8 m/o reactive on walks

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/Dogtraining/comments/jmr8dd/8_mo_reactive_on_walks/

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I have an 8 month old standard poodle who is not making any improvement on walks. He knows “heel” in the sense that he will come by by my side and will wait for a treat there with a loose leash, then after he gets rewarded, he runs ahead again. He is quite reactive, lunging and barking at squirrels, leaves, cars driving by etc. i have treats and try to distract him, and he has made lots of improvement when walking past other dogs (still whines but doesn’t bark or lunge anymore).

Am I expecting too much from an 8 month old? Walking him is frustrating and embarrassing. We have given him daily walks, often 2x per day since he had his second round of shots around 12 weeks, and I guess I expected him to just be used to everything by now.

I just ordered a gentle lead, but any other suggestion will be greatly appreciated. The barking is our biggest problem, because I worry it’s waking neighbors up on early morning walks. I have such a hard time distracting him from whatever has him worked up at any given moment – liver treats, salmon, he doesn’t care about anything but the squirrel.

submitted by /u/abbylove22
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