Have you tried a harness with Buddy? You can have the same sort of control pulling him back etc but without it chocking them or potentially injuring them. It also has the control over the chest rather than the throat.
I find a harness so much better and im more in control. Meeko is very much the same as buddy likes to meet everyone and everything and he gets sooo excited ive tried making him sit calm etc but he just cant contain his excitement he will sit for about 5 seconds then go OTT. I am at the moment trying a different approach where I keep tugging the leash gently and keep talking to meeks when I see a person or something ahead and instead of him stoppin I just keep him distracted by gentle tugs and keep sayin things like cmon meeks keep walkin good boy keep goin etc so hes more focused on me than the person and walk past them then I praise him like a crazy person after he walks past gibe him a good fuss and tell him how much of a good boy he is (ive tried giving a treat too but hes not interested when hes outside). Its not an amazin life changing technique but its slowly working. He now walks past people 9 times out of 10. Its just ignoring dogs I have to work on next xx