The general public isn't helping!!

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Domestika, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. Domestika

    Domestika New Member

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    My four month old pup jumps up on people when she greets them, of course. She loves people! And loves jumping! Why wouldn't she do two at once?

    In our puppy class we were shown a very effective way of teaching a dog to sit politely while being approached (and even to check in with you frequently when they see someone coming). That is all well and good. It worked very well in class with the trainer acting as a stranger, walking up to me and my pup to greet us.

    However! This is proving very difficult in the real world. Maybe I'm not being direct enough with people, but when they try to approach my pup I say "She has to sit first. Then you can pet her." I think this is very clear...but I get one of two reactions (neither of which are helpful):

    1. People go "Oh...nevermind then..." and walk away.

    2. People go "Oh, ok. Sit...sit...Sit....SIT!" and then go "Ohhh, nevermind!" and pet her anyway! NOoooooOooo! *I* get her to sit. YOU stand there and exercise some restraint people!

    People can't wait the 30 seconds it takes her to calm down and sit. They start trying to put her in a sit, putting their hands all over her (which she then bites...yay, playing!) or just figure that it's torturous for the dog to have to calm herself down so they just start petting her anyway.

    How can I be more clear? I don't want to come across as a jerk...but I have told people "I'm sorry, I said she needs to sit first. She's being trained. Please don't pet her yet." And they still don't listen. Or then they REALLY walk away.

    I can't be the only person who has been in this situation. What did you do? How do get people to HELP with your training? And not just make things worse! The huuuge downside here is that I live alone and unfortunately have virtually no one to practise this with. I don't have any family in the city and the friends I've tried to get to help me...are worse than the general public! They have nooo patiences and keep trying to correct her even when I've made it really, really clear what their role is. People just don't seem to get training unless they've done it themselves.

    Help!
     
  2. Angelique

    Angelique New Member

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    Dogs are so easy compared to people! ;)

    At least your dog is happy to see people, mine used to be terrified. I used CM's instruction of "no-touch, no-talk, no-eye contact" with people who came into my home. The one guy who didn't listen to me and went to indulge himself at my dog's expense, got shown the door.

    On the street I first taught my dog to ignore strangers by keeping moving at a steady pace while at a distance. Your pace should not change when a stranger enters the picture,

    If someone was up close, I would usually intercept them with a smile and say "Hi there! I have a dog in training. Could you please do me a favor and walk with me a little way while ignoring her so she can get used to strangers?"

    If they were willing, they would usually walk along and chat a bit.

    It's mostly about practicing what you're going to say and how you will say it with a friend first.

    Your dog probably expects to greet folks. Teach her to expect to ignore, then socialize on your terms when you feel it's appropriate. Again, set up situations and practice with friends, first.

    A lot will depend upon your demeanor when dealing with the stranger. Be confident, calm, friendly, and firm. Body block them from your dog if need be.

    Your pup is young, patience and practice is the key.
     
  3. Lucid

    Lucid New Member

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    Id really love to hear what you have been taught by your trainer, as my dog has the exact same problem and no people do not help one bit, they always love it when my pup blake jumps, they think its fantastic, I try to explain to them that he's learning to calm down and sit but they wont listen, they just repeat the same actions every time they meet him.

    I dont know how else to explain to them that your training the pup, sorry I cant help there.
     
  4. Brattina88

    Brattina88 Active Member

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    You have to put yourself between the dog, and the friendly stranger, and tell them firmly that the dog can only be petted if she is sitting. Then you have to tell your dog to sit and make sure she does. If she gets up while being petted I said eh eh (more directed toward person!) and put myself between and asked for a sit again ;)
     
  5. Brattina88

    Brattina88 Active Member

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    Oh - I wanted to mention that if you're planning on going further, like a CGC or something I personally had an issue with standing for examination or whatever because it was habit for her to sit! 6 years later and she still does it out of habit! i'm proud, though! :)
     
  6. Baxter'smybaby

    Baxter'smybaby swimming upstream

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    can you put a vest or back pack on her with "dog in training" printed on it? Sometimes people will have more respect for something like this than the actual words of the owner. Just a thought.
     
  7. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I would, under no circumstances isolate your pup from people or keep people from handling her, no matter if she jumps on them or not. It is vastly more important for her to become socialized with all kinds of people at her age. Don't worry so much. It's a learning process and she'll get onto it in time. She's just a baby. Expecting adult behavior from a 4 month old pup is like expecting a 2 year old child to keep his hands off of everything that interests him.

    What worked for me was to be chatty and friendly when people wanted to see my puppy and then I'd ask them if they'd give me a little help in teaching something, that it would just take a few seconds. That got them more engaged and they felt good. I'd simply ask them to stand there and wait for the pup to settle a little bit, then squat down and pat calmly. If the pup jumps again, if they would please just stand up and turn their back and repeat a few times. Or get some friends to help you when they come over or when you're out and about. If you're consistent at home with this, in time, as she matures a little more, she'll get right onto it. You can even walk her away a few feet when she jumps on people when you're on walks. Do it immediately. Then try again. She can learn that jumping equals no interaction. But that being calm and staying on all fours works. I wouldn't insist on sitting for too long as that's very hard for an exuberant pup. You can work that in soon enough. If the person can squat down and hug her into them sideways so she can't jump, that shows her that staying on all fours works for greetings. And you can fade out that holding the pup close later.

    At any rate, don't worry so much. Let her be a puppy, first and foremost and work on these things little by little as she grows.
     
  8. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    WOW you guys are so much nicer than I am :)

    I barely address the person. I deal with the dog. If the dog jumps, I tell the dog to sit, or I step between the dog and person, or I (with the dog) walk away. I find that trying to explain to the public "he's in training" is more difficult than it should be. I just go about the training without explanation. If the dog really won't behave appropriately, I tell the person they cannot pet the dog right now. Period. If the dog jumps and the person says, "Oh, I don't mind" - my stock answer is simply that "I do mind".
     
  9. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    Socializing with people doesn't mean the dog needs to be petted by everyone. The dog can be near people and is being socialized to them. It's much easier to train correctly from the onset than to untrain/retrain later.
     
  10. I teach my puppies from very young to "sit for a visit". They learn this little phrase very quickly. What works for me is a bit of molding. I will help the puppy to sit while the visit is happening. I offer tiny food rewards to the sitting puppy during the visit, as I am making sure the pup holds the sit. Then I will say, thanks for the visit! and move off.

    It usually happens like this. Someone will say, "can I pet your puppy?" and I will say, sure, would you please kneel down. Once they do, I bring the puppy up, and help it to sit as I say "sit for a visit". If it is little kids, then I have the pup lie down.

    good luck, I know how frustrating it can be. :D
     
  11. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    She's not suggesting that you let the dog jump, but that you do let the dog meet people and not to require a sit just yet, simply require no jumping. I think meeting is very important. For instance Phoebe is perfectly fine around people and dogs who walk, run, bike, sit etc. near her but if they try and pet her or a dog tries to interact with her she become defensive. She saw tons of people but did not meet many. So yes she is calm around them but she also become aggressive when they try to touch her. I'm not saying you were suggesting she does not have the dog ever interact with people I'm just saying I think interacting is much more important than just watching. I do think walking around people without meeting them is important too, that way they learn not every person is going to get a greeting but that can make a dog calm walking around them but still exuberant during interaction.

    What I would do with a dog that jumps is with children I kneel down and hold the dogs collar as the kid pets, that way the dog cannot jump up and knock over the child. Same with elderly people. With people I know I'd tell them to turn around or step out of the dog's reach if the dog jumps and with adults I don't know I'd walk the dog away from the person when he jumps (saying something like " oh we don't want any jumping" as I walked backwards so the person knows why we are doing it) and try again or if the person got in a few pets and seems done then you can end interaction, it still gets the point across.

    Also remember dogs think new things are AWESOME. so the more people the dog meets the less "new" people in general become and the more calm the dog should become around them.
     
  12. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    I pretty much do half and half -- about half the people they meet as pups pet them. I decide who pets them and who doesn't, and the people who pet them are the ones who can do so according to my rules.

    I also find that the worst offenders are people who work in animal related jobs - people who work at pet stores and the techs and receptionists at the vet's office.
     
  13. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Oh, I think it does mean that. I think a puppy before the age of 4-5 months should have been "examined" by loads of people....had his ears looked at, his teeth, every square inch of his body handled in a variety of ways, pleasant ways, having the top of his head stroked, treats included. He should have experienced people of all age groups, wearing different kinds of clothing, carrying different objects, doing different things; jogging, skate boarding, riding bikes, jumping up and down. Kids from infants to toddlers, from 3 to 7 years old, from 7 to teenagers, from there to adults to old people. Men with beards, men without beards, people carrying umbrellas. A dog should experience all kinds of friendly, tolerant, healthy pups and adult dogs in a variety of contexts....every day. Improvershed socialization is probably the biggest cause of dog bites, fearful, shy behavior and misery for dogs and owners. It's probably the biggest cause of dogs being dumped in shelters and killed due to their "bad behavior."

    It is not not beneficial to insist on perfect adult behavior from a 4 month old baby. They can learn to sit nicely as Red described. Treats help. Consistency is important. What I'm trying to get across is that trying to train a puppy with rigidity and too much seriousness can cause more harm than good. People are so amazed and aghast at normal dog behavior, normal puppy behavior. As they mature, these nice behaviors, with reasonable guidance from you will come about. Maturity has a lot to do with it. Lots of dogs recieve hardly any formal training and stop jumping. When I see adult dogs jumping up on people, it is usually dogs that receive no exercise, no outlet for their exuberance, no constructive training, no consistency at all. And they, in fact receive plenty of reinforcement for jumping up.

    Like I said, maturity helps dogs learn. It is good to set the stage when they're little sponges and start working on these things. I just like to see people lighten up a wee bit and let their puppies have a child hood and not expect them to grow up all at once.

    And I'd much rather see a little puppy jumping on people and being obnoxious to people who can put up with a little bit of that for a while....than seeing an adult dog who views people, touching and handling from people in the huge variety of ways people touch and pat and every day things as something abnormal or novel. It's the dogs that are not handled copiously that end up with behavior problems. You can still work on these skills but not by preventing handling from people.
     
  14. Angelique

    Angelique New Member

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    That's what I do. If they meet everyone they see, you are conditioning them a certain way and may end up with boundary frustration later on. By picking and choosing who they meet and greet, you are directing the activities (leadership), protecting them from unstable people, and teaching them to accept boundaries.

    Yikes! Sooo true! :lol-sign:
     
  15. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    No one said they should have perfect adult behaviors as a pup. But I do believe in setting boundaries and everything I teach, I keep in mind "what do I want this to become". A four month old is able to be learning boundaries, and a 4 months old is past the imprinting age. Much of the handling should be done before then.

    I also see no reason for JQP to be examining my dog's ears and teeth. There are only two people who need to do that - myself and my vet. Also, my dogs don't need to be touched by JQP at all. The people in their adult lives who need to be able to touch them are me, my roommate, my vet, maybe a judge - depending on the type of competition I'm doing.

    I've raised all my dogs with limitations on who can pet them and I've never had any issues with having an adult dog approached and petted by a stranger.
     
  16. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I guess having had a breed which is notoriously harder to socialize due to selection and needing copious amounts of experiences, I have found it important to teach him to be unafraid of friendly strangers. He was still cautious of anyone who wasn't "normal." Caution is always the default setting in all animals. And curiosity diminishes as they leave the critical period, in dogs, at around 12-16 weeks of age. So, that is why I don't take chances with risking inample socialization. You can not over socialize a dog. They will always revert to their default setting when certain things are not covered.

    And I didn't say that I don't set boundaries or teach a 4 month old dog anything. Of course I do. My Doberman was not jumping up on people within a couple of weeks of getting him which was at 9 weeks old. He learned his basics quite well by the time he was 6 months. It's just that when I read the o.p, she sounded quite worried about the fact that her pup was still jumping up on people and that they weren't helping matters, which I can totally understand. But by the same token, I wanted her not to worry too much because of the reasons stated and that it will all come together because she is conscious of it and not one of those people who do nothing with their dog. I think the pup will be just fine and will learn her manners all in due course.
     
  17. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    I never had a problem with the GSDs or the mal. Nyx is another issue entirely. She is nervous about strangers, but only when they actually reach to pet her. Wlaking past her is fine. Standing near her is fine. And she will allow them to pet her, she just doesn't like it. But she also doesn't like for me to pet her.

    Yea, I agree that the OP doesn't need to be so worried about it, but I also wanted to point out that she doesn't need to let the non-helpful public pet her dog and she can just let the helpful people pet her dog.
     
  18. Domestika

    Domestika New Member

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    Basically, you have your pup sit beside you. Give treats for eye contact or "check ins". Another person approaches from quite a distance (we started at about 20 feet). The person approached slowly, not making eye contact, not talking to the dog (read: as uninteresting to the dog as possible). If the dog broke the sit, jumped up, etc. the person approaching came to a stop. When the dog settled back into a sit and made eye contact it was treated. Then the person continued to approach.

    Once the person was able to calmly walk right up to the person and dog without the dog jumping/breaking the sit then we started over again with the person approaching acting far more exciting...jumping, clapping, running up to the dog, saying "puppy, puppy, puppy!!", etc.

    It took most dogs maybe two or three attempts before they were sitting quietly and checking in with their owner while someone ran up, jumping and calling to them. My pup was less than three months old when we did this and she did it just fine. And she is very energetic and people-loving dog. So it can be done! It's just hard without any way to practise...
     
  19. Domestika

    Domestika New Member

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    hahaha, yeah I find that I'm correcting strangers far more than my dog. The dog is going to do doggy things...but there's no excuse for people not following commands!!
     
  20. Domestika

    Domestika New Member

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    We've worked a lot on "stand". It was hard at first, but she knows the voice command and hand signal for stand and will do them quite reliably...at home with no distractions anyway! It's another story out of the house, of course.
     

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