I need advice on this one...I brought my 2 year old doxie, Rusty, with me to a cross country meet with my sister this morning. While we were there, a woman came up to me with her Bichon and let her dog go up to our dog to say hi. IF we were at the dog park or at our house where Rusty wasn't on his leash, he would have been absolutely fine. He loves other dogs. When he's on his leash, however, Rusty turns into a mean beast and ended up biting this Bichon.

I felt horribly despite the fact that Rusty only got fur and no skin. The owner of the Bichon was very cool with it and said that her dog is very dominant also and apologized for letting her dog up to Rusty. I know what I should have done was tell this person before she got her dog near ours to stay away, but it happened so quickly that I didn't get a chance.

What's going on here? Why is my dog such a sweetie at the dog park and such a nasty animal when he's on a leash? I don't want to stop taking him places because he needs to continue to be socialized, but I don't want to get into a position where Rusty is causing pain to other dogs. I couldn't handle that either.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how I could desensitize Rusty to being on a leash? I've just been distraught about this since it happened...

Shelley & Rusty
http://www.bump.us/rusty
What's going on here? Why is my dog such a sweetie at the dog park and such a nasty animal ... don't want to get into a position where Rusty is causing pain to other dogs. I couldn't handle that either.

some dogs, even some who are otherwise dog-friendly, can be leash aggressive. there's a current thread on the topic (How to Improve Meeting Skills). there are also some articles at Flying Dog Press about "saying hi" and on-lead aggression.
http://www.flyingdogpress.com/sayhi.html
http://www.flyingdogpress.com/onldagg.html
FWIW, it sounds to me like you and Rusty were minding your own business. it was rude of the other owner to allow her dog to approach you without permission. owners should always ask before letting their dogs approach other dogs or people.

shelly (perfectly foul wench) and elliott & harriet http://home.bluemarble.net/~scouvrette
I would prefer not to.
Bartleby the Scriviner
FWIW, it sounds to me like you and Rusty were minding your own business. it was rude of the other owner to allow her dog to approach you without permission. owners should always ask before letting their dogs approach other dogs or people.

What Shelly said. Don't feel bad, just work to improve your dog's reaction. He's feeling defensive, and he's not entirely out of line. Dogs /are/ more vulnerable when on-lead.

-Andrea Stone
Saorsa Basenjis
http://home1.gte.net/res0s12z/
The Trolls Nest - greenmen, goblins & gargoyle wall art www.trollsnest.com