Teaching dogs to say 'Hello' politely and without jumping!
We teach dogs to greet people politely by combining multiple skills the dogs have already learned. Once they are able to greet using these skills, we start to fade out the obedience and teach them how to greet appropriately while they are at liberty (not under obedience).
Yielding to Leash Pressure
Get to Heel
Putting it all together...
Once the dog is readily greeting people politely with this method, we can move on to teaching the dog to greet politely at liberty. We will introduce the concept of conditioned relaxation in Week 5!
What do you do if your dog jumps on the person as you approach?
Using leash pressure, move your dog away from the stranger and give them a brief 'time out' by stepping on the leash. Try again starting slightly further away and approaching more slowly.
What do you do when people come to the house?
Use management to prevent your dog from jumping and to set your dog up for success (Behavior that is repeated, gets stronger, so the more opportunities your dog has to practice jumping, the more likely they will jump on people!). Make sure you know when guests are coming and have your dog on a leash, in a crate or holding place as they come in. Once your dog settles, you can begin practicing your polite greetings! REMEMBER the goal is not necessarily for your dog to receive attention, but to learn to not get overexcited with new people.
My dog is nervous of new people, how can I help them be more comfortable?
Not all dogs want to greet new people, and that is totally acceptable, make sure to advocate for your dog if they don't enjoy greeting strangers! Don't ever force your dog to greet another person if they are nervous or uncomfortable. To help build your dog's confidence around new people you can use your clicker to change their emotional response. Similar to the technique about, as soon as your dog notices the new person, click and move them away to reward them. The goal here wouldn't be to move closer to the person, but to make the dog more comfortable in the new person's presence.