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Hunter is a little over 4 months old, and we've started taking him on very short walks. We live at a dead end in our neighborhood, and I am able to successfully walk him about two houses down, to the corner of our street. He stays by my side and looks up at me frequently for treats. He behaved pretty well, so I thought he'd be ready to extend his walk by a little bit.

When we rounded the corner, there was a couple taking a walk on the other side of the street. Hunter went into his "guard dog" mode and began to bark at them. I got so embarrassed and tried to use treats to distract him. He was able to momentarily obey my "sit" commands and look at me when I had a treat. However, he eventually ignored me and even ignored my "fool-proof" treat (turkey slices, for the trickiest situations)! I tried to get him to walk back home. He was pulling, tugging, and looking for the couple as they rounded the corner and away from our area. It was a struggle getting him back home (it got easier as we got closer to the house and away from the corner).

How can I improve this situation? I am afraid to take him out on longer walks if he will bark and startle other people (and their pets!).

What treats do you use for walking? How long did it take you to walk your dog successfully around the neighborhood/your usual route?

Thank you in advance to any advice or help! I really appreciate it!
 

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Do you usually have the turkey slices warmed up? Finn would do this a lot when he was younger, and his favourite treats were cooked hot dog slices. Off course the treats would always be cooled down so when he would ignore this tantalizing treat as we got into new areas with more people, he'd become immune to the "watch me" and "on by" command.

So, I decided to watch him a bit more, and I realized that he loves smelly things - all my dogs loved smelly things. Rotten fish, day old moose carcasses to roll in - that sort of smelly. So, I started warming up the hot dog pieces just enough so their odor would permeate from my hand and attract his attention because he's all, "Whoa now, that's a nice smell".

After that it was a lot easier to get him to pay attention. So, you can try heating up your treats possible and rolling them in your hand throughout the walk to make sure they remain warm and odorous.
 

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So, you can try heating up your treats possible and rolling them in your hand throughout the walk to make sure they remain warm and odorous.
I will try this!! I did use refrigerated turkey, I will warm it up for our next walk. Thanks for the advice!
 

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Cheese works for mine! When cold it has a bit of a smell and the warmer it gets out of the fridge, the more smell happens. I have a friend who makes sardine based dog biscuits for the stinkiness, and her four dogs go absolutely batty over them.
 

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So I took Hunter out today and followed the advice to warm up the treat a bit. Our neighbors were outside sitting in the front, and as soon as they were in view, Hunter - like a switch - began to bark at them. He got a couple barks out before he was obsessed over the turkey! I guess I was a little too late in presenting the treat. I led him back to the front door and closed it behind him. He was fine! Although, not sure what I would do if we were farther away from home...

I have a friend who makes sardine based dog biscuits for the stinkiness, and her four dogs go absolutely batty over them.
I will definitely try some "stinkier" foods. Maybe that will grab his attention quicker and keep it!

Thank you all for the advice! Can't wait for the day I can walk around the neighborhood with my little buddy! C:
 

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The trick is to catch his attention BEFORE he starts barking. Once he's barking, it's too late, he's past the point of accepting treats or learning. At that point, you just remove him from the situation as soon as possible.

You need to back up a bit in training.

Kabota loved to chase squirrels. I do not love having my shoulder dislocated, so I needed to train him to stop chasing squirrels. I did not start on walks when he saw squirrels. I started at home. At home, I worked on "look at me". I got it 100% at home (and that means 300 successful repetitions. It takes a while.)

Once I had that 100% at home, I took it outside, but not in the presence of squirrels, just outside. (It helps to pop a treat in the dog's mouth at the beginning of the walk just to establish that you have treats.) Once he was reliably responding to "look at me" outside, I started watching to catch the moment where he sees a squirrel, but isn't totally engaged by it. A certain change in posture, stiffening of ears and tail. You'll learn his body language.

When I saw that, I asked for a look at me, but with a low threshold for reward. Meaning that if he flicked his eyes in my direction, he got the treat. Normally, "look at me" requires him to turn his head and look directly at my face. In this case, I started by accepting any acknowledgment that I spoke. I gradually raised the threshold to a normal "look at me".

This did take time. There were times when I missed his cues and he lunged after a squirrel. It happens. I pulled him past the squirrel and practiced a few "look at mes" once he was a little bit calmer.

All told, 4 walks a day for 2 months is how long it took. These days, he looks at me automatically upon seeing a squirrel. I pop a treat in his mouth as a reward. I continue to randomly ask for look at me during walks and when I notice a squirrel.
 

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Everyone else has really good suggestions. I also want to point out that your dog is still very young and you should be doing all you can to expose him to new people and new environments (while going at his own pace and making sure he doesn't get too overaroused). If he's not used to seeing other people and dogs no wonder he's losing his mind over them. You'll probably want to pair exposure with some counterconditioning to help him with his reactivity. Lots of resources here. http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/reactivity-leash-aggression-barrier-frustration-12538/The main thing to bear in mind is keeping him under the level of reactivity, which means always working at a distance from his triggers that he's comfortable with. If that means starting off 30 feet away, so be it.
 
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