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A Polite Greeting Game

Puppies are a lot like children. They want things when they want them, not in a few days, hours, minutes or even seconds. Now! This contributes to the nipping, jumping, barking behaviors puppies exhibit and so many families ask me to solve.

How long this behavior keeps up has more to do with how you handle the situation than your pup's age. In fact, you can begin teaching your puppy to be patient on day one of your life together. Playing simple games like the ones we teach in our online puppy school help your puppy learn your expectations and what appropriate actions earn a reward from the get go. You can help your puppy cement habits that will last a lifetime and it's easy to instruct your family and friends to do the same.

As an example of the games we offer, try this one out with your pup today!

Does your dog get WAY too excited when greeting people? Do you wish he would stop jumping all over your friends?

Here's how to play:

You will need two people to play this game. One is the handler and one is the greeter.

  • The handler's job is to keep the dog on a loose leash at all times and have a treat ready to feed immediately when the dog looks at them.

  • The greeter's job is to hold the same treat as the handler in a closed fist so the dog can smell it, but not get it. Walk up to the dog. Use the treat hand as a target placed at the height of the dog to prevent the need for him to jump. This hand becomes the target. Use the other arm to prevent eye contact with the dog.

  • Wait for the dog to look at his handler when his efforts to get the treat from the greeter's target hand are unsuccessful. The second he looks at his handler, the handler gives a treat.

  • Repeat the process. Again walk up to the dog to greet and play the game. Each time the dog will be less reactive and more attentive to the handler. The greeter's hand becomes a signal for the dog to look at his handler.

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Jan 08, 2022

I haven't tried this yet, but plan to soon. My puppy knows "touch" and I am guessing he will give the greeter's hand his best boop because he will thing that touch is good and will earn a treat. In general, is touch only rewarded when he does it with his handlers? Thanks.

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