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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there. I have a 22-month old Hungarian Puli.

When I stop to talk to neighbours during walks, he will bark at them continuously. The same if I enter the pet store. Even if someone asks for directions from across the street, he will bark. When he's in the park and off his lead, he's fine with people, and doesn't bark at all.

I have taught him the speak/quiet commands. It works at home, but not out and about where he stops for a moment, and then just carries on barking. Taking him to the vets, going into a shop, having a drink at a pub/cafe, etc is a huge headache and socially awkward, and some may find his behaviour intimidating.

Does anyone have any advice as it's causing us quite a lot of stress? Many thanks.
 

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Dogs don't generalize well. So, if you've taught him speak/quiet commands at home, you have to also teach them/practice them in other places. You can't always just teach them something with success at home, and have it automatically transfer to other locations.

So, start by practicing the speak/quiet commands inside, then, move to an area that might have a few more distractions, like the garage, if you have one. In the garage, you can generally here a bit more of the outside noises than you can in the house. Then, try the commands in the back yard. Then, in the front. Then, practice in a parking lot, but a bit isolated, so you are not right next to other cars or people. Then, practice in a parking lot near others. Then, try a store, etc.

Basically, start with no distractions, and gradually start practicing with more distractions. It's hard for a dog to always focus and respond with lots of stuff they aren't used to.

You also might try a "look" or "watch me" command. That way, you aren't just asking for quiet, you're asking for his attention on you. You can also add a sit.

Lastly, not all dogs are social, for whatever reason, be it their past treatment (if you got him from a shelter and you're not their original owner), or just their temperament. I have a dog that is reactive. He is so much better. He used to bark and growl/lunge at people on walks. Now, he is fine with 95% of the people we pass, just has a problem with other dogs. With this dog, we could never take him to a dog park, or stay at a cafe if another dog he didn't know was there. Not only would it irritate others, but, it's also very, very stressful to him. Dogs have stress hormones, and staying in an area where he is stressed is a setback to him.

Of course, we continue working on it, but, for him, it's a problem that will never be gone, just managed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Many thanks for the response. I will definitely try that, although I do already teach him the speak/no speak command outside. It's just that when he's confronted by someone, he's totally distracted by that individual, and although I can get him to be quiet, it's only for a second or two. Keeping him quiet is the tough part. He's not an unsociable dog at all; he loves people, and he loves company... just not from strangers.

Does anyone else have any advice that may be of assistance?
 
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