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Hi everyone!

I hope we have a trainer in here that can give me some tips. My beautiful baby boy Cooper is almost 5 moths. The biggest struggle i am having at the moment is during our walks, when we walk alone in an empty area, we don't have any issues, he doesn't even pull on the leash. BUT, the moment he sees any other human or dog, he goes crazy pulling on the leash trying to get to that person. He becomes so desperate for attention that he starts whining and barking. If I was someone else, i would think he's aggressive (some people do think this and give us a face) but he's just a baby that wants to play with others. Regardless it is something i need to get in control of now because he's already becoming pretty strong and will soon be able to drag me!

He gets a good amount of exercise and play time, not counting our walks.

HELP!!!!!!
 

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I am not a trainer, but here's what I did with one of my Goldens who would get overly excited to greet new people. As new people approached, I would have her sit since she knew that command. If she started to bark or whine or do something else to try and get the person's attention, I would tell her, "no," and then remove her from the situation by turning and walking away a very short distance. We would then return to the person and if she didn't display (even if it was just momentarily) any of the negative behaviors I would praise and treat her. I would also say her name and reward her for looking at me while she interacted with other people because I always wanted her attention primarily focused on me so that I was in control of the situation/interaction. This took a lot of time, patience, and repetition, but now when she sees people she either sits or stands (depending on my cue) and waits patiently (and hopefully) to see if the person approaching us will stop and say hi or even better give her a chin scratch.
 

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GoldenDude has a great strategy.

I would start to train a "look" or "focus" command. I would also find his "threshold of excitement".

Typically, you would have both a controlled environment and a non controlled environment. If you can, have a friend, coworker, petsmart employee, etc, know what you're doing. In this "controlled environment", you're going to identify the threshold and work on letting the dog know that the only way to greet the person is by walking slowly and calmly toward them. So find the distance where he barks and whines slowly work to decrease the distance. If he starts to pull, you can either turn around or stop and when his excitement has died down, then start the approach again. Slowly, he will begin to understand that his reward "moving forward" will only occur if he isn't pulling or whining.

Secondly, say you're just walking around and you aren't in a controlled environment, you obviously won't have someone who either won't reward him by approaching him when he's enjoying himself, or will walk away from him and make it hard to train a slow approach. In this case, I would apply your focus, or sit, or whatever command until he is reliable. Use your focus until the person or dog is out of site and reward if he is focused or sitting once the distraction has passed by.

Application of both of these will help him understand, that no matter what the reward is (food for focusing or sitting, or greeting the person or dog for a slow, calm approach), he will only get it by being patient and waiting. Puppies have notoriously low impulse control, so teaching alternatives to the excitable behavior (like sit :) ), will make your walks more enjoyable.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you everyone! I will try these methods starting today. He knows the basic commands such as look at me, sit, down, etc so hopefully it'll come in handy! :)
 

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All of the trainers I have used, encourage the proper use of a pinch collar. When used properly these training collars work wonders, especially on dogs that pull on heel! Many disagree with this training tool, but over the years I have found they work very well. Most who disagree have never been trained on using these collars. Do your own research and talk to trainers who use them....then decide!
 

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All of the trainers I have used, encourage the proper use of a pinch collar. When used properly these training collars work wonders, especially on dogs that pull on heel! Many disagree with this training tool, but over the years I have found they work very well. Most who disagree have never been trained on using these collars. Do your own research and talk to trainers who use them....then decide!
I endorse this comment. This is how my pup was trained to walk nice. I recommend the Herm Sprenger brand. The idea is to wean off of the prong after it is has been made clear how to behave while on leash. A properly fitted pinch/prong does not hurt a dog it only gets their attention and gives the handler the opportunity to communicate what is and isn't acceptable while the dog is paying attention. The issue most people deal with is high levels of distraction and reactivity which doesn't allow for communication as the dog has already checked out by that point.
 

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Kate
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I would NOT put a prong on a puppy! Especially in non-training situations.

Personally speaking - I would just walk my dog earlier in the morning or later in the evening so we don't encounter anyone. As your dog gets used to walks being walks being walks being walks + grows up a little, you'll see the behaviors going away.
 

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All of the trainers I have used, encourage the proper use of a pinch collar. When used properly these training collars work wonders, especially on dogs that pull on heel! Many disagree with this training tool, but over the years I have found they work very well. Most who disagree have never been trained on using these collars. Do your own research and talk to trainers who use them....then decide!
No pinch collars on puppies unless they are strong enough to pull away from you or pull you over. It's not fair to correct them if they don't know what the correct behavior is! I suggest searching for an obedience club in your area and get the puppy into classes. Teach him the behavior you want, then correct for disobeying.
 

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I would NOT put a prong on a puppy! Especially in non-training situations.

Personally speaking - I would just walk my dog earlier in the morning or later in the evening so we don't encounter anyone. As your dog gets used to walks being walks being walks being walks + grows up a little, you'll see the behaviors going away.
Agreed! The only time I would recommend one for a puppy is when safety is an issue. Huge overly energetic puppy with very small or elderly person.
 

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No pinch collars on puppies unless they are strong enough to pull away from you or pull you over. It's not fair to correct them if they don't know what the correct behavior is! I suggest searching for an obedience club in your area and get the puppy into classes. Teach him the behavior you want, then correct for disobeying.
I should have stated in my comment that when I said pup I was being general with referring to dog. I think we were at 6+ months old when we started with the prong. I wouldn't put a prong on a young puppy either but a Golden at 6 months old in my opinion can handle it. I am not pushing my opinion so if anyone doesn't feel comfortable with it then I wouldn't use it. I only felt comfortable after I was introduced to it by the dog trainer we worked with. I like many had a negative view of prong collars until I was educated on the proper use of them.
 

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Biggest reasons why prongs have a negative impression in general is because of people putting them on pups AND without the context of training.

Would not put one on a dog younger than 12 months. PERIOD.

And I am a dog trainer and spend a lot of my time in classes.

I feel that corrective harnesses (the kind that bind the legs) and nose straps (pressure on the most painful region of a dog's head) are worse than prongs - but even prongs are NOTHING to be put in the hands of just anyone for sloppy strap on and yank work on their own outside of classes!!!!! That's where injuries occur. And in a number of cases, the dogs just develop pain tolerance against prongs and keep pulling even as the metal teeth dig into their necks!

Furthermore, a lot of people who claim prongs work to train the dogs - ask them to put a buckle collar on their dogs and walk them into a crowded room. You find out how well those prongs work for "training" the dog in those cases. As in, they DON'T. They just are painful for the dogs to pull on, so the dogs learn not to pull while wearing them.

The reason why prongs work is they replicate the motion and pain of a dominant dog biting another dog's neck and pinning him until he submits. As soon as the other dog submits, pressure is relieved. Back in the 90's, the use of prongs was reserved for very dominant dogs and designed to get them to submit to their alpha owners.

Gradually, the owners of german shepherds switched to other breeds and brought the tools with them. This means putting those prongs on breeds like golden retrievers across the board with the advertisement that it's gentler than choke chains because instead of a pop correction, the trainer was just squeezing a finger to correct the dog.

[ Keep in mind most dogs trained for competition obedience with a choke chain today never are pop corrected. Instead the sound of the chain is paired with treat rewards. So the jingle of the chain is a positive correction that never makes contact with the dog's neck. <= Should add, my pup is 8 months old and still is trained for competition level obedience either off leash or just with a buckle collar in our classes. Conformation shows - the use of choke chains is different - with the chains locked tight high on the dogs necks for better control. ]

As the use of prongs slipped further into obedience circles, we all began to see the abuse of the tool with people injuring their dogs necks OR destroying any benefits the prong had by overuse and heavy handed use. This means people who had switched to a prong in obedience training for more control or instant responses to corrections are now switching to electric collars and zapping their dogs to get the same results.

As all this was happening in the competition world - the SAME stuff was ending up in the hands of pet owners who attend only 6 to 12 weeks of classes tops in their dog's life. This is the same crowd who were KILLING their dogs by putting choke chains on backwards and putting dogs out on a tie out (dogs would get tangled outside with the chain tight around their necks and either suffer severe injuries to their necks or they strangled).

Bottom line - Public forums are NOT the appropriate place to recommend tools which can be damaging or harmful for the dogs - if purchased and used by people without training. People need to take their dogs to classes and learn to train with the least tools first and least amount of corrections and pressure first.
 

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Mine does the same he is just so excited to see and meet everyone. The easy walk harness allows me (110 lbs) to walk and control him (70 lbs). I bring treats that I only use on walks to distract a bit and get him to sit as we watch the people/stroller/dogs etc walk by. I’m an anchor in his storm! He does not need to go up and “say hi” to every living being in order to have positive exposure. Many folks want to come and pet him but I say he is in training (some don’t care because of the golden cuteness however!) I’ve had many dogs but none so exuberant as this golden!! So much better than the alternative though!! :)
 

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Some of these free videos by Zac George could be of help..FREE and you can FF through the adverts.
I was honestly at a loss with my Golden Puppy, She was tougher than any of the 8 others that I raised in over b25 yrs.
Hope they help.
.There are tons more. ALL FREE!

 

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After one experience after another on these forums with getting flamed at for my opinion or taking a stance for defending my dog from aggressive dogs and being told I was wrong for what I did I have decided that I am going to show myself the door and leave the forum. I would encourage everyone going forward to try and be open minded and share your ideas in a positive productive way. I am as much human as everyone else on here so any information I come with is not my own but a collective experience of everyone I have spoken with and learned from so if I over reacted in my response to a training technique you had it is more due to my lack of information or an unwillingness to consider another method that in the right hands can be effective. Dog stewardship can be a black hole for relationships due to some people being heavy handed with their opinions and how they communicate them. Best of luck with your dogs and I hope you have positive experiences going forward on this forum and in life.
 

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Sunny's dad - it's not personal. I had no comments about your personal case in using a tool.

The comment was not on you or your dog or anyone specifically. I'm not a teenager with excess time on my hands (LOL). I don't have the time or energy to either focus on or go after people personally, even if it were permitted on this forum (which Thank God it isn't!!!!).

My comment was general information on a tool that I see abused by too many people. People need to understand why tools work and how they work - before using any of them. Generally speaking, progressive escalation of tools with people picking up more and more aversive tools to independently patch fix a continuing problem is alarming, especially with soft biddable breeds.
 

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Anytime I bring up the proper use of a pinch collar, I know I going to get a lot of comments about why people should not use pinch collars. Yet as I already stated, the trainers that I have used over the last 30+ years, required that we use pinch collars! This includes obedience trainers! As I read though the 'don't use' comments it is apparent to me that many who comment have never used a pinch collar and/or never worked with a trainer that recommends these collars. My primary trainers have dedicated their lives to field training retrievers, it is all they do! The other trainers I work with offer Obedience Classes for dogs 16wks and older. Also, I have never posted about pinch collars without repeatedly, talking about "proper use" and/or training required.

The other side of the coin...I live in a large safe neighborhood where people walk their dogs, all the time. MANY of them have no idea how to control the dogs on lead. Both the people and their dogs are at risk, when I talk with some of them I recommend they talk with the Obedience trainer I know who uses pinch collars. I see so many poorly trained or untrained dogs on walks. Dogs that are not under control are at risk, learning to properly use a pinch collar is not a long process that takes lots of work and repetition.

Obviously, as already stated, I would never use them on a 'Puppy'. Of course everyone has a different definition of puppy! And yes, I recognize that their are other ways to train a dog to heel.

I do respect other opinions, and their are a few brave souls that will agree with this training tool! Maybe we can switch the discussion to e collars...
 

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Pinch collars work when fit properly and used correctly. They are not something I would recommend without the guidance of a trainer. I used one under the instruction of our hunt/field trainer with Moe. He is still a much better dog off leash then on. I've done everything, but he does not like having a line of any kind attached to him. I recently took him to an advanced obedience class at an AKC club here and after class one day showed the instructor the difference on leash vs. off, she was even shocked. He's earned his CGC and is very capable of a nice heel, it just isn't his preference to do it on a leash. The unfortunate part is that no matter how well behaved he is off lead he has to behave on one as well.

I think 5 months is a little young. I'm wondering how much real exercise your puppy gets? Not walking but being able to really run and burn off some energy. I think I would have a little training session in mind that I would step to the side and do with him while the people passed by. I would keep some high value treats just for times like that. The best advice a trainer has ever given me was "to make myself the most exciting thing in the dogs world".

I always think of pinch collars as being used by hunt/field trainers, but I was surprised to find out that in the class before Moe's they were using them in beginner obedience on many different breeds and sizes of dogs at my local AKC training club. They even had them there for purchase. The instructor was fitting each dog and did make the owners remove them when leaving the ring.

There are some topics I've learned to avoid on this forum. I swear I'll never discuss dog food again and I will not discuss e-collars.......
 

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I should have stated in my comment that when I said pup I was being general with referring to dog. I think we were at 6+ months old when we started with the prong. I wouldn't put a prong on a young puppy either but a Golden at 6 months old in my opinion can handle it. I am not pushing my opinion so if anyone doesn't feel comfortable with it then I wouldn't use it. I only felt comfortable after I was introduced to it by the dog trainer we worked with. I like many had a negative view of prong collars until I was educated on the proper use of them.
I have no problem with pinch collars. When the handler is taught how to use them appropriately, they are great tools. We call them “power steering”. In my class, I don’t allow puppies who are learning for the first time to use them. If the 6 month old or older dog is behaving like a jerk, then I’ll talk over options with the owner. Let them decide what they are comfortable with. I never recommend harnesses or head collars. I don’t like constricting a dogs movement. I want them to learn how to do things with full range of motion.
 
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