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Teaching Patience to Your Puppy

Puppies 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 they 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 them to jump.

  • Wait for the dog to look at their handler when their efforts to get the treat from the greeter's target hand are unsuccessful.

  • The second they look at their 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 target to signal the dog to look at their handler.

For more help, check out The Online Puppy School on our site. We'd love to help you work with your puppy.

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Feb 06, 2022

I love this. Is it a similar approach to a dog that barks at people? My sister is visiting and my dog barks at her every time she walks in the room.

Nov 01, 2022
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My mom is having this same situation with both of her little dogs (Mi-Ki’s), in terms of barking when greeting people. They bark and bark at every single visitor until they are either picked up or being pet. I also believe they motivate each other to amp up this barking behaviour. My mom needs to learn what she should be doing to help them both Individually and together.

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