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Do you allow your dog to say hi to other dogs and people on walks? Does it interfere with your loose lead/desensitisation training?

My trainer has been telling me to refine my loose lead training on top of neutralisation training so that my puppy does not get overly excited when he sees another person or dog on the street. My puppy has started to ignore most people walking by aside from children but he is still quite reactive/ overly excited when he sees another dog. However, I have been finding that many people (dog owners and non-dog owners) think I'm strange.

For example, on the train today my puppy wanted to pull over and say hi to a lady but I gave him a slight correction so that his attention was back on me because I didn't want him to randomly run over to strangers without my permission. The lady obviously wanted to say hi to him because she was making high-pitched friendly noises to him. I told the lady that I don't want my puppy to react to strangers so that he can ignore environmental distractions but she made some sour comment about how kelpies (my dog breed) are suppose to react.

Another day I was walking my dog and another guy across the street allowed his unleashed dog to come over and say hi. I told the owner "no" but he didn't listen so his dog came over anyway. I explained to him that I want to do some neutralisation training so my dog won't react to other dogs. But he said that dogs need to learn how to "share" :ponder: This morning another dog owner was walking my way so I turned around the other way to put some distance in between my dog and his. Then I caught my dog's attention by playing tug so that he could pay less attention to the other owner's dog. That guy just stood there watching us when I already told him that I need to train my dog to not react so we shouldn't allow our dogs to become too close to each other.

What do you guys think? Should I be allowing my puppy to say hi to other dogs and people on our walks or should I continue training my puppy to ignore them? (By the way, my puppy is very friendly with people and dogs)
 

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Here's my approach, and I'm just a typical suburban dog owner.

When we walk past people, I like my dog just to walk at my side and give space for pedestrians to pass us on the sidewalk.

When we approach other dogs and dog owners, especially those we know, we often stop, briefly greet each other (me to the owner, and Miles to the dog) and then continue on. Basically, Miles and the other dog will circle each other, sniff, and that's it.

I don't see why dogs shouldn't be allowed to be social. My dog seems to enjoy meeting and greeting the dogs he knows in the neighborhood. When he sees another dog he likes, he picks up his pace a bit to approach it.

We also pass by unfamiliar dogs, and if an oncoming dog seems friendly and relaxed, I see no reason to cross the street to avoid it. If the oncoming dog seems reactive or too playful for my senior dog, then I'll steer clear.

I've met a lot of great neighbors with terrific dogs because I see the value in letting my dog have a quick, friendly greeting. Dogs are social animals. I'd rather my dog be able to be relaxed in his greeting than not to give him the opportunity to learn how to do it.
 

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I do not let Kris, my Doberman, go up to strange people or dogs. If someone asks to pat her I say fine as she is good and more or less ignores them anyway. I don't want her interacting with dogs I do not know and if you let them greet every dog they meet, they think they should.

There are lots of opportunities for them to meet people when you are in control of the situation and know who they are.
 

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depends on the other owner, the other dog and the situation.
If the owner seems nice, the dog is calm polite, there enough room and not too much people or cars, and I'm not in a hurry and the owner asks politely before they come closer, then they can say "hello", but I don't suggest it on my part.
Most of the times I'm not so keen on it, because dogs in leash situations can be troublesome and Sancho is a bit insecure with strangers (except human children...he doesn't like puppies, but little humans are awesome), so I try to not bring him in situation where he feels trapped.
generally I prefer meeting up with dogs and owners we know, because the meeting phase is easier for sancho and there's actually a chance that he plays with them and not just ignores them.

Dogs and people are different, what's totally awesome for one dog, can be traumatising for another. You have to find out what's best for your dog and you and then stand your ground against other owners if they don't respect your decision. :)
BTW: the best tool to keep people at distance is the muzzle. It is kind of weird because a dog without a muzzle is much more likely to bite than one that's wearing a muzzle... but people will not go near as thoughtlessly when the dog is wearing one.
it's never wrong to get a puppy of any size and breed conditioned on a muzzle, for situations like public transport, vet visits or walking the dog in unknown terrain (poison).
 

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I never allow my dogs to acknowledge other people or dogs without permission. It makes walking so much easier. Even when other dogs are going bananas, my dogs just walk on past without flinching.
 

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I would just add that being able to calmly approach, greet (or not greet), and pass by people and other dogs on a sidewalk is a wonderful and useful skill. If your dog never learns how to do this, then you're going to be constantly crossing streets and turning around on your walks.
 

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Neither of my dogs get to greet other strange dogs. Main reason being both girls are dog reactive to a degree. Karma more so than Abby(Abby just has a space issue). The only dogs they're allowed to greet are dogs I know personally who they get along with. Otherwise I usually avoid strange dogs.

As far as people go unless they ask I don't allow them to greet people and Abby tends to ignore strangers anyways. I've had people get all offended when I say she probably won't "say hi" and I get the "oh all dogs love me" and makes various noises to get her attention and she just looks at them like they're stupid. karma loves people to much. When she was younger I had the hardest time just walking her down the street because every person we passed she wanted to greet. She's come a long way and will now gladly walk past people, but it took us forever to get there
 
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