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Finnley is a rather well behaved seven month old husky/shepherd/possibly lab mix. He knows the basic commands, a few tricks, and is doing well on his loose leash training. When people pass by on our walks, with or without dogs (dogs that are older and desensitized to running up to people with innate fascination), he would pay mind to my requests. I would get him to sit, stay, and watch me. He does this well, and gets rewarded, however, when it comes to younger dogs that are not as behaved, he begins to tries to play with them. He appears oblivious to the routine even when I command it, and will do anything to get to them. This behavior only intensifies when the dogs are unleashed and approach him. I have looked up ways to get him to calm down around other dogs and people, but I haven't been able to find information on how to maintain Finn when the dogs are not being maintained. I was thinking of attempting to "desensitize" the thrill of other dogs, while still keeping his love for dogs and people, by taking him to the local store and sitting outside, but I am hesitant because I felt like it would be overwhelming to his senses. Is there any advice on how I can get a handle on him? Would it be safe for him to meet people by sitting outside the store?
 

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Three suggestions:
1. Do the desensitize training. If you are concerned about overwhelming him, then go at times when there aren't as many people.
2. Look up Premack Principle - Teach him to Sit when he sees an off leash dog, then as a reward let him play. Slowly increase the time of Sitting, but 30 - 60 seconds is all that is reasonable at this age.... and be sure to let him play, if he Sits.... Watch him, b/c he'll try to cheat :)
3. Find him a playmate with the same energy level and let them play once a week to burn up some of that energy. You might also use this playmate as part of the Premack Principle training.
 
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