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So puppy is 16 weeks old and training is going well. He has been to town to be exposed to other people and dogs, but we live in the middle of the forest so most of the time we go for walks without meeting anyone. For the first time today we first met two lads with a big gsd they lay down on top of to keep calm, very considerate! Then a minute later we met a couple. It did not go great and I'm wondering what I should have done differently, what I should do next time and what sort of training I should do to improve puppy's confidence in this type of scenario.

In short we noticed the two lads with their dog about 100 m out. We were practicing walking at a loose heel. Click and treat at my ankles every few steps. He is better in our yard, but out and about all the strange smells distract him so I try to make it easier. When he noticed the dog he froze. I decided it was best to just stay relaxed and keep doing what we were doing, maybe I should have turned or gone off piste to create distance? He got more and more scared as we got closer. Refusing to follow me despite having chicken to treat him with. Woofed twice when we got right up close. Took bloody ages to get passed them! When we were right next to them he scampered behind me clearly terrified. Then straight afterwards another couple came passed us. This was quick, but he was scared again. Really regretting pushing him to be do uncomfortable. Advice much appreciated!
 

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I would just keep on walking and remain calm,attempting to keep some distance from the people that (to your dog)obviously don't belong on your walking path:)Don't treat him when he's nervous,it just reinforces his reactivity.Just keep on going and don't stop and dwell on the situation.Please don't stop and encourage people to touch him or interact!That can backfire on you and reinforce his fear.Your puppy will soon see that he's safe with you and nothing bad will happen to him no matter what is around the next bend.
 

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My pup would get excited around other people and dogs. It took a few sessions, but what I did was put her in a close to me heel and just kept walking and I wouldn't say anything to her. It was only a 1mi walk but we'd pass at least a dozen people or more; some with dogs.

She got better and better and after only a few walks she got the idea that we don't care about other people/ dogs on our walk. When she would pass by without incident, I would praise and treat
 

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Be calm and ignore them.

With enought repetition your puppy will copy you and will also act calmly and ignore other people.
 
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