Suggestions for walking our puppy

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Hello everyone! My husband and I adopted a super sweet Shepard-mix at the end of January. He’s about 5 months now, neutered and up to date shots.

We had signed him up for a 6 week puppy class, planned to start this upcoming Saturday April 4, but with everything, as of now it’s been postponed a week to start but I’m thinking it’s safe to assume it’ll be cancelled (gatherings are limited to max 5 here in Ontario Canada but I’m not even comfortable with that right now).

Anyways – we’ve been working really diligently with him to help him with his anxiety, which now presents itself most when walking. It had dissipated slightly about 3 weeks ago but then there were 2 incidents that set him back weeks; we were about 20 minutes from our home and a dog inside a house barked and jumped at a window (we were on a sidewalk) and scared our dog terribly! We could not get him to calm and he pulled ALL the way home! It was terrible. Following that, during his evening casual sniff/bed time pee a BIG truck drove by with 2 dogs barking insanely from an open window, causing him to flee back home!

When we adopted him, he was very timid of people but has come out of his shell so well. His walking was short at the beginning but we were able to have him go for a 30-40 minute stroll. Now, we’re building back up him confidence (basically walking 1 drive way, give him a piece of cheese. Go another yard away, give him a piece of cheese. Big truck coming, sit and give him a piece of cheese as it passes. Known dog house, sit while it barks in the window and give I cheese).

So his confidence is coming again (thank you cheese!) but it’s his walking etiquette we’re becoming concerned about. He’s just SO bossy when we go out – won’t let us guide him, has to pick the route and if he can’t, he’ll lay in a huff (I mean, his attitude and sass are incredibly cute BUT…). He also does pull to get to where he wants.

Just looking for some supports/ideas on how to teach him some manners while also helping his confidence.

Sorry for the long post! Thanks in advance.

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