Older, very excited dog
Hi, I'm brand new to the forum. I've read through the thread, but am going to write out my story in case anyone has specific insight.
I adopted a 4-year old (neutered a couple of months ago) male GSD about a month ago. He's very lovable, and loves everyone -- people, cats, birds, squirrels, rabbits. He's okay in the dog park. We just started formal training classes.
My problem: when we are walking on leash, and see a dog (and often people), he'll just explode. Even at a distance. It is friendly -- the tail is wagging, and it's been a good result on the rare occasions we actually get to the other dog (and he's made a couple of through-the-fence friends), but he will literally pull me (a pretty big guy) in circles and barks loudly and repeatedly. I'm completely absorbed in trying to get in front of him, getting him to sit. Treats are of no interest.
No idea if important, but I've wondered if he didn't spend a long time chained in a yard. I've seen chained dogs act similarly.
My question: are there techniques/ideas to deal with this, or is this just something that has to be ground out one walk at a time? I'm thinking of taking him into places that have higher volumes of dogs and people, just to accelerate the process. Sensible or crazy?