The Puppy Training Podcast

Episode #59 Greeting Strangers

September 10, 2020 Baxter & Bella Puppy Training Season 2 Episode 59
The Puppy Training Podcast
Episode #59 Greeting Strangers
Show Notes Transcript

Today we are talking about greeting people - getting your puppy to do so calmly and politely - a tall order for some dogs. How can we set our dogs up for success when it comes to greeting people? Whether you have a new puppy who is a fresh slate or an older dog who goes bananas when people approach, today's episode can help! 

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Hello! I hope you’re having a great week. Today we are talking about greeting people - getting your puppy to do so calmly and politely - a tall order for some dogs - 

but first, how are the basics going? Sit, down, stay, come, wait? Is potty training going okay? How about crate time and navigating the puppy zones? Awesome. 

I like to check in with my own dogs and skills to assess what their strengths are and what areas we can focus on week to week. Puppy training is a bit of a roller coaster with good days and bad days. It is easy to fall into a slump of, “This isn’t going well,” or “I wish my dog wouldn’t do that.” 

My challenge for you this week? Identify three things that are going well daily - if you look for them, you’ll find them. I’m a big believer in you find what you’re looking for. Make a list if it helps - and put it somewhere you’ll see it throughout the day. 

I wanted to start there as what we’re talking about today can be a real challenge for some dogs. They get so excited to see people that they want to go to them as fast as possible - their minds seem to go out the window and getting focus is difficult. It is easy to get frustrated and even avoid going out on walks or inviting people over because we feel embarrassed. 

So where do we start? Some of you have brand new puppies or are getting a puppy soon. There are a few things you can start doing right away to set your puppy up for success in this area.

  • Prevention - target hand, lure into a sit
  • Already jumped? Interrupt and redirect. Show your puppy what WIlL get them rewards.
  • Sit to say please
  • Round Robin Recall

If you currently have a dog who already goes bananas when greeting people, here’s what I recommend…

  • Start with a familiar person - family member who lives in your home is best or a really good friend who comes over a lot
  • With your dog on leash, play Mother May I?
    • Person walks to you and your puppy as long as puppy is calm
    • If puppy is not calm, person turns and goes back to start
    • Help your puppy win by feeding them treats for giving you attention
    • Person is calm and walks slowly
    • Start inside your home, familiar location
    • Minimal distractions
    • If this is even too much, tether your dog and you approach. 
    • Practice 2-3 times a day for 2-3 minutes at a time.
    • Mix in other training or play then repeat exercise
    • Once your puppy can remain calm with person A, introduce another person
    • When you first take this outside, use person A again to make it easier for your puppy to succeed. 

Remember, your dog does not always need to be able to say hi to someone or their dog. If they can’t handle it calmly, then create distance away from the person/dog until your dog can focus again. Work to decrease the distance until your dog can control themselves in the immediate presence of another dog and or person. Not letting your dog practice unwanted behavior helps us as we work to train good behavior. The process will go more quickly.

Thanks for listening! Have a wonderful day and happy training!