i have a 3yr old staff and he is very friendly but he had a couple of bad reactions from dogs he startled trying to play with when he was younger and this has given him a bad idea of social interaction. i think he just thought barking was what your meant to do but i read this wrongly as aggression out of fear so i kept him away from other dogs for their safety. iv been socialising him on the lead for months now and hes fine except for not knowing how to initiate play. since finding out im 6wks pregnant its important for me to train him off lead at the park for convenience. hes older and he listens which is great but he ran up to another dog which was on a lead and started barking and jumping on the dog. i grabbed him and said no and he stopped i then put him back on the lead and continued our walk. i feel like a did that all wrong as i punished him for trying to socialise when u can see he wants it so desperately. does snyone knows how i can teach him how to play? i dont know anyone else with a dog i trust to teach him with. hes so lovely and really wants to play i just dont want another dog to be frightened and bite mine! any good advice welcome thanks
First thing first I'm afraid. Recall needs to be 100% established before you can allow him to interact off lead. As he has limited social skills, he is likely to get into very hot water indeed if you cannot choose which dogs he interacts with without him charging up to the unsuitable ones. I'm sure you are aware it's also a very big no-no to allow him to EVER run up to a dog on lead. It could be aggressive, ill,elderly or any number of other things. Until you can trust him, try giving him some extra freedom with a longline and practise recall like crazy!