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Categories: Basic Puppy

Q. My 6 month old puppy gets very excited and lunges at other dogs when I go to our local pet store. I want him to not be so wild when he sees other dogs, I would appreciate advice.
Hello, Ed and Cindy.

I have a question about my 6 months old GSD puppy and his behavior around other dogs. I watched several of your DVDs, also your basic obedience and engagement online classes, but still have a problem with my pup. He gets very excited when he sees other dogs. I guess he feels insecure around them. I do not let him interact with them at all. All I do is go to our local pet store and just let him be in sight of them. He engages fine at home but no matter the distance from other dogs, he goes crazy and won't stay engaged. He barks and lunges towards them. I say NO! Jerk the leash and if he still doesn't stop, grab him by scruff until he stops. If he just looks at them quietly, I reward him a lot. But I am not sure it really helps, because if another dog goes by, we go through the same cycle. I don't want him to play with the dogs, I just want him to not act so wild if the dogs are around. I would very much appreciate your advice.

Thank you!

A. You need to work on teaching him what you expect from him without such big distractions. Very few 6 month old puppies have the level of training to be going into a pet store and in such close proximity with other dogs. If your puppy won't stay engaged then you need to work on it from a larger distance from the distraction (whether that's other dogs, etc). There aren't any shortcuts to this and grabbing him and jerking him isn't going to help, it will only erode your relationship. You may need to go 100 yards away or more from the other dogs and this is not possible inside a store. I'm very sure you are expecting too much from him at this point and the more you let him do this, the more of a habit it will become.

Control your environment, stop taking him to places that he's not ready for and work on engagement in increments. I have a 6 month old puppy and I work on this EVERY day in environments I can (somewhat) control. I go to a local walking trail and work on engagement, engagement, engagement....

Cindy Rhodes


Thank you very much!!!
I very much enjoy and appreciate your DVDs and your website.
In my opinion, the way you train in Leerburg, is great and makes absolute sense.
Thank you for all your help and time you put in in helping others to train their dogs.
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