I have a 2 year old Lhasa apso who sometimes growls and snaps at other dogs when we are out. It doesn't happened all the time, only occasionally. There doesn't seem to be any pattern to it except it is usually dogs he doesn't know who come up to sniff him, but only some, others he is fine with.
Today I was walking on my local park with 3 other owners and their dogs, my dog knows all of them and they were all off the lead. We came across a young husky on the lead who seemed very lively and wanted to play. One of the dogs with us wanted to play too but the husky owner didn't want to let it off the lead as it would run off. We all talked for a couple of minutes and my dog was at my feet and seemed to have no interest in the husky. I turn to walk away and suddenly my dog started to growl and snap at the husky and it became serious very quickly. I tried to call my dog away but he wasn't listening and the husky was retaliating. I went up behind my dog and tried to pull him away but my arm was in the way and the husky's teeth caught my coat, ripped my coat and went through to my arm.
I them managed to get hold of my dog, pulled him away and put him on the lead immediately. I apologised and took my dog away.
I am very concerned and worried that it could have been a lot worse than it was and I need to stop my dog from snapping but not sure how to go about this, and how to read the signals that it is about to happen. He's does not do this all the time, he normally enjoys other dogs company or seems to ignore them if he doesn't want to play.
Can someone advise what to do? I am planning in ringing the dog trainer who ran the puppy classes he went to see what she says.