Seeking some advice here please (long story sorry)
I have an 8month old Australian Shepherd boy who is very friendly, polite and well socialised.
He is great with all dogs and has a lovely temperament but we're finding as he is getting older, quite a lot of unknown dogs are starting to snap at him, always quite an aggressive snap too that we experience, never a little "please leave me alone" kind of snap. This is only occurring at off lead areas such as our local dog beach, on lead walks and meeting dogs at cafes etc are completely fine.
It's not all dogs as he has plays really well with friendly dogs and other puppys, it's only a selected few that target him in a way.
When this happens, at first he gets quite scared and will try and hide behind me but then shakes it off and moves on (he is pretty resilient).
Most of the time it's unknown dogs running up to us first and snapping at our boy pretty much straight away, we watch our boys body language closely and he is not doing anything wrong that we can notice? always polite and friendly.
I'm wondering why this is happening so often to us? I feel like we can't have a positive play at the beach or practice recall now without being snapped at.
Some things that we have been thinking are:
- Not desexed yet (we are waiting for 12 months old) could this play a part in these incidents?
- Can unknown dogs be intimidated by a confident & friendly dog?
- Maybe because he's just a silly/playful puppy?
OR have we just been unlucky to meet so many non friendly dogs at off lead areas where these dogs should be ON lead instead?
I am starting to think we should avoid the off lead areas until he is desexed and a little more mature?
Thank you for reading and taking the time to help.