Aggression with older dogs

We live near several parks and often see other dogs. Dexter appears to be fine with the smaller breeds, and gets tons of socialization in puppy class (he is fine with other puppies). However, Dexter has had two incidents with bigger dogs, coincidentally both being pit bulls.

While I know there is a negative stereotype regarding pit bulls, they were both very timid. Dexter passed both of them in the park (different days) and they stopped to greet him. Upon doing so, Dex chose to jump up and put his paws on them, showing his teeth as I pulled him away.

Thankfully, both dogs just backed away and moved on, but I am concerned with this habit. I want him to be able to be greeted by other dogs in the park and not have any worries about his reaction. Any thoughts/advice on this?

Is Dexter intact? How about the pits? That might be a contributing factor.

I didn't notice on the Pits. But yes, Dexter will be intact until probably August.

That is a great point though, thanks!

Why do you want Dexter to be greeted by strange dogs while on walks?

I know this is a goal of many dog owners but why? We do not warmly greet every stranger we pass on the street and yet it is our expectation for our dogs.

My observation of my adult dogs is that they are indifferent toward other dogs. They show no interest in greeting them and would prefer to carry on with their own business. If people ask if their dogs can greet mine, I say no. Mine do have dog friends but it is a small group of dog appropriate dogs that they meet up with to go for country walks. Even within the group some of my adults choose not to interact much or not with everyone in the group.

If he is not reactive upon seeing other dogs but is content to just move on without interaction, I would not necessarily work to change that behavior. If he is reactive towards other dogs then there are things you can work on so he chooses to instead move on without interacting.

I totally agree with Ivoss - why expect a dog to like every other dog. Mine too, will ignore other dogs they don't want to know.

I have noticed that Ayo tends to greet other dogs by "slapping them" with his paws or jumping up. I have also noticed that sometimes growling occurs when I pull him back, as if he is reacting to me pulling him, suddenly becoming aggressive. Ive noticed that sometimes if I don't pull it doesn't happen.

@lvoss:

Why do you want Dexter to be greeted by strange dogs while on walks?

I know this is a goal of many dog owners but why? We do not warmly greet every stranger we pass on the street and yet it is our expectation for our dogs.

Wow…. great comment! We do so many things to try to humanize our dogs that are not natural for them.

Has Dexter had any basic obedience classes?

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