okay here we go .
his past is his ancestry , his early primary socialization where the breeder and family represent "people", then the environment and experience that you provide.
some things can change , some things can not .
you did not say (or did you) how old this dog is - 90 pounds sounds hefty -
that can be from being food-indulged or calorie high , nutrient low starchy grainy filler food
how does this happen?
quote "follow them but he will never get too close and if they turn around to say hello he will run back behind me"\
is the dog off lead?
and quote "carry treats with me when we go for walks and have people give him treats"
suggestion --- we all feel the most secure when we know what is expected of us and knowing what to expect , finiding
a setting for what is normal and adapting to this
to the first point --- the dog is allowed to be too focused on others in the environment - he sits and watches them, he is somehow allowed to go forward and follow them . He should be focused and connect to YOU , the leader .
Train the dog.
Train all the basic akc/ckc companion dog exercises -
heel , walk with manners consistently in the space - traditionally left side , not ahead , not behind , close but not interfering
this is not a precision drill -- good manners , knowing how and where to be , reliablity from dog and from you.
You have to be consistent . Knowing what to expect and knowing how to help yourself to get approval is the basis
sit -- ask once , and guide into position if dog does not sit. When you stop it is nice to have the dog sit and mind his own business. His mind is connected to you. Stop and sit intersections with lights .
down - another static exercise - self explanatory . Down is not OFF . Both down and sit should be held until released or further instructed.
use the environment to your advantage for training .
like car2ner who used an outdoor eating area and had the dog plunk down --- do the same , after a training session which had lots of the moving exercises - shift to the static - in this case the DOWN -
grab a coffee , and find a bench and sit and enjoy -- the dog will be asked to lplunk himself down and relax .
he can watch the world go by . if he leaves position , then you correct him an put him into a down again.
start off in an area where there is not heavy traffic with joggers or dog walkers , and don't have a dog walker bring his dog into your dogs zone to go visit . If they start to approach -- often accompanied (lol) by the person talking to the dog - not you - the dog . Just tell them , no , please don't. And control your dog showing your dog that you are reliable and trustworthy by being consistent.
Most important --- the RECALL - come to me . The dog should be able to be recalled no matter what .
Heeling and recalls can have a lot of fun put into them because you are moving .
I have done a class of young dogs taught recall with a square dance configuration --
Dog can recall from any position, front , either side , and behind --- recall being a position where the dog positions himself in front , focused , and available for next instruction.
when the trainer is relaxed and has fun the dog looks forward to class and responds with pleasure
most classes still have the put your dog into a stay , walk away and face the dog -- and then the guy takes a gun fighter stance , arms crossed and glowering - staring at the dog , daring him to move. --- and often the dog does
because he becomes anxious with the pressure
to point two - where people are treat dispensers -- oh no they are not !
stop lying to the dog.
show the dog normal.
there shouldn't be any need to interact with other people . You can't orchestrate a predictable "stranger"
reaction -- mostly and ideally people shouldn't care if you are there with the dog -- neutral
there is no need to go play with other dogs ---
the dog should mind his own business , be responsive to you
dog parks are opportunities for drama -- if you want the dog to enjoy inter-dog play time , then do so
with an owner and dog that you know "friends"
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