Meeting people on mini walks - overwhelming

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by RyedaleLC, Jul 24, 2021.

  1. RyedaleLC

    RyedaleLC Registered Users

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    Jul 24, 2021
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    Location:
    Yorkshire, UK
    Hi. I have a gorgeous 15 week old fox red boy - Flynn. Lots of things are going really well eg house training, sleeping thru night, learning sit and come, fetch etc in garden.
    Where I am struggling is with meeting other people and dogs with Flynn. We are just doing mini short walks in our village but I find it super stressful. I am quite shy but Flynn so isn’t shy!!! He wants to meet everyone/ every dog which is excellent however he is so enthusiastic with licking, undoing shoe laces, mouthing, nipping hands etc that the posh ladies of village don’t like it and I dread meeting anyone. I don’t want him to pick up on that feeling. I would like to focus on a positive command eg sit but it’s hard when the people reward the crazy licking / nibbling by petting him. Do I have to be braver about controlling the people? Eg ask them to greet him with hands behind their back maybe? Thank you for any tips
     
  2. sarah@forumHQ

    sarah@forumHQ Moderator

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    Hi Ryedale and Flynn, welcome to the forum :)

    His behaviour is completely normal for a puppy his age. I've got still got mucky jeans on right now from meeting a gorgeous 5 month old Border Collie puppy on my walk this morning!

    This article on our main site is all about teaching a dog to sit politely. A puppy won't be able to manage it with lots of exciting distractions around him though. You need to start by practising in the most boring room of your house, and gradually progress through more distracting environments until he can manage it in close proximity to exciting new people.

    It will take a while, so in the meantime take him for walks in places where there's more space to keep your distance from people, or be brave and assertive about asking people not to pet him while he's still in training. I'm sure you've already discovered that the people who reward him for jumping up by petting and playing with him are actually a much bigger problem than the people who dislike it!

    You can actually buy harnesses and leashes with 'IN TRAINING' written on, which might help.
     
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  3. RyedaleLC

    RyedaleLC Registered Users

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    Location:
    Yorkshire, UK
    Thank you Sarah for reply. Yes reading the article on sitting we still have a fair way to go with that and the length of the sit although he loves sitting so there is hope!
    I have also roped in a couple of friends who have been primed to come and meet us in village and will keep their hands out of the way and that gives me a fighting chance of getting him to focus on me for sitting.
    I really want to keep the socialising going but crikey it’s not easy when yr tired anyway etc.
    Using a front clip harness is also helping a lot but if v excited he can somersault backwards which I’m trying to avoid. It is worth having a second lead with me so I could do front and back clips for those moments?
     
  4. RyedaleLC

    RyedaleLC Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2021
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    Location:
    Yorkshire, UK
    Still struggling with meeting people and dogs when out on our practice walks. Putting me off going out but I’m trying. I am keeping some distance between puppy and people as he will jump and snatch for their hands. However, he now howls because I’m restricting his access to their hands - this is a bit of a shock as he is silent and chilled in our home and garden.
    Do I just have to persevere with sitting during these meetings? I am rewarding sitting as much as possible in those distracted situations
     

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