Do you have a puppy that seems to be thrilled to just jump on everyone you encounter? These greetings can be endearing, but also a bit of a pain as your puppy grows into a full grown dog. So, what can you do to teach your dog when he’s a puppy to be polite and greet people in a manner that is appropriate? Your first step is to stop rewarding jumping while your puppy is still young.
See, when puppies are young, they perceive attention that they get from being cute as being a “reward”. In fact, all dogs see praise and positive attention as rewards, so it’s important that you teach your puppy right now that certain behavior will not be allowed or praised. For instance, when your puppy does a “job” on your floor, do you praise him? Most likely, not, so why would you want to praise your puppy for jumping on your friends, when this will be frowned upon later in life? If you begin teaching your puppy what you expect of him right now, by the time your adorable puppy is an adorable big dog, you will have a polite, friendly pet.
The first step in raising a polite puppy is to teach him to calmly sit down. Make sure that he will sit when greeting everyone you encounter until they have a moment to say “hello” to him. Once your visitor is in, have them say hi to your puppy and praise him for being a “good boy” without allowing him to jump on your visitor. Once your visitor has said hello to your dog, then you take the time to reward your puppy with praise and positive reinforcement.
Over time, this will teach your pooch that the best way to behave is to sit politely while he waits for you to tell him it’s okay to greet your visitor or you. Now, remember to be diligent in this, because even if you accidentally slip and pet him when he misbehaves, then you are telling him it’s a good thing to be a “bad dog” and that will only serve to undo all that you’ve done.
So, here’s a good way to get started on working to have a polite puppy. From the first day you bring your new dog home, you need to begin teaching him to be well behaved. That means that you show him how he can get attention. So, if he runs over and jumps on you, you have to show him how to sit nicely in front of you so that you can reward him with positive praise. Now, contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to yell at your dog to get him to understand what you are trying to teach him. Instead, work with a lower pitched, stern voice and tell him no. Then work to correct his behavior by showing him what you expect. At that time, you can go to him and rub his tummy and give him all kinds of positive praise. It won’t take long for him to learn that he isn’t to jump on all your friends and visitors.
Puppies are fun and cute, but they aren’t always easy, so don’t get discouraged if your new pet takes a couple of tries to get things right, just keep working at it and before you know it, you will have the most polite puppy on the block and that will make all your work worth it.