Maybe I shouldn’t have Delilah out on leashed walks just yet! There are MANY distractions and sometimes I feel like I take ten steps backwards in training when we have a unproductive walk! Most of the times its my own fault! I may be in a bad mood, easily agitated (like today) and a dog just doesn’t respond well to anything less then a positive, calm, assertive energy! I may have started out on a good note and pushed a little too fair not realizing that we still need to get back home on that same good note! On the other hand, I feel that keeping a puppy ‘secluded’ from the world could be worse then having her chase a leaf on a windy day and completely dismiss my “leave it” command. I also think it’s a good opportunity to show a puppy how she should sit nicely and relax when greeting people, that she isn’t supposed to jump at joggers, cyclists or skateboarders or the big buses and loud cars aren’t scary! Plus, when I include Duke on our walks, she learns from him (hopefully only the good habits) and the commands that he already knows are reinforced!
Why is it that people absolutely loose it when they see a puppy!? Don’t get me wrong, I am the worst example when it comes to meeting a puppy. I can get the high pitched baby talk going and I’m tickling bellies and practically rolling in the grass with the best of them! However, if you can see that I am training her and I’ve asked you to assist me in a training exercise, please don’t do the opposite because I can’t train her and you at the same time! Grumble grumble grumble – I told you I was easily agitated today – deep breath in – slowly exhale – much better!
So on that note, here are a few guidelines when greeting a dog or a puppy on the street to help insure that the dog will learn to not jump on you, lunge at you or become afraid of strangers which could potentially cause them to bite; and just have plain ol good manners:
- First and foremost, you should ask the owner first if it is ok to pet their dog! PUPPIES INCLUDED!
- Offer your hand for the dog to smell and allow the dog to approach you. Do not approach the dog first. Puppies need to learn that they need to sit and be calm when greeting humans and older dogs could potentially be fearful which could lead to a bite. If the dog does not want to greet you then leave it at that and do not approach.
- Although this may not apply to puppies, don’t stare at the dog, instead it is better to look at the dog and then look away. When you take your eyes off the dog you are signaling to the dog that you are not a threat to them. Cesar Millan says “No Touch, No Talk, No Eye Contact” and I believe there is truth in that!
- Do not approach the dog from behind, scream or make fast movements; stay calm and quiet.
- Do not put your face near the dogs face.
- Always observe the dog’s body language and watch for signs that the dog is uncomfortable. For puppies, excitement is normally the problem. If you go to pet the puppy and it starts jumping or getting nippy, it’s best for you to stand straight up and ignore them. This will help teach them they need to remain calm.
- Remember that touch or petting a dog is a reward. If they are doing an unwanted behavior while you are petting them. you are basically approving of the unwanted behavior!
Your cooperation is greatly appreciated by anyone who is trying to make their dog a good canine citizen! Anyone who walks past a pibble with manners will appreciate it too!
Look at how nicely they sit patiently waiting to head out for a walk!
Or how lovely they sit waiting for approval to eat their food!
The other side of the front door~different story!
FOR NOW! 🙂