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I await the opinions of the more experienced but have you tried using a Halti headpiece? It is basically a horse halter type headpiece used instead of attaching the leash to the collar.
we did not have aggression but our last rescue arrived at age 3-4 never having been walked on a leash and was a 75lb muscled Black and Tan coonhound. He was just way too strong if a scent called to him. He did not love it, but he was placid and easy to walk with it on. Supposedly feels calming due to lightly touching nose. If I understand the pro/con articles online you may be able to adjust a padded model to keep dog from being able to bite while still allowing panting and open mouth.
thought?
 

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I seriously feel for you. This has been an issue for Bobby since he was about 6 months or so. I will say, after much training work, time and maturity he is SO much better, although sometimes he still will sniff something or get overstimulated and then up he goes, leaping straight up in the air mode. Nobody told me either how mouthy and jumpy poodles can be. Lol! It’s been a journey for sure!

There are a lot of good ideas shared. You will have to try things out and see what works. Not every idea will work for every dog. One example: having Bobby carry a toy does not work. I tried several times as it is a great idea but for him, it actually puts him in high drive mode and he is on a mission of pulling and totally not hearing me so it actually works against me. However, I do have a small squeaky toy in my dog bag and the squeak is an excellent attention getter when needed. So try things and use what works best. And if you can burn off energy, as mentioned, that will help big time as well. I could and still can tell when Bobby needs to seriously burn off energy as he can still get jumpy and mouthy. He walks much better and is more relaxed after he’s burned off the extra energy.

A trainer or a class should definitely help and I highly recommend it. We took an obedience training class that was specifically geared for young and excitable dogs. It was fantastic!!! I learned so much not to mention the practicing around other dogs really helped.
It addressed a lot of walking issues that are so common to young, excitable
dogs. Our training school also has a walking class so maybe something like that if available?

I will say though, the thing that has helped more than anything with overexcitement on walks is teaching a really good heel. I know it’s not an overnight fix but I will tell you, it has helped so much. Bobby is just shy of two years and we have come a long way, but when he goes into leaping mode, it ain’t pretty. We do mostly loose leash walking unless we are on a power walk, but if there is a hint of overexcitement, or if things start to deteriorate, if we are passing something that could trigger a jumping episode, or if he suddenly switches to crazy dog mode, I immediately require a sit then a strict heel, sometimes for just a few minutes and sometimes until we get back home if he can’t settle down. It all depends upon his behavior and what is going on. It seriously is that best thing we have taught him for his walks as he has to focus on me and stay by my side during these times. I keep a short but loose leash during these heeling walks and almost every time it solves the over excitement problem when we walk. Everyone has a different approach but a true heeling walk to me, is a life saver. Heeling gets us past a lot of things and possible triggers. While a different subject, heeling has been the answer for problem pulling as well.

I do keep things positive, light and fun, even during the heeling walks, and especially during the training phase, treats rule! I used them a lot during this phase. I used to carry a whole hotdog in my left hand as Bobby walks on my left side. I would hold it in my hand and as he was heeling he got to nibble. It worked like a charm. It help teach him the position as I said, “Heel” over and over again. Even though Bobby is now great at heeling, he still needs treats periodically when he gets overexcited and I require the heel. He has to work mighty hard for it now because he knows what he’s supposed to do but after he settles and is once again working hard and focusing, he gets his hard earned reward and he’s much more settled. A periodic treat also gives him something to look forward to. Anyway, all of that to say, I believe heeling can solve a lot of problems.

I truly know how frustrating it can be and things probably won‘t resolve completely for awhile, but with good and consistent training it will get better. Hang in there! You are not alone! They do grow up and with our help, they really do become well trained poodles! 😊
 

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Perhaps start a post asking for trainers in NYC that have helped owners here? And what style of training helped owners here too.
if trainer helps, then consider a walker. two extended Family urban dogs did well when owners used a dog walker. the pack is Calm. The pack goes to dog park. Etc.

I am now pretty concerned how common this jumping with biting seems to be. wheatens with attitude?
 

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I seriously do not recommend head halti harnesses. Many dogs are really reactive to the harness and if it doesn't really work right away it is only likely to increase other people's belief that the dog is aggressive since they often mistake it for a muzzle. There is no quick fix for this situation. As Spottytoes noted her solution was not fast, but did work well once it took hold.
 

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PtP I think if walks are made thinking walks they can be even better at burning energy than wild running. The brain uses huge amounts of glucose energy and making the dog think can be a great way to take care of whatever equivalent dogs have to a "sugar high." My dogs don't care much for random crazy running but really enjoy walks that are thoughtful with sniffing breaks included.
Even in the early days of leash training, though? When walks are slow and energy is high?

I wouldn't expect an adult dog to have the same needs, but adolescents really tear around sometimes. If I denied Peggy that opportunity and exercised her purely on-leash in environments that demand politeness in the face of myriad stimuli, I think she'd get pretty frustrated.

We like to balance out those sorts of walks with free play and long-leash wanders in more remote areas.

I was just wondering if the OP's poodle has similar opportunities.
 

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Perhaps start a post asking for trainers in NYC that have helped owners here? And what style of training helped owners here too.
The OP is located in Sweden. :)
I am now pretty concerned how common this jumping with biting seems to be.
It seems fairly common in early adolescence, but not to the extent that @Faust describes. Your poodle shouldn't be bruising you and it certainly shouldn't drag on for 20 minutes.

But if it happens in the context of a walk, I can see how that would be much trickier to manage than, for example, in your backyard. When puppy Peggy lost her brain and started leaping and mouthing, the trigger activity immediately ended.

Ending a walk abruptly isn't exactly possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
One thing I had to learn with Annie was to watch for signs she was getting over excited, BEFORE she got to the try and bite stage.

So I would ask for a sit and focus, a down, a stand, a stay, and then as she calmed down, we could continue. If it got too bad, we went inside again. We still do a lot of pausing during Play on/off stuff. So we play play play - I ask for a sit, when she is calm we return to play play play. Slowly working on self control when overexcited. At the start, it might be a 1s sit. Now? Might be a 30 s or one min sit. Her reward is returning to play, not a treat.
Long-time lurker finally creating an account mostly to commiserate. My 1.5 year old standard does this as well and it’s annoying and embarrassing. Usually it’s biting the leash when she sees another dog she really wants to play with (we live in busy NYC, so unfortunately that is at least once per walk).

Things that have not worked for us: Dropping the leash and trying to ignore the behavior, drenching the leash in bitter apple spray (she’s so unfazed that I’ve wondered if she LIKES the taste).

Things that will work occasionally: Sit & stay, walking 20 steps or so holding her by her harness instead of her leash, subduing her by picking her up off the ground for a moment (Dechi's solution above).

Longer-term solutions that I hope will help: Rewarding her with treats for walking nicely, making sure she gets some off-leash playtime/socialization almost every day.

We have a soft mesh muzzle originally acquired because she kept eating garbage off the ground and I’m thinking of bringing that a long on a few walks. She knows what it is, and while it doesn’t seem to be uncomfortable, she definitely doesn’t like it. I think after one or two incidents the mere sight of it may subdue her. Bad idea?

I’ll check out the links others have posted here as well - this forum is such a great resource. Thanks, all!
Thanks for the commiseration!
Long-time lurker finally creating an account mostly to commiserate. My 1.5 year old standard does this as well and it’s annoying and embarrassing. Usually it’s biting the leash when she sees another dog she really wants to play with (we live in busy NYC, so unfortunately that is at least once per walk).

Things that have not worked for us: Dropping the leash and trying to ignore the behavior, drenching the leash in bitter apple spray (she’s so unfazed that I’ve wondered if she LIKES the taste).

Things that will work occasionally: Sit & stay, walking 20 steps or so holding her by her harness instead of her leash, subduing her by picking her up off the ground for a moment (Dechi's solution above).

Longer-term solutions that I hope will help: Rewarding her with treats for walking nicely, making sure she gets some off-leash playtime/socialization almost every day.

We have a soft mesh muzzle originally acquired because she kept eating garbage off the ground and I’m thinking of bringing that a long on a few walks. She knows what it is, and while it doesn’t seem to be uncomfortable, she definitely doesn’t like it. I think after one or two incidents the mere sight of it may subdue her. Bad idea?

I’ll check out the links others have posted here as well - this forum is such a great resource. Thanks, all!
Thanks for the commiseration! I bought a soft muzzle but when I put it on him it made my husband really upset because the dog looked super upset... and it felt cruel and we were both emotionally drained oursevles. So we haven't tried it again. Needless to say we've both shed a lot of tears over this dog!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Yes to a trainer to help you break these behavioral antics safely and effectively. You might be able to find a good trainer near you either through CCPDT.org or through APDT.org. Both organizations are global in nature although I am not sure how strong their presence is in all areas. DO NOT use an ecollar to deal with this. Only very experienced handlers should use ecollars and even for an experienced handler this isn't the right situation to use one (and I do have ecollars and can use them correctly, but use them very rarely). In the meantime you need to help your adolescent learn not to react to everything encountered on a walk. Stay close to home and use counter conditioning types of exercises meant to keep him from getting to the point of reacting to whatever triggers his over the top behaviors. Be aware that counter conditioning goes slowly and you have to make sure the dog stays under threshold at all times or you will undo your progress and end up reinforcing the undesired behavior all over again. I worked with a family a number of years ago who had a basically nice but severely socially deprived rescued dog for about 9 months to get her from the point where she would amp up at the sight of Lily a block away and across the street to be able to be on the same side of the street and two houses apart. In other words, this takes a ton of patience.
Thanks for this advice! As I said in one of my previous posts we've talked to trainers. They generally think Mephi is fearless - I tend to agree, he has never shown fear of anything that dogs typically are afraid of... it's almost weird - and so his reactions are "positive stress" in that he is getting excited in a good way - not scared or fearful - but that he wants to go play and rush over to greet whoever he sees. But that makes counter conditioning difficult, if I'm understanding it correctly? Because he already has a "positive" association with people, dogs, etc. When we're in a dog park, he runs up to greet everyone in the park (human and dog) and then is fine to come back to me but when we're on walks, he can't do that and I think he gets frustrated. Is there something counter conditioning-wise that we could do on the leash? I have tried to distract him with toys or treats but if it's another dog, there's no distraction on this planet that can entice him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Some very good advice here. :) I wish you had a trainer like @lily cd re nearby.

Does your poodle have a chance to blow off steam? For example, run around a safe grassy space at full-speed? If walks are his primary form of exercise, even the best training methods are going to be a struggle.
Yeah this is part of the issue. But it's a major time commitment. If I can't get him to a dog park (we also have a few near us that are usually empty so we just play with a ball) every day, then he's super pent up. We had a recent relapse with the jumping and biting bc he had kennel cough and the vet didn't want him running around - but then he had loads of pent up energy bc the silly little guy doesn't understand that he was sick of course. It's just really hard to spend like 2 hours a day in the dog park (that tends to be the minimum time - he won't get tired after like 15 minutes).
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
I seriously feel for you. This has been an issue for Bobby since he was about 6 months or so. I will say, after much training work, time and maturity he is SO much better, although sometimes he still will sniff something or get overstimulated and then up he goes, leaping straight up in the air mode. Nobody told me either how mouthy and jumpy poodles can be. Lol! It’s been a journey for sure!

There are a lot of good ideas shared. You will have to try things out and see what works. Not every idea will work for every dog. One example: having Bobby carry a toy does not work. I tried several times as it is a great idea but for him, it actually puts him in high drive mode and he is on a mission of pulling and totally not hearing me so it actually works against me. However, I do have a small squeaky toy in my dog bag and the squeak is an excellent attention getter when needed. So try things and use what works best. And if you can burn off energy, as mentioned, that will help big time as well. I could and still can tell when Bobby needs to seriously burn off energy as he can still get jumpy and mouthy. He walks much better and is more relaxed after he’s burned off the extra energy.

A trainer or a class should definitely help and I highly recommend it. We took an obedience training class that was specifically geared for young and excitable dogs. It was fantastic!!! I learned so much not to mention the practicing around other dogs really helped.
It addressed a lot of walking issues that are so common to young, excitable
dogs. Our training school also has a walking class so maybe something like that if available?

I will say though, the thing that has helped more than anything with overexcitement on walks is teaching a really good heel. I know it’s not an overnight fix but I will tell you, it has helped so much. Bobby is just shy of two years and we have come a long way, but when he goes into leaping mode, it ain’t pretty. We do mostly loose leash walking unless we are on a power walk, but if there is a hint of overexcitement, or if things start to deteriorate, if we are passing something that could trigger a jumping episode, or if he suddenly switches to crazy dog mode, I immediately require a sit then a strict heel, sometimes for just a few minutes and sometimes until we get back home if he can’t settle down. It all depends upon his behavior and what is going on. It seriously is that best thing we have taught him for his walks as he has to focus on me and stay by my side during these times. I keep a short but loose leash during these heeling walks and almost every time it solves the over excitement problem when we walk. Everyone has a different approach but a true heeling walk to me, is a life saver. Heeling gets us past a lot of things and possible triggers. While a different subject, heeling has been the answer for problem pulling as well.

I do keep things positive, light and fun, even during the heeling walks, and especially during the training phase, treats rule! I used them a lot during this phase. I used to carry a whole hotdog in my left hand as Bobby walks on my left side. I would hold it in my hand and as he was heeling he got to nibble. It worked like a charm. It help teach him the position as I said, “Heel” over and over again. Even though Bobby is now great at heeling, he still needs treats periodically when he gets overexcited and I require the heel. He has to work mighty hard for it now because he knows what he’s supposed to do but after he settles and is once again working hard and focusing, he gets his hard earned reward and he’s much more settled. A periodic treat also gives him something to look forward to. Anyway, all of that to say, I believe heeling can solve a lot of problems.

I truly know how frustrating it can be and things probably won‘t resolve completely for awhile, but with good and consistent training it will get better. Hang in there! You are not alone! They do grow up and with our help, they really do become well trained poodles! 😊
Thanks! That's good to know that he's gotten better with time! We do heel work and eye contract for treats taken at our side while we walk and honestly 90% of the time he walks really nice, loose leash... it's just if we see a dog he goes crazy and then turns and starts jumping and biting. So basically it's a nice walk and then suddenly he'll start jumping and biting. Or sometimes when he knows we're heading back toward home he does it - like, he's trying to get us not to go home so soon smh should have gotten a dumber dog haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
The OP is located in Sweden. :)


It seems fairly common in early adolescence, but not to the extent that @Faust describes. Your poodle shouldn't be bruising you and it certainly shouldn't drag on for 20 minutes.

But if it happens in the context of a walk, I can see how that would be much trickier to manage than, for example, in your backyard. When puppy Peggy lost her brain and started leaping and mouthing, the trigger activity immediately ended.

Ending a walk abruptly isn't exactly possible.
Yeah exactly - this is the issue for sure! If he puts his mouth on us in the house, we give him a timeout in his room but we can't do that when we're outside obviously.

It's just crazy because I feel like we've tried so many things - he went to a puppy preschool where it was basically training prior to dog daycare where they tried to desensitize him to other dogs (they said they haven't seen a dog take so long to try to desensitize), and he goes one a week to dog daycare now (they have to keep him in a separate room and walk him separately). I went to two obedience classes. Both of them he couldn't do anything while at the class because he was so distracted the whole time by the other dogs. The second one we actually only went to one session bc he lost his mind and the trainer did private one on one with us after that. He's fine when there aren't other dogs around or children running or stuff like that. Just a couple adults and a trainer, he acts normal ¯\(ツ)/¯ As far as I know he's never done the jumping and biting thing with anyone other than us. It's so frustrating... I'm trying the Pigs Fly training method with him now hoping I can capture behaviors but he's not treat motivated at all - he doesn't even eat that much - mostly grazes like a cat. So I've been giving him a disposable face mask as a treat hahaha because that he wants. 😂
 

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Yeah this is part of the issue. But it's a major time commitment. If I can't get him to a dog park (we also have a few near us that are usually empty so we just play with a ball) every day, then he's super pent up. We had a recent relapse with the jumping and biting bc he had kennel cough and the vet didn't want him running around - but then he had loads of pent up energy bc the silly little guy doesn't understand that he was sick of course. It's just really hard to spend like 2 hours a day in the dog park (that tends to be the minimum time - he won't get tired after like 15 minutes).
Two hours? Oh goodness no! I wouldn't be up for that either. I was thinking more like five minutes of fetch and zoomies before a training session.

Poodle energy levels vary, and Peggy's may be lower than your poodle's, but we did spend an awful lot of her puppyhood practising calm. In fact, that was a good part of her first session of classes—just learning to relax.

She made a fool of herself, of course. I think a lot of poodle puppies do. They don't handle repetition well and have an amazing ability to look everywhere at once. It helps to have a trainer who understands this and can help you harness that poodle super power rather than fight it. :)

Have you done much work with your boy on learning how to settle? Just sitting calmly with a steady stream of high-value treats at first, and then slowly tapering them off, can be hugely beneficial.

And what do you mean he's kept in a separate room at daycare? He's not allowed in with the other dogs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Two hours? Oh goodness no! I wouldn't be up for that either. I was thinking more like five minutes of fetch and zoomies before a training session.

Poodle energy levels vary, and Peggy's may be lower than your poodle's, but we did spend an awful lot of her puppyhood practising calm. In fact, that was a good part of her first session of classes—just learning to relax.

She made a fool of herself, of course. I think a lot of poodle puppies do. They don't handle repetition well and have an amazing ability to look everywhere at once. It helps to have a trainer who understands this and can help you harness that poodle super power rather than fight it. :)

Have you done much work with your boy on learning how to settle? Just sitting calmly with a steady stream of high-value treats at first, and then slowly tapering them off, can be hugely beneficial.

And what do you mean he's kept in a separate room at daycare? He's not allowed in with the other dogs?
Yeah we've been told by trainers about capturing calm... and tried to do mat training. He doesn't know what calm is still though. He has two speeds: ADHD hunting around and sleeping. We need to keep working at it I guess. Back at 7 months of age, we were spending like 4 hours a day in the dog park and he didn't show any signs of tiredness. I was kicking a football for hours with him and he was still running at top speed - insane.

At the daycare, they have different rooms when the dogs are inside - so usually like 4 dogs share a room. When he was in preschool, the staff had him in their staff room and brought other dogs in to meet him. Now, if he's not in his own room, he won't leave the other dogs alone. He basically will just keep harassing them to play and they don't want to. So, he gets to meet other dogs briefly but he's not able to hang out with them bc he's too much. He does this with my friend's dog as well so we can't really hang out with them anymore. Her dog (same age) just wants to sit and chill and Mephi will stand over him and bark in his ear. It's annoying for dogs and humans alike.
 

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I can see the vicious circle - he is a pain around other dogs, so you try to avoid them, so he becomes even more excited when he sees them and even more of a pain...

As he is obviously an extreme case I would redouble your efforts to find a trainer/behaviourist who can really help. I am interested that you say he only jumps and bites with you, despite getting equally excited when with other people when dogs are around. To me that indicates learning different handling methods could at least save you from bouncing and bruising.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
I can see the vicious circle - he is a pain around other dogs, so you try to avoid them, so he becomes even more excited when he sees them and even more of a pain...

As he is obviously an extreme case I would redouble your efforts to find a trainer/behaviourist who can really help. I am interested that you say he only jumps and bites with you, despite getting equally excited when with other people when dogs are around. To me that indicates learning different handling methods could at least save you from bouncing and bruising.
Yeah I can see that :cry:

The trainers we had told us to avoid other dogs while we're on walks bc they are triggers. Of course, he does play with other dogs at the dog park but he never seems to "get used to them" - he always finds other dogs CRAZY exciting.

He really only jumps and bites when he's on the leash. The few times he's jumped up when we're playing in the park and he's off leash, he does it like once - not repeatedly for 15 minutes. We don't usually let him greet people when he's on a leash bc he gets too over-excited. But when he greets other humans at the dog park or whatnot when he's off leash, he's generally fairly chill. He'll run up, get a head pat, and run back. He won't jump at all usually. So, it definitely seems to be a leash thing.
 

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Leash frustration. How is he with other dogs when off leash - still over the top or rather better?
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Leash frustration. How is he with other dogs when off leash - still over the top or rather better?
Definitely better - he still wants to run up and play with them. And if they're not into it he won't give up - he'll keep trying to play. That's why it's usually better if there's a dog park with multiple dogs since if it's just one dog, he has too much focus on that dog and if the dog's not into it, he doesn't know how to back off. We go to this really huge dog park that's an island - so has the illusion of off-leash since in Sweden off-leash isn't allowed anywhere. If he sees another dog on the opposite end of the island, he'll sprint at full speed toward them and then come to a stop about 2 meters from the other dog... then slowly approach and say hello. It's the initial excitement where he just wants to take off after any dog. Then he's sort of satisfied when he gets to say hi and sometimes just comes back again.
 

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It sounds as if he understands how to greet politely, and even how to take no for an answer, which is excellent. It also sounds as if the leash is getting in the way of him greeting in the only way he understands, so there is no way for him to release the first burst of enthusiasm and it escalates into overwhelming frustration, that can only be let out through bouncing and biting.

I still think meeting lots of bored and boring dogs is the answer - including a few who know how to tell him off firmly but kindly! Humans can do just so much when it comes to teaching polite greeting behaviour - dogs are much, much better at it. His puppy licence will be running out, and he is likely to experience some growls and even air snaps as older dogs teach him manners - no problem as long as it does not escalate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
It sounds as if he understands how to greet politely, and even how to take no for an answer, which is excellent. It also sounds as if the leash is getting in the way of him greeting in the only way he understands, so there is no way for him to release the first burst of enthusiasm and it escalates into overwhelming frustration, that can only be let out through bouncing and biting.

I still think meeting lots of bored and boring dogs is the answer - including a few who know how to tell him off firmly but kindly! Humans can do just so much when it comes to teaching polite greeting behaviour - dogs are much, much better at it. His puppy licence will be running out, and he is likely to experience some growls and even air snaps as older dogs teach him manners - no problem as long as it does not escalate.
Thanks for all your thoughts on this! It's given me a lot to think about and I really appreciate it! I will definitely try to let him sort things out with other dogs as much as possible. Hopefully eventually he'll learn to back off! In the meantime, I'll keep trying to redirect and distract while he's on a leash. I found a helpful article on frustration reactivity but it requires another dog to do the exercises (Frustrated On Leash? - Whole Dog Journal). I was thinking maybe I could just turn on a TV program with dogs since that also drives him nuts - he just has to see a dog on TV and he goes crazy barking and running behind the TV trying to find it. 😂 Or I guess try to go near a dog park where there are other dogs.
 

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It may well be that he likes the idea of playing with other dogs but that kind of response to seeing other dogs is not normal and still is provoking all kinds of bad neurological and hormonal responses that he is "learning" everytime he makes those responses. Learning promotes behaviors, bad as well as good. Once he sees a dog that he wants to access and go crazy then he is experiencing frustration and that is not a good emotional state. I think many people see frustration and its results (jumping, biting to get you to let go of the leash and pulling on leash) are behaviors that can be counter conditioned.

I doubt a TV program with dogs will help. He needs to see real dogs at distances that keep him under threshold with the key part of the work being staying under threshold. Are there many people who walk on leash dogs in your neighborhood? If yes, you sit in a chair outside your front door and watch them go by. Work on keeping your dog's attention and collected head and reward that. If you see that he is going to go over the top take him inside before he starts to go crazy. This is essentially what I did with the dog I described in my earlier post. She wasn't fearful at all, but had terrible social skills around other animals because she was developmentally deprived in her first year of life because she spent most of her time penned up in a run all by herself. A trainer who knows their stuff should be able to help with that counter conditioning based training.

No dog in the world should be allowed to run aimlessly for two hours. It just isn't necessary and it reinforces being out of control. I suspect if you spent ten minutes at a time 3-4 times per day doing impulse control activities with your dog you would be thrilled with the outcome. He will gain patience and will become more bonded to you than you can possibly believe is possible. I still do that kind of activity with my poodles and the result is two very high drive dogs that love to work with me but also have enough stimulus control to recognize that while I am lecturing to a human class or while I am teaching a novice obedience class to be able to lie down and go to sleep. As I type they are both sleeping within about ten feet from my desk.
 
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