Owners often tell me their dogís been attacked by another dog as if they had no part to play whatsoever.
A top priority of any leader is to protect the pack. Fail and your dog will not forget. Thatís how dogs become nervous and aggressive in the company of other dogs: they donít have faith in their leader.
I was observing a pack of scent hounds padding around their compound. It was hot and there was a bit of pushing and shoving for places in the shade. A fight erupted but before it escalated the leader intervened snarling at both dogs until they backed away. He wasnít going to have his pack weakened by injury.
I have a basic understanding with my dogs: follow me, abide by the rules and Iíll deal with everything. We donít visit places where untrained dogs run wild. I†go with owners who are as conscientious about their dogs as I am about mine. The dogs play with us not with each other. If a stray appears I ask my dogs to lie down and†use an aerosol can to deal with any show of aggression.
I frequently ask other handlers to get their boisterous dogs under control. It doesnít make me popular with irresponsible owners but my dogs appreciate it. An injury inflicted on any member of my pack is a flaw in my leadership.
If you want your dog to be relaxed in the company of others you must ensure its safety. In the dog world there are no excuses.