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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After the last round of responses to my question about teaching my pup not to bark at people, I decided to take a break from the forum. Some of the advice I have received for working with my reactive puppy on this forum has been invaluable. Some information has been wrong. Some advice would have been harmfull it implemented by an inexperienced handler.

The information about some dogs being 'handler soft' was not something I had come across in any of my beginner research. Whistling to get my pup's attention instead of speaking more loudly has made a world of difference.

Overall, the pup has been doing well. He has been gaining confidence by the day. We still have an unconventional, if not full, schedule.

After morning potty and playtime, we do 15-30 minutes of 'life handling' practice. I hand-feed his breakfast while working on life skills; taking a bath, being examined by a vet, having nails clipped, being groomed, stuff like that. I keep everything calm and try to promote trust by doing activities that the pup might not feel 100% comfortable doing. Copious treats and verbal rewards help build trust.

After lunch, we explore the world. We go to different places that I think might have distractions or stressors that might trigger pup's anxiety. We explore, play engagement games, and practice basic obedience just outside of the pup's threshold. We set the threshold at the point where I can regain pups attention using only treats and my voice.

During these adventures, I occasionally use toys, tugs, and a flirt pole to elevate his excitement. The goal is to help him understand that there are times and places for different levels of energy and alertness. He doesn't need to be a robot, but he needs to settle down whenever I ask him to 'settle.'

For the last several days, we have focused on 'unusual surfaces.' Playgrounds, benches, beaches, rocks, ice, snow piles, slippery floors, wood stairs, concrete stairs, metal stairs, anything that might seem weird to a puppy. After successfully navigating a new surface, pup's tail goes from happy to proud as can be:)

He has gone from reacting violently 300 feet away from a walking person to being able to sit quietly on a bench ten feet from the entrance to Menards. Menards is excellent because the customers are usually so intent on getting in and out of the store that they ignore us. Places like Target are a lot harder because every once in a while someone tries to walk right up and pet the puppy. I have got to be quick to ask them to please give us some space to train.

Dogs and other animals are still a challenge.

After our adventures, Ole has some snuggle time on the bed where he can see out the window. Pup has gone from barking frantically whenever anything goes by, to a couple of informational woofs whenever anything unusual happens.

In the evening, we do 15-30 minutes of primary training in a distraction-free environment.

When I got pup, he immediately pooped or peed whenever the door to his crate closed. Then he jumped around like a bucking bull trying to keep the stuff from getting on his feet.

Three times a day, (morning nap, afternoon nap, evening nap) we desensitize to the crate with treats and/or a nice bone. Now he sleeps contentedly for two hours at a time without any anxiety.

If anyone finds themselves with a reactive dog with a dubious history, there is hope, even for a newbie. There is a lot of value on this forum to get you started.
 

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My dog Nitro is handler sensitive and he doesn't like it when I cough or sneeze. He's not bothered by anyone one else in the household, it's only me, especially when indoors. Be interesting to see if Ole is bothered when you do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
He doesn't like it when I cough or sneeze.
I haven't noticed it yet, allergy season in our part of the world comes in a few months.
 
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