Thanks all, i've been feeling really down about this so i really appreciate the kind words.
I'll respond to certain comments individually but i should mention it's more than just lunging, growling or barking, in fact she doesn't really do the last two. I don't want to go into too many details but she has now pinned 3 dogs all significantly bigger then her (do UFC have a dog category?) and i have had to break it up with nothing but screaming and panicking going on around me. But whereas before it felt like 1 in 10 dogs she looked wary of it now feels like most big dogs cause her to tense up. She has been very good with smaller dogs and pups in the time we've had her but again her lunge/snap threshold has changed dramatically with them which is a real worry.
She's definitely more people focused but we've actually found she really wants to play and interact with other dogs but she hasn't learned how to. As a result her boisterousness can scare other dogs and once that happens it puts her on the backfoot.
Feels like we are back to square one, but we aren't, all the training we have done previously is still there, just need to keep reinforcing it.
This is such an important and helpful thing for me to remember. When i got her she would rip my arms off on lead and couldn't follow any commands. Now pending distractions it's loose lead half the time and i can get her to jump over and onto things which looks cool and makes her look like a super army soldier dog.
Be prepared to accept that Nori might not like most other dogs and find a way to make her life fun without "dog friends". Make her walks and games fun and interesting in other ways.
We're absolutely trying to find and accept what will make her happiest. Whilst she looks like she wants to play it may be that it's just too much for her and less stressful things would be better for her in the long run.
Learn to shout authoritatively at strange dogs as they charge over to stop them in their tracks
yep i'm pretty good at this now. Except for one time it wasn't working i had to stomp the ground and genuinely fucked my knee much to the amusement of the kids watching.
Learn how to disengage her from another dog without risking hurting her or yourself - the out-of-control off-lead dog's health is not your priority
We were working a redirection technique given to us by the behaviourist which was working really well, until it wasn't. Before last week if she wouldn't focus on me or be able to u-turn whilst approaching other dogs we weren't stopping or would go another direction.
Try to relax
yep, working on it, regular self checks (am i clenching lead? etc) and deep breaths. Also considering whisky
I'd be happy to meet you and her (without Reggie) and have a look. I'm no dog behaviourist but I do have lots of experience of the breed.
This would be awesome, i shall pm you
we would never blame another dog or owner if Crumpet pushed her luck
Thanks dude, appreciate the kind words. I would say though that if you see a dog that looks like it's crushing the life out of yours it may not be easy to feel that way. Unfortunately i think there's a line and i suspect that if Nori snapped at or nipped another dog a lot of dog owners would say to there dog "well that's what you get" but when it goes past that fear kicks in and people find it hard to not get emotional.
I honestly thought we’d end up getting rid of him.
I never thought in a million years this would cross my mind but it has and i'm sorry you've been through it as it's awful.
Which charity did Nori come from?
Underdog, mixed feelings about them. Great charity but did not give us a very good picture of Nori and i felt quite resentful toward them at first. They also suggested not to involve a trainer for a while which by some accounts wasn't the best advice. They have a behaviourist i spoke to who really helped me through the first incident but we wanted to find someone more local. We've done so and she did some homework on him and made comments about methods he used and that he's not affiliated with certain bodies. But then she's crazy expensive and not easily reachable so not entirely sure what to do next!
Where are you based?
SE London, but no she's not that staffie people keep talking about!