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My puppy is 5 and a half months old.

Initially when going on walks I trained him to learn the "stop" command.

During a walk when I say "Stop", he is to stop walking immediately. I used this whenever we were about to cross the road or there was any other reason we had to stop immediately. Eventually he learned this.

At home, when he hears noise outside in the elevator lobby (neighbours, or maintenance persons etc) he barks - When I say "stop" he stops barking immediately, even though I did not specifically train him for this. Likewise he responds to stop for some other activities as well.

I am looking for suggestions on how to improve this command for situations where he is extremely excited. I was training him not to bark at other dogs and sit quietly during walks when they pass, this works at a distance of about 20feet I guess, but if the dog stops or heads towards us, there is a greater chance he may get excited. There are also some human friends where he gets very excited at the prospect of meeting them that he doesn't seem to obey other commands (sit etc), or if I say "sit" he may "down" instead, because on previous occasions where I let persons meet him I put him in a "down" position instead.

Thought I would ask people if this is ok, or I should use separate commands, or it makes sense to generalise "stop" this way.
 

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I think the thing to keep in mind here is early on in your training - never issue a command unless you can enforce it. If you don't follow that, the dog learns that "commands" are optional...and fixing that later is much more difficult than adhering to that rule initially.

I also taught my dog a "stop" command. For me and her, it means stop forward motion. It sounds like you might be using it for that "and other things", like to stop barking. Here you risk confusing the dog, using "stop" the way some people use "no".

I think (for whatever that's worth LOL) it's better to keep the meaning simple and clear. "Stop" means cease forward motion. "Enough" or something similar means stop barking. "Leave it" means come away from whatever you're looking at at the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think the thing to keep in mind here is early on in your training - never issue a command unless you can enforce it. If you don't follow that, the dog learns that "commands" are optional...and fixing that later is much more difficult than adhering to that rule initially.

I also taught my dog a "stop" command. For me and her, it means stop forward motion. It sounds like you might be using it for that "and other things", like to stop barking. Here you risk confusing the dog, using "stop" the way some people use "no".

I think (for whatever that's worth LOL) it's better to keep the meaning simple and clear. "Stop" means cease forward motion. "Enough" or something similar means stop barking. "Leave it" means come away from whatever you're looking at at the time.
Thank you, that makes sense 👍
 

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My puppy is 5 and a half months old.

Initially when going on walks I trained him to learn the "stop" command.

During a walk when I say "Stop", he is to stop walking immediately. I used this whenever we were about to cross the road or there was any other reason we had to stop immediately. Eventually he learned this.

At home, when he hears noise outside in the elevator lobby (neighbours, or maintenance persons etc) he barks - When I say "stop" he stops barking immediately, even though I did not specifically train him for this. Likewise he responds to stop for some other activities as well.

I am looking for suggestions on how to improve this command for situations where he is extremely excited. I was training him not to bark at other dogs and sit quietly during walks when they pass, this works at a distance of about 20feet I guess, but if the dog stops or heads towards us, there is a greater chance he may get excited. There are also some human friends where he gets very excited at the prospect of meeting them that he doesn't seem to obey other commands (sit etc), or if I say "sit" he may "down" instead, because on previous occasions where I let persons meet him I put him in a "down" position instead.

Thought I would ask people if this is ok, or I should use separate commands, or it makes sense to generalise "stop" this way.
You're really doing a great job communicating with your dog at 5 months. I wouldn't focus too much on when they're over stimulated, instead I would try to avoid and manage situations in where they get overly stimulated. Keep doing what you're doing with the stop command every day.
Another thing I would do to improve the stop command, is when you say stop, call their name, and toss them a treat to catch everytime.
This will reinforce the stop command further and make it stronger.
As your dog ages, you'll start to learn more about it's temperament and find out whether or not your dog will need corrections in those situations where they are overly excited.
Depending on what the situation is, if that high value distraction or thing that is exciting your dog is approachable. I would use it as a reward and give your dog commands such as down-stay, sit, or quiet. Then reward them by giving them access to the high value distraction, thing, or whatever is overly excitable to the dog.
For some dogs, especially many high energy working dogs, you may need to apply appropriate and timed corrections to mitigate these behaviors eventually permanently modify them. When it comes to training that will require proper aversives in some rare scenarios, I wouldn't attempt these on your own and would seek professional help.
 
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