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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 11 week old standard thinks everyone is in love with him and of course they want to pet him. He rushes up to them and jumps on them so they can shower him with affection. He pulls on the leash so bad he makes choking sounds. He is pretty good on the leash when we are in our yard and there are no distractions, but the pulling and rushing when we are out and about is awful. How do I manage this? I am working on having him sit, but I have to hold him in place and he gets very unhappy about that. Plus it seems basically ineffective.
 

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My mini was like this as a puppy. It was really hard to get him to the point where we could even walk semi-normally. I would recommend a harness so he doesn't hurt himself jerking his neck, and also a short leash so that he won't be able to run and lunge so much. A 3-4 ft lead is good to prevent shenanigans. Other than that, it is just a lot of repetition. He will get better and better as the outside becomes less overstimulating.
 

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You are expecting a lot of pretty developed behavior from a neurological toddler. In other words very high expectations for a baby dog. Tkae things a bit more slowly. Train a calm sit in various rooms of your house then various parts of your yard. After that go to all of the locations and add in some duration for the sit. After that go to all of the locations and add some distractions. Once you have a solid sit with duration and distractions then set up greeting opportunities by having a friend or family member show up with treats on their person and work on greetings where the other person gives treats for holding sits. I know everyone thinks poodles are geniuses/prodigies but they don't come hard wired to do the things you are expecting to be learned all at once.

There are a couple of aspects of learning that we have to remember. Dogs aren't good at generalizing which is why you teach everything in different places and do many repeats over time. Incorrect executions will start an incorrect learning pathway so you can't expect to have a pup do something 7 out of ten times and think they know what they are doing. One trainer author I follow fairly closely (Brenda Aloff) says you need a dog to do 6000 reps with no mistakes and under many different conditions to think that behavior is truly understood by the dog.
 

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Will you be attending a puppy class? I find that being around likeminded humans (i.e. people who won’t reward leaping and lunging) is very helpful for laying a good foundation. Can’t count how many people we encountered with puppy Peggy who said “Oh I don’t mind if she jumps!!” while showering her with affection. Urrrrggghh.

My primary concern at such a young age is rewarding the good stuff and (for the most part) ignoring or redirecting the rest. You just want to ensure your puppy isn’t being repeatedly (even inadvertently) rewarded for undesirable behaviour.

You also want to ensure he’s not being set up to fail. If he’s getting choked every time he sees a strange human, that’s not a great association.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Will you be attending a puppy class? I find that being around likeminded humans (i.e. people who won’t reward leaping and lunging) is very helpful for laying a good foundation. Can’t count how many people we encountered with puppy Peggy who said “Oh I don’t mind if she jumps!!” while showering her with affection. Urrrrggghh.

My primary concern at such a young age is rewarding the good stuff and (for the most part) ignoring or redirecting the rest. You just want to ensure your puppy isn’t being repeatedly (even inadvertently) rewarded for undesirable behaviour.

You also want to ensure he’s not being set up to fail. If he’s getting choked every time he sees a strange human, that’s not a great association.
All the puppy classes are cancelled due to COVID.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Depending on the rules in your region, you may still have some options, especially outdoors. It’s worth calling around and getting on a waitlist.
The closest place is 2 hours away. There are several 90 minutes away but they are all on-line now. I’ve been looking since before we got our puppy. It’s so discouraging.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The closest place is 2 hours away. There are several 90 minutes away but they are all on-line now. I’ve been looking since before we got our puppy. It’s so discouraging.
And the 2 hour away one is closed but they show the most hope of reopening.
 

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Don’t ask for a sit if you know he basically fails at that.

Try this. Get puppy tired. Go sit on a bench where you will be able to see people walk from a distance, but not close enough they might be tempted to come over to pet the puppy. He gets treats for looking at the people without freaking out. If you’re not successful, move further away from where they’re walking. The timing of the marker (click if you’re using) is of utmost importance so you don’t miss the good “look only, no freak out” behavior. I found “yes” easier to use for these sessions since my hands were full trying to curb the freak out. This is something we’ve been working on for about 6 months now (but for dogs not people) and have had major progress but still not 100%! Keep up with consistency, and yes, don’t ask too much from the baby.

In emergency situations when pup is pulling at the leash and someone is coming, immediately change directions and tell them “sorry! He can’t meet people when he’s acting like this!” over your shoulder! No rewards for bad leash behavior. I also find that controlled “training” leash walks go better if puppy starts out tired, so free run before leash walk.


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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Don’t ask for a sit if you know he basically fails at that.

Try this. Get puppy tired. Go sit on a bench where you will be able to see people walk from a distance, but not close enough they might be tempted to come over to pet the puppy. He gets treats for looking at the people without freaking out. If you’re not successful, move further away from where they’re walking. The timing of the marker (click if you’re using) is of utmost importance so you don’t miss the good “look only, no freak out” behavior. I found “yes” easier to use for these sessions since my hands were full trying to curb the freak out. This is something we’ve been working on for about 6 months now (but for dogs not people) and have had major progress but still not 100%! Keep up with consistency, and yes, don’t ask too much from the baby.

In emergency situations when pup is pulling at the leash and someone is coming, immediately change directions and tell them “sorry! He can’t meet people when he’s acting like this!” over your shoulder! No rewards for bad leash behavior. I also find that controlled “training” leash walks go better if puppy starts out tired, so free run before leash walk.


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Definitely going to try this. Thanks for your help!
 
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