Do you go out of your way to seek distracting training locations?
Yes! But as others have said, I don't train new
behaviors in highly distracting environments, we work on them a little bit at home first.
When you train at home, try using a different room each day. And don't just stand there, try sitting on the floor with your puppy, or in a chair. Have the puppy in front of you toe to toe, and also at your side in heel position. Work in the garage, if you have one, in the backyard, inside with the front door open, and then right outside the front door. If you live in a quiet neighborhood like I do, practice there first, and then move to a busy street corner with lots of traffic.
I also went to all three strip malls in town and worked outside the stores. I worked with Halo by the outdoor tables at Starbucks, I took her into the pet supply stores, outside the bowling alley, in front of the supermarket with the automatic doors opening and closing and people and carts going by.
I personally don't think you can take it too slowly at first, but you can definitely move too fast. Progress at the level that is working for you and your puppy - it's not always going to be the same for everyone. Dena was perfect indoors, but WAY too distracted to work on the sidewalk in front of the house the first time I tried it, so at the advice of our trainer, I added the interim step of inside with the front door open, and then right outside the front door, before we moved to the sidewalk.
Break things down as much as you need to. If your puppy is doing well at a particular level of distraction, it's time to up the ante a little and increase the challenge.