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Hello :)

I wondered if anyone has any tips- I have a 9 month gsd who was perfect until he hit 5 months at which point he decided other dogs are far more interesting than me!

We’re working hard on recall to play/toys and recall games (he won’t take treats even when bored at home or if he hasn’t eaten for 2 days so foods out).
But he’s obsessed with other dogs and will constantly try and chase if they are running.

He’s on a long line and I never let him run upto/after other dogs but that doesn’t stop off lead dogs running right up to up at which point he flys to the end of his long line after them and is really distracted after trying to get to them. The exception to me letting him chase was last week when he was between my legs being attacked by a small dog and I refuse to restrain my dog to be attacked.

Is there anything I can do to stop the ‘chase’? Once he has started he can’t even hear me :/
He’s my first dog so I’ve probably made a lot of mistakes but I’m doing my best!

thanks :)
 

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I understand that this might sound sarcastic or rude, but I promise I mean this genuinely! Is there anywhere you can train with him where there aren't loose dogs? This is a super normal thing for an adolescent dog, but it's going to be incredibly difficult to work through this issue if he's constantly being (unintentionally) rewarded by play and interaction with loose dogs. And, as you've experienced, the risk of another dog being actively aggressive towards him is very real, and possibly physically dangerous - next time it might not be a small dog. He's still at a very impressionable age and negative encounters with other dogs could impact his behavior around them for life, so if you can at all find a way to avoid areas with roaming dogs, that'll be a huge improvement for multiple reasons.
 

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I understand that this might sound sarcastic or rude, but I promise I mean this genuinely! Is there anywhere you can train with him where there aren't loose dogs? This is a super normal thing for an adolescent dog, but it's going to be incredibly difficult to work through this issue if he's constantly being (unintentionally) rewarded by play and interaction with loose dogs. And, as you've experienced, the risk of another dog being actively aggressive towards him is very real, and possibly physically dangerous - next time it might not be a small dog. He's still at a very impressionable age and negative encounters with other dogs could impact his behavior around them for life, so if you can at all find a way to avoid areas with roaming dogs, that'll be a huge improvement for multiple reasons.
I’m doing my best to go to places without other dogs - the furthest end of the biggest open area we can find (usually the muddiest places no one else wants to go 😂) but now the weathers getting better more and more people seem to be out. I miss the rain when it was just me and him!
Unfortunately I live in a city (Manchester in the uk) and we already drive to get to the quietest places nearby.
I’m hoping when the pubs are open everyone disappears again!

If I can stay a decent distance away like today he will look at the other dog, turn to look at me, then we have a reward play.
I’m hoping just doing that over and over again will help and he eventually becomes less obsessed as he gets older. Feels like an impossible task at the moment though!
 

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Oof, that's rough. You might have luck looking for dog clubs in your area - there tends to be one or two in many big cities - because they'll often have private training areas (indoor and/or outdoor) members can use, so you'll have to pay for the privilege but everyone there will be more dog-savvy and follow basic ground rules like "don't let your dog run up and harass others". Alternatively, if they have a facebook group or other social media platform, asking there might get you tips about free public areas that are a little off the beaten path and less likely to be crowded or have off-leash dogs.
 

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DaySleeper is right. Generally dog training progresses when you can:

Teach the behavior in a quiet area with no distractions, such as in a room of your house without other pets or people around.

Once the behavior is solid as above, you move to a slightly more challenging environment such as a fenced yard when it's quiet all around.

Then you gradually increase the challenge of distraction little by little, either the nature of the distraction or the distance from it.

I know this must be particularly difficult for city dwellers once you get past the in house stage and must require real dedication. I'm fortunate to be a country girl, but even so I live next to a right-of-way dedicated as a horse trail which people also walk along with their dogs, so I have to keep an eye out and only train inexperienced dogs when no one's in sight. I also have a lot of rabbits that live in the bushes around my house and have take those into account. Everyone has to work around their own challenges.
 

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Like Daysleepers said, try to find a place where there aren't other dogs about, or where leash laws are enforced, at least. I remember right between 7 months to one year old recall was iffy at best. It's a part of raising a puppy, at that "teenage" age they forget everything they learned and don't find you as the center of their world anymore! Of course keep the dog on a long line as you're doing, but it also helped me to just not do so much recall work, and make any I did stupid easy for him. It helped me to remember that his baby brain (or lack thereof) probably just didn't have the capacity to process both the "interesting thing" and my command.

When I was pretty sure he probably wasn't going to respond to the recall, just don't. Reel him in instead. Anything remotely interesting I just didn't call him. If I needed him close, I reeled him in, no recall. If he ended up coming on his own I rewarded. Any recall I did do he was less than 20 ft from me, basically just trotting along, no sniffing. I threw an enormous party and fed him hotdogs. It probably looked so dumb, haha!

Only around 10 months to 1 year old did I start upping the difficulty again for him. He had started to demonstrate his brain was reforming in his skull. Not doing so much recall didn't poison the word for him or give him many opportunities to blow it off.
 
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