Being a first time lab owner, I find myself struggling to find the line between simple management and actual training. For example, this morning my 10 month pup and I went on our normal walk. We live right next to an elementary school and there is a great park right by it where we often go but to get there we have to pass by the school. Normally it’s fine but today was the first day of school and there were heaps of children, school buses, loud noises, parents, other dogs, janitors etc. Despite lots of early socialization, our lab can get spooked somewhat easily and is weary of strangers. I can normally get him to focus on me long enough if we must pass someone head on but we were a bit stuck this morning and I ended up with an anxious pup who didn’t seem to get much exercise or enjoyment. Seeing that all this commotion makes him mildly reactive and anxious, do I enlist in BAT training (we don’t have one nearby but I could perhaps learn the exercises myself) or do we simply just drive to the park and bypass all the triggers? I fear he won’t learn to cope with his current triggers if I were do this and if there’s anyway I could associate positivity with a loud school bus for example. That being said, he does just fine in situations where he is far enough away from his triggers. The only time he reacts is if we are steps away from whatever it is that spook him. Or could his behavior get even more anxious if I were to not tackle this head on? My current thought is I do a little bit of both. Make sure I am giving him enough time to enjoy his walks and then possibly do some LAT exercises towards the end once he’s been sufficiently exercised and is much less on edge.