I really had a hard time naming this thread. I also thought of putting it under "General Training". Here's the situation: We are surrounded by dogs in our neighborhood, many of whom are left out in their yards for long periods of time without the owners present. In the past, when any one of these dogs started barking Brody would always react by barking and running to the front window to see what was going on. This would happen over and over throughout the day and into the evening, as some dogs are out until close to midnight. I tried training a "quiet" cue, but once he had reacted it was hard to get him to listen. Then I tried adding a distraction, like waving a tuggie or favorite stuffed toy. This worked better. Now I can shush him before he even starts barking, and he will run and get his tuggie without being told. Yay! The house is much quieter now, and he is learning to look to me for direction before reacting. How is this a behavior problem, you ask? Well, take this same situation outside to our back yard. We have a black lab on the side of one fence and a (need I say it?) yappy chihuahua on the side of another. Any time we were out playing or training and one of these dogs barked, Brody would rush straight over and engage them. He was getting easier to call off as he was learning recall, but I hated having to shout to him over top of all the noise. So I tried the same thing that I did in the house, redirecting him to a toy. He has a partially deflated basketball that he loves to chase and bite. As soon as I heard the other dog, I quickly told him to get the ball as I kicked it in the other direction. He caught on very quickly, so now he looks for the ball when he hears the dogs, picks it up and shakes it furiously while growling ferociously. As soon as he's finished, he drops the ball and looks at me with his goofy grin, tongue lolling out the side of his mouth. I am hoping there is nothing negative in this behavior, that he is simply learning acceptable ways to deal with his barrier frustration and there is nothing more to it than that. My concern is that he hasn't had a real face to face meeting with a friendly dog in many weeks, and I don't know what to expect from him when he does. I really feel like I need to start getting him out in the presence of dogs again, but I am having a hard time understanding what his feelings are toward them. He was really great in the off-leash park the two times we took him there back in March. He was okay in Petsmart when we were taking classes on Saturday afternoons until just after Easter. But since early May, he has started reacting fearfully toward other dogs and people, growling/barking and then alternating between pulling toward them and hiding behind me when he is on leash. When we are playing ball in the park, I leave his leash on, so if another dog comes into the area, I don't pick up the leash, just step on it, or throw the ball in the other direction. He rarely makes any move toward the other dog, just stops and watches it. If it moves toward him, he runs behind me, sometimes putting his feet on my back. The other owners have been able to call their dogs back, so none of these situations has turned out badly. The only possible cause for his change in reaction that I can see would be a series of 3 or 4 separate encounters with rude dogs who were off-leash when he was on. Each of them ran at him directly and the owners had a hard time calling them off. In each case, I made the mistake of stopping and trying to control him rather than just calmly walking away, but I was completely surprised each time and really didn't know what the appropriate response was. These happened over the course of about 4 to 6 weeks. Brody is now 12 months old, so he could be in a fear period. Should I wait a couple of weeks before attempting to get him in the presence of friendly dogs?