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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Here's the story :

Loki, 5 months now .. LOVES people and dogs. He gets so excited about new friends ... that when we are out on the trail he will do anything to meet them. This is a problem that I am stuck on how to solve.

I have read through the stickies on greeting and be a tree; I have tried all of these things, but I think my problem lies with the attention. Once he notices someone or another dog he will NOT pay attention to me ... no matter what - I use his favorite treat, sit stay commands, toys - no matter he is in mode and will not listen. And of course once I have him settled the stranger just thinks hes so darn cute to pet him even when hes jumping and I ask them to leave him be.

Could it be me? I get tense thinking about it - I know he wouldn't be aggressive, but I don't want to be "that girl with the wily dog" on the trails.

Here's my routine : when I notice someone coming, I pull him over to the side of the trail and begin sit stays - so I am what hes focused on - once he notices the other he immediately stops listening goes from level 1 calm to level 5 excited (focused, ears up, tail wagging pulling) - I pull him back and fervently try to get him calm again, to no avail. After he goes nuts trying to greet and they have passed I wait until he is calm, treat and move on ... repeat.

I am sure most of it is puppyiness - but I don't want him to become a 90lb dog who thinks its ok to jump and freak out at new friends because I never know what they will be like .

Any suggestions?

Oh and its really only when we are out - people who come to the door he is excited to see but just paces around with a toy in his mouth wagging his tail.
 

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One thing you can try is staying under his threshold. This means, if he is at a 5, not focused, not responding, he's too close to the dog/person triggering his reaction. And, when he's at that point, he's not really going to learn anything. So, instead of just pulling over to the side of the trail, you may have to move farther away from the other dog/person.

You'll have to experiment to see what his threshold distance is; basically, it's whatever distance he can be calm and respond to you at. Do you use treats to try to get his attention? I know from experience, though, if you are under the threshold (too close), even treats don't work.

As for other people petting him when you finally get him calm, you can position yourself so you are in between them and your dog, and tell them before they get close enough that you are in training, and you'd appreciate them not petting your dog. If you are in between them and your dog, it can be hard for them to pet him.
Besides, if you are in between them and your dog, it puts at least a little bit of a barrier between the trigger and your dog. :)
 

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I had to use a traffic light system with Bernie (working line GSD, very high drives). He would only work for me in the green zone, if he got to amber, i lost control. Red, forget it! At 4yrs, he will work in green and amber, and if i have his prized item, he'll come out of red also. But this took years.

So work out where his thresholds are, and keep him in green safe zone by adding distance between him and the stimulus. Then work on closing that distance, whilst still keeping him in green zone.
so for quite short periods of time initially.
keeping still when you have ants in your pants, is very hard for a dog, so use motion, and have him about turn the minute he acts up. When calm, turn around and walk toward stimulus, again, once he's in amber, about turn. Try to enlist a friend with dog for a couple of sessions of this. The aim is, to teach your dog it must remain in green zone, or you dont walk toward stimulus but go opposite direction. He has to learn how to drive you toward his target, the other dog! He will learn that certain behaviour = rewarding meet n greet, anything else, and his reward is witheld.
 

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Really work at solidifying commands at other times, too. I know it seems like a waste to constantly go over commands he knows in situations he's fine in, but it does help. Age will probably help, too. Puppies are, well, puppies.
 

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Go with the flow...and stay in control.
A 5 month old puppy can learn a lot of social skills by meeting strangers.
Stopping him from encoutering strangers is not good..Teaching him How to Meet and Greet Strangers Properly works a lot better.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I most certainly want him to meet strangers, 100% Its just HOW he meets - I would try and stay away further ... and usually I do, but most of the time I would end up in the marsh! I will try standing between them until he is calm .. hopefully more people will be willing to help out ... I think its because hes so big and lunging can be daunting I'm sure. I have a puppy play sunday that I will be working with him on it all. Could it be because of the leash and he limited to what he can do?
 
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