"To be honest when we first walked in, people looked like they wanted to stay away from the scary German Shepherd anyway, what will they think when he is fully grown lol."
I would down play that so fast .
What can happen? You will be watched and you will be the one to blame in any encounter that goes wrong - even if the other dog provokes it .
I would have turned it around to - we are new here in this dog park where freedom is possible --- and still earned - so obedience in this environment first -- release is the reward .
I would do training , with play , not play with interspersed training. The dog will want to train for the reward.
the way you are doing it the training is a buzz kill .
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