Teaching puppy polite meet and greet

Discussion in 'Labrador Training' started by FoxBelle, Nov 26, 2019.

  1. FoxBelle

    FoxBelle Registered Users

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    My 5 month old pup and I are currently working towards our KC good citizen Bronze award.
    One requirement of this is for the dog to sit/stand calmly whilst you have a conversation with someone. We are struggling with this as my puppy just wants to say hello to the other dogs and pull towards them, or jump up at the person. She no longer jumps up at us however when someone new approaches and wants to say hello again she can’t control the excitement.

    I feel we have every other element sorted except for this - the excitement just overtakes and concentration is lost. Any tips would be appreciated!!

    Also with regards to the actual Bronze test, can you use treats during the test/reward after each exercise?

    TIA
     
  2. Edp

    Edp Registered Users

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2014
    Messages:
    851
    Hello, good for you for doing this. I really believe doing these classes were the key to Meg developing into the steady dog she is today. She smashed bronze and silver on her first birthday. However, your dog is still very young and a nice meet and greet is very hard at her age. I would just say keep practicing what you are doing frequently and she will get there. I just took Meg out loads and did lots of “look at me” type work with great treats and slowly she settled and would be less exuberant. She peaked at 7 moths with her over enthusiastic hellos though, ..I thought she would never settle. You can’t use treats in the test, but the way we did it, all in turn, you could treat her on the way back to your chair. Good luck :)
     
  3. Jo Laurens

    Jo Laurens Registered Users

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2018
    Messages:
    1,397
    Location:
    Jersey, Channel Islands
    I'm an A1 List (Gold) KC Good Cits examiner and also teach the various levels to my own students.

    You can't use treats whilst you are under assessment for each exercise, but you CAN (and should) use treats in between exercises whilst you're waiting for your turn. That means: Any time you sit down at the side of the room and someone else is being assessed on an exercise, you can be liberally giving your dog treats. If you are under assessment, you can't give treats until that exercise is over.

    So - you can't give treats whilst standing and talking to the stranger, no. After your 1 min conversation, when you return to your chair, you can give treats.

    The requirement is NOT that the dog sit and stay whilst you talk to someone. It's just that the dog is 'under control'. This is not a stay exercise. The dog can lie down, stand and move between positions if the dog wants to. You are correct that the dog should not jump all over the person or dog or lunge towards other dogs, though.

    As for how to achieve it: Hopefully your trainer has been helping you with this? We spend a long time in class using spare people to walk 'at' a dog, whilst the owner asks for a watch me, and reinforces focus. The spare person walks closer and closer to the dog, until they are walking directly at the dog. Then the spare person starts to hang out in the vicinity of the dog and handler for increasing duration. Then we add in conversation between the spare person and the handler. Finally we add in an extra dog. We are constantly teaching the dogs that the approach of a person or dog signals reinforcement coming from their own handler. It all takes a lot of work and progression over many weeks for most enthusiastic dogs...

    I'd also agree that 5 months is very young to be doing the KC Bronze - have you already done KC Puppy? There is quite a jump from Puppy to Bronze (unfortunately) so I've added in an extra class to help people in between these levels - but don't be disheartened if it takes you some time at Bronze level now.
     
    FoxBelle and pippa@labforumHQ like this.
  4. FoxBelle

    FoxBelle Registered Users

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Thanks for your reply. Lots of useful information and tips. We have done KC puppy and are only a few weeks into Bronze with no test booked yet.

    In our class, we all walk around with our dogs randomly and then when instructed pair up and start a conversation and the instructor always asks us to make our dog sit. On reflection, I think this is probably quite a big ask for my puppy. I will focus on gradually building it up and hopefully have more success. I will speak to my trainer to see if we can try a few of your suggested exercises in class and also see if I can rope my friend into setting up scenarios outside of class too.

    Thank you once again!
     
    Jo Laurens and Edp like this.
  5. Jo Laurens

    Jo Laurens Registered Users

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2018
    Messages:
    1,397
    Location:
    Jersey, Channel Islands
    I'd suggest you instead work on just having your puppy's focus at this time, whatever position they are in. (You will find they start to offer a sit anyway, once you have their focus.) So, begin by just liberally feeding treats the whole time, then see if you can move into 'watch me' (assuming you've taught that separately already), reinforcing for focus. Then you just space out the time between treats during the 'watch me'....
     

Share This Page