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Late adolescent questions.

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At 22 months, Cerb's gotten to be a relatively big boy, but some issues that he's always had problems with don't seem to be getting that much better. He loves people and will sometimes ignore commands in order to solicit play from them. When I'm working with him off lead at the park, he's rock solid when no one's around. Add another dog owner and he'll pay attention if I keep eye contact, don't let his attention wander and If I shorten the distance down to less than 100 feet. If he gets an opening, he's over and pestering the other folks. Then he's so excited it's hard to get his attention.

Don't get me wrong, the fact that he's so happy and absolutely LOVES everyone is a plus, but...


I work with him a LOT with no one around. Perhaps I need to take advantage of the outdoor festival season here and work with him with more around people.


Also, could it be the Lab in him? A guy here in the area has a Lab gun dog that regularly wins competitions who has the same issue. Just happy and loves everyone.

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I have a similar situation with Torque. He LOVES people. One of the few things that he will totally focus on when other people are around is running the agility course. Luckily, he has never been distracted by other people/dogs/whatever when he is flying around the obstacles. I take that to mean that his highest order reward is agility - better than loving from people. I obviously can not replicate that 99.99% of the time, so when he starts staring his laser eyes on new people that he hopes will pet him, I try to distract him. I will also sometimes try the Premack principle (I may be mistaken on the name) -- Torque must do something - sit, lie down, whatever - then I let him "Go see" the person. (I always ask the person first.) "Go see" is his reward.


I am like you: if loving people is his worst vice, I can live with it, and I am not going to work that hard to extinguish it as long as he obeys me otherwise. I may just have to work harder to keep his attention in those situations. I would rather have a loving dog than a slightly fear aggressive dog that initially barks at people (my other dog, a Sheltie mix).



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