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    15 - Introduce appropriate greetings

    15 - Introduce appropriate greetings

    Many dogs get over-excited and jump up when meeting people because they have not been taught how to greet appropriately. The problem is made worse because people greet dogs in different ways, which can be really confusing, especially for a youngster.

    We cannot educate the entire population how to greet our dogs appropriately but we can teach our dog that this action by a human can be quite rewarding. The following steps show how to follow the hand touch through to a greeting behavior that is rewarding and acceptable to both humans and dogs. The hand touch is also a brilliant way to introduce the clicker

    1. Offer the back of your hand to your dog. Have your fingers pointing downwards and hold the clicker in the other hand well away from his head. When his nose gently touches your hand, click, pause a couple of seconds and then give a small soft treat.
    2. Make gentle eye contact (half-close your eyes) and then offer your hand. Click when your dog touches it and, as before, give a small treat.
    3. Repeat step 2 a few times, increasingly making more direct eye contact until your dog is confident.
    4. Gradually lean and move more quickly towards your dog until he accepts this approach by immediately touching the front of your hand.
    5. As your dog gains confidence, begin to involve other people in training this behavior, talking them through the exercise. He should greet them with a hand touch and then turn back to you.
    6. Finally, when your dog is offering this behavior consistently as a greeting, put in a verbal cue, such as ‘say hello’.

    Marie turns her hand over and gives Cookie a small soft treat

    Don''t train your dog to be a mugger

    To avoid your dog mugging strangers for treats, ask people not to give your dog treats from their pocket. If somebody wants to give your dog a treat and you feel awkward about saying no, hand your treat pouch to them.

    Cookie is learning to touch the back of a hand gently with her nose

    Naomi joins in and Cookie is learning to greet her in the same way

    From 100 Ways to Train the Perfect Dog, Copyright by Sarah Fisher, licensed through ContentOro, Inc and used by arrangement with D & C

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