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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a 7-8 month male Lab with some Alsation in him, who is friendly to all people and most dogs. He has been very well socialised on the various parks and woods and has been keen to make friends with every dog and owner in the area over the 4 months I've had him. However, over the last month he seems to have become aggressive towards timid dogs younger than himself, This involves approaching the dog in a placid manner but then sniffing them out and if the dog cowers; growling and snarling at them.

His behaviour is still excellent with dogs older than himself, and even pups which are well socialised. Unfortunately this has meant me keeping him on the lead more, and stopping his daily play with friends. Unfortunately he will run to a dog at the opposite side of the field. I've tried improving recall through fried bacon and balls, but it's a long, tough job when he's determined to approach other dogs.

Yesterday I tried a muzzle on him. However, two unfamiliar dogs, a boxer and Jack Russell took advantage of this by attacking him when he came over to play with them. It's the first time I've seem him shaken, since he can normally cope with any dog without getting into a fight.

Are there any behavioural techniques which can be used to stop the aggression towards pups without frighting them and their owners? Perhaps it's a case of the onset of testosterone, adolescent behaviour and pack order dominance. He is due to be neutered at 12 months.

His behaviour has also changed somewhat inside the house. He used to be satisfied in waiting up to an hour without causing any noise or damage, but recently he's began to try to whine and 'dig' his way under the front door and pet gate in an attempt to get through when I go out. In other words uprooting the carpet!
 

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There could be and probably is many, many factors feeding into the behaviour you are seeing.

My first suggestion would be to go to a good training class if you aren't already check:
http://www.imdt.uk.com/find-a-qualified-imdt-trainer.html

and:
http://www.apdt.co.uk/dog-owners/local-dog-trainers

One of these trainers may be able to help on a 1:1 basis too, actually come into your home, walk with you and your dog etc to judge with experienced eyes what is going on and give specific advice. A good behaviourist would do this too. http://www.apbc.org.uk/help/regions

I think it is important you seek outside and on the ground advice for you and your dog as soon as you can to prevent the beginnings of unwanted behaviour becoming habit, ingrained and 'normal'.

Until then I would suggest using a longline with a harness on him so that you can practise recall, I'd recommend Primula squeezy tube cheese to do this, my 2 love it!
Go to quiet areas with few dogs, make sure you walk... that means don't allow him to socialise with dogs while you stand around talking... walk, say morning to other people and continue walking with him, get the treats or a squeaky toy out to grab his attention before the other dog and people approach. If you/he have dog friends that he has always been fine with organise to walk with them, not go to the park and play but walk with them, in the same direction on a walk together.

Well done for seeking help with this, your boy is still a pup just in an adult size body now and he is trying to make sense of the world. Getting help sooner rather than later in making him more secure and in showing him the right behaviour is going to give you a better chance of success. Good luck
 

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You need a good behaviourist or trainer to assess him so that you really know what is going on.

My boy wouldn't say boo to a goose when off lead with bigger dogs but he became a bully to younger and smaller dogs and a nightmare on the lead so I'm working with a behaviourist now.

This could be down to confidence issues or the fact that he really doesn't understand social ettiquette. Tackle it now before it escalates because as he hits adolescence it will only get worse.
 

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You need a good behaviourist or trainer to assess him so that you really know what is going on.

My boy wouldn't say boo to a goose when off lead with bigger dogs but he became a bully to younger and smaller dogs and a nightmare on the lead so I'm working with a behaviourist now.

This could be down to confidence issues or the fact that he really doesn't understand social ettiquette. Tackle it now before it escalates because as he hits adolescence it will only get worse.
I agree. This is what we are doing with our boy as he has suddenly started being nervous and barks at lone men and its just too stressful trying to guess why they are doing something and how to fix it on your own. Much better to get a professional to assess it now and nip it in the bud than worry yourself about it. Although there is some fantastic advise on here, without seeing your dog no-one can tell you for certain why he is behaving as he is.

On a side note, while we have been waiting for our appointment we have been working through the book Total Recall by Pippa Mattison as I think if you can proof your recall so that they adhere to it even with major distractions it can help avoid potential problems as you'd be able to allow freedom and just pop them on lead if you need to. I horse ride and often dogs are nervous around us if we encounter them but the other day I was on a ride and a spaniel got very upset by us. The owner asked the dog to sit and lie down which it did immediately and as a result dog was calmer and we could pass safely.
 
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