4 month old way too reactive to dogs
Our 17 week old male GSD is very reactive to other dogs. He seems to be insecure around them. Until he had all his shots he only got to meet family and neighbor dogs, as well as our two other dogs (of course). He never had bad experiences with our dogs or other dogs. Our older GSD has reprimanded him for being a brat, but she has never hurt him. When he had his shots we started going to puppy play time at Petco. He avoids the bigger puppies and is even a little insecure around some of the dogs his own size. None of the other pups bug him too much when he wants to be left alone and after a while he comes out of his shell and plays with a couple other GSD pups that are his size. Occasionally he will play with a couple that are bigger.
We also started puppy class (not at petco) 2 weeks ago. He initially has the very deep insecure bark when we first get there which turns into the higher pitched "I want to play" bark. After a while he calms down and has excellent focus. He is also very reactive to other dogs on walks. He goes nuts! He uses the very deep and insecure bark. We don't have a lot of dog traffic in our area, so today I drove to a more populated area where there are lots of people walking their dogs. Again, very reactive to every dog. I have been distracting him and every time he looks at me and not the dog, I mark it with a "yes" and treat. Is this the right thing to do? Should I be using any correction at this point, or all positive?
I love this dog. He is solid around people and kids. I take him to the nursing home where I work and he happily goes up to everyone in wheelchairs (even electric) and puts his head in their laps for a good petting. He is very smart and the easiest dog I have ever potty trained. We have also started Schutzhund training with a club and his breeder, which he does well at so far. It is just that he is very reactive and insecure around strange dogs.
Any suggestions? Am I right to take him as many places as I can where he will see dogs? How can I make him more confident? I don't want a full grown 85 lb dog that reacts this way.
Thanks in advance.
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