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Saturday, April 10, 2010

ASK THE TRAINER: The Dilemma of the Too-Friendly Dog, Part I

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ASK THE TRAINER at All Things Dog Blog
(c) photo copyright Judith Joseph
Enough Kisses Already!

Dear Judy:

Hello, and thank you for being there. I am writing about my little Papillon, Jacque. He is a very friendly little boy who enjoys greeting dogs and humans. The only problem with this is that he is too enthusiastic about his greetings.

The real problem is when Jacque greets people by jumping up or onto their laps, with far too much excitement. His tiny little claws can sometimes scratch people with delicate skin. Some of my friends find this offensive, and I have to put Jacque in another room or his crate when they visit. I would like Jacque to learn a calmer greeting--sit and wait to be petted.

I am hopeful that you can guide me through the steps to teach Jacque this skill. Carrie assures me it will simply be a matter of time and practice. 

Dear Joan:

Let’s face it, large or small, some dogs are just too friendly--way too friendly.   Everyone is welcomed with the same reckless enthusiasm--friends and strangers alike.  Fact:  not everyone appreciates these boisterous greetings or enjoys being licked non-stop, jumped on, and/or tail whipped by an in-your-face, happy-to-see-you dog.  Friends and family may not say so, but many of them wish you’d put your dog in another room when they come to visit.   

Yes, I agree that too friendly dogs are for the most part, a joy to be around, much easier for your visitors to cope with than let’s say, an aggressive dog.   However, we have to look at this from your visitor’s perspective.   Family and friends like spending time with you, otherwise they wouldn’t be visiting, BUT, you have a dog that you can’t control and it’s become a real nuisance, and not just to them but to you too.  Try as you may, you can’t get him to stop.  Instead of welcoming your guests into your home graciously, you’re involved in a battle with Fido at the door.  Okay, battle may be a strong word; but when you have to grab and hold on to his collar or in other ways wrestle with him in an attempt to keep him from jumping all over everyone, it can be a battle.    

There are as many solutions as there are owners and dogs. Let’s accept that you have, over time, conditioned your dog to behave this way. What’s next?
Begin by making sure your dog is getting enough outdoor exercise.  That’s right; walk your dog at least once every day for 15 to 45 minutes depending upon his size, age, and exercise requirements.  Twice a day is much better.   Sometimes boredom is the primary motivator to over-excitement.  
 Let's Walk, Mom!
Besides this, a tired dog is nearly always a calmer dog when visitors come to call. Whether it be the UPS guy or a good friend, Fido will be more mellow when he has been vigorously exercised. I’ll be back in a few days with several more tips. For now, work on increasing Fido’s exercise. Check back shortly for my next post, or contact me at Total Control Dog Owner Assistance.
Best wishes,


Judith Joseph, D.O.I.

ASK THE TRAINER at All Things Dog Blog

For more information on Judith Joseph and her training, you may find her at TCDOA Dog Training. A personal appointment will likely provide more specific information on your dog's issues and your questions.

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