Puppy Greetings at the Door

You have a puppy and you have been doing some training.  Great work so far!

You’re very proud of your pup and you’ve invited a friend over to meet the little cutie.

The doorbell rings and you run to open it with the fuzz ball right at your heels.  Your friend at the door immediately starts cooing and talking baby talk in a high-energy, high-pitched voice and puppy goes crazy dancing around jumping on your friend who is busy telling him how cute he is and telling you oh I don’t care if he jumps on me! Ugh!

We really want to build good habit patterns with our dogs right from the beginning so we won’t have to break bad habits later.

Here is a strategy I use for building and practicing good greetings with friends and strangers.

  1. Put a treat jar outside the door.
  2. Tell your guests that you are working on your pup’s training.
  3. Ask them to help by getting a treat or two, and when you open the door giving the dog a treat once he is sitting and being polite. Give the treat by bringing it under his chin so he’s not tempted to jump for it.

If they are calm and the pup stays calm they can pet him for a moment, but ask them as soon as he starts to get excited or jump to stand up and turn away from him.  By ending the attention when he starts to get excited you teach the puppy that being calm is the way to keep getting attention.

My thoughts with this are:

  1. Involving others in the training process by requesting their help, providing the needed supplies and giving clear instructions helps keep them from accidentally teaching your dog bad habits
  2. Involving other people in the training of your dog can reinforce that the things you are teaching apply to other people too.

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