Fisher’s training is going so well! We only have one more class before we gets to graduate puppy class!
In our latest class, Fisher has learned to greet other dogs politely, come when called, and sit with a focus.
The greeting was really interesting to me. What does greeting another dog politely even mean? Well, it means that when Fisher sees another dog he will do one of two things, say hi or ignore them. Either is perfectly polite. If he chooses to jump/play/growl, that would be impolite.
How do you get your dog to greet another dog politely?
We were taught to have him sit about 4 or 5 feet from the other dog. Ask the other owner, “May my dog say hi?”. Nine times out of ten they will say yes and you can proceed to walk towards the other dog. If at any point Fisher would start to pull (which would be highly likely because he’s excited), we would have to redirect him. You do this by going back to walking on a leash training. We would say “Ut -ah” and redirect his walking to a different direction. This is to show that you are in control, not the dog.
After we have him in a sit, ask for permission, and get him successfully to the other dog, he will either say hi or ignore him/her. If he says hi, let them smell each other’s faces for 3 seconds. If they are really interested they may move to smell each other’s back side. You can allow this, but only for another 3 seconds. Once they smell for 3 seconds (and an additional 3 if they move to the back ends) keep moving (walking away) and reward your dog for a successful greeting! The point is not to have them play together (playing on leash can be dangerous to the dogs and to any person who tries to untangle them who may get bit/scratched). The point is to have your dog say hi to another dog without jumping/pouncing/playing or growling at them.
If they do not want to say hi, they will ignore the other dog. If Fisher were to ignore another dog, he certainly can. He doesn’t have to say hi. If he chooses to ignore the dog, we would still praise him after passing the dog. Soon he will associate being around other dogs with getting a tasety treat and he will like to be around other dogs.
We have learned SO much from our puppy classes and are looking forward to extending his training with another class in a couple of months.