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My pup and I are getting to know each other. Until I got Ole two weeks ago, he lived and played with his parents and one other littermate out in the country. No leash training. They were either inside or running free as a pack. When I went to pick him up, he was curious and rambunctious. But he always kept an eye on his dad.

With me, he has become more timid and reactive, barking at people and strange noises and lunging at other dogs. Trying to figure that out. what we have been trying:
1. We have been working on attention type activities. I don't know the correct terms for these games...
TREAT MACHINE. Randomly throughout the day, I make a clicking sound with my mouth(a more manly version of the kissy sound). As soon as he makes eye contact with me, I drop some kibble.
FIND IT. Randomly throughout the day, I toss a couple of pieces of kibble a few feet, under a chair or table, and ask him to find it.
SIT and STAY to learn to focus and trust me. That good things come to dogs that listen.

My question is with regards to walking vs. exploring. At first, we tried a standard 6-foot leash. But I wasn't able to find a balance between him exploring his world and listening to me. Now we spend most of our time outside exploring on a 20-foot lead. Part of the time I have him walk politely at my side.

Other times, I say 'explore,' and he is free to explore anything within the range of the leash. No tugging on the leash, and he is expected to come back to me with a whistle, reward, and/or slight tug on the line.

Is this a reasonable approach for a four-month-old pup who is timid and in the process of learning to relax in the larger world.
 

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Find some Stonnie Dennis videos on YouTube.He has some excellent videos on acclimating puppies of all temperaments to the big wide world.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. I'll look into some more of stonnie's videos. I have seen a couple of them.

I like his Aww shucks, un-edumacated shtick. But, he appears to think deeper and knows a lot more than he lets on
 

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It sounds like you're doing fine with your pup.Exposure to the world without forcing him into the thick of it is a good start.When he gets a little nervous stay calm and treat and praise when he glances away from the scary thing and looks at you.It helps him to work through it.Watching Stonnie with the sound off makes it clearer how his calm demeanor,repetition, and timing of rewards helps the pups work through their trepidation.
 
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