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Forgive me...this is long.

So, about a year and a half ago, a close friend bought a pure-breed Great Dane from a breeder. A few short weeks later, he was offered a job that moved him out of state and wasn't able to keep the dog. He knew I had wanted a dog for awhile and so I took over. He was about 3 months old I'd say at the time.

Fast forward to now. He's gotten quite large (as expected) and is hovering around 135 lbs. He's been neutered. Here's my issues though.

If I'm at home, I am able to get him to do basic commands like sit, lay down, shake, etc. I have a pretty large backyard so we spend a good hour or so playing outside after work. I hadn't really taken him out and about to parks, etc. We had dogs growing up but never really did parks, etc. Just local neighborhood walking and so I wasn't really aware of how much socialization a dog needs especially at the beginning. Now I'm paying the price.

He gets really excited when people come over and as he's gotten larger, I've noticed more and more the need for good obedience training. He doesn't jump on people (and thankfully never has) but he hops around people and it's pretty easy for him to bump into them. However, he hadn't been aggressive at any point and was more interested in playing with visitors. So, I enrolled him into obedience classes which started this past Monday.

I simply wasn't prepared for his first obedience class. He spent the entire hour pulling and jumping at the dogs within the class. It doesn't help that all of the dogs in his class are all small little puppies so I'm scared to death of him hurting them trying to play with them. I had treats with me but he simply was not interested in them whatsoever and literally spent the entire hour pulling. I have blisters and sores from the leash rubbing against my fingers so forcefully and often. However, his pulls were never accompanied with any sort of sounds.

Trainer suggested a prong collar so I wouldn't spend the whole class trying to restrain him. So, next day, I picked one up and decided to test it out by first having my roommate walk around the corner in the yard and then walking to a family member who lives a few blocks away and having her wait outside. He jumped the first time with the roommate but stopped and hesitated from that point on. Went to my sister's and he didn't pull during the walk (although I'm having the hardest time getting him to walk next to me instead of trying to walk in front of me) and was quite well behaved around a group of 5 or 6 kids that decided to run up while we were walking. So I felt like I had seen the light. I was mistaken.

Yesterday, I decided to take the plunge and walk him along one of the local trails. He tried to run towards every person that passed although still hesitated a bit at the end of the leash. However, any dog that passed, he jumped full force regardless of the prong collar and even growled (I had never even heard him growl until this happened) at the last 3 dogs. That was the point that I turned around and went home feeling frustrated and afraid that my dog would be relocated to being a private dog with only human interaction and even that is a bit offputting if he insists on running at people. I brought treats with me to the park (and even a different one in case he wasn't into the first treat) and he ignored them completely.

I was quite embarrassed at the first class and just have a feeling that next class is going to be another repeat with me walking away feeling frustrated and in pain. I really feel like I failed my dog by not doing obedience classes right off the bat. He's a great dog (doesn't every owner say that?) but can this be fixed? I'd never get rid of him and I want to be able to take him out and about without stress but is it too late?
 
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