training evaluations so you could stop in at your nearest one and see if she's ready for group class or if she needs to start in private lessons.