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Our puppy is 6 months. He’s a poodle cross. Very sweet but our two main issues are:
He pulls like a sod on a lead (I prefer off lead round the fields but I know we have to train properly so am back to street walks).
He behaves like a complete idiot when we see other dogs. Barks, lunges on lead, goes on his hind legs and generally behaves like an idiot.
We’re looking at trainers but after two poorly run sets of puppy classes (both recommended and researched) I’m cautious.
We don’t know anyone with older dogs so don’t have anyone to ask to let our dog walk by.
A decent one-2-one trainer could really help you. I found standard puppy classes to be pretty useless TBH.
As for the pulling on the lead, there are lots of videos on YouTube for teaching things like this. With my young dog, I used a slip lead, a clicker and treats, building in random changes of direction and sits as well. When the dog is not pulling (and esp if it is also looking at you), click and treat. Encourage it back to your side every time it pulls ahead. You will spend several walks going nowhere fast and feeling like a proper idiot, but your puppy will eventually get the idea that the fun stuff (food, forward motion) happens when it is right next to your calf.
With the barking and lunging, reward him for being calm. Use other dogs in the park as stooges, and at a distance where you know he'll be calm, ask him to sit and reward him. Very, very gradually, reduce the distance to other dogs (do you have dog-owning friends who could help?), and keep getting him to sit calmly and get a reward.
You will go through endless bags of treats, but plug away on a daily basis ( a couple of fifteen minute sessions is plenty) and you will see results.
With regards to the lead we started at home with a treat getting him to walk 'close' . Was basically a treat at his nose so he knew to follow you. This progressed to walking with a lead, again with a treat held in my hand close to his nose. Now he knows to walk 'close' and is given treats throughout our walk. If he pulls I simply stop until he goes back to my side. He knows what he has to do but excitement/distractions get the better of him! Practising little and often helps as does trying to get rid of excess energy before practising. Good luck!
We did all of the above and also ended up getting a halti head collar and lead which really made a difference. Dog used to pull like crazy and was really not a pleasurable experience to go for a walk. Much better now but it took a lot of time!
I'd recommend a head collar (halti or kumfi or similar) and a short lead. As long as you give plenty of off lead sniffing time, then time of the lead can be 'Now I expect you to behave'.
Definitely ditch the extendable lead, if you has one. Teach recall for when off lead.