Much like children, young dogs lack a sturdy sense of impulse control. As responsible pet parents, it’s important to teach your canine companion proper manners.

Say Please

Keep your dog from bombarding you as soon as you pick up a toy or treat by teaching him to “say please”. 

  • First, tell your dog to sit or lay down. 
  • Hold a food or a toy in one hand and gently lower it towards your dog. If your dog stands up or jumps toward you, immediately hide the toy or food behind your back. 
  • Ask your dog to sit or lay down again and slowly lower the toy once more. 
  • Repeat this process until you are able to lower the toy or food all the way to the ground without your dog jumping up. 

If your dog stays sitting or laying down, you can then tell him “Okay” and reward him with pets, praise, or a quick game of tug. 

Say Hello

Hyper hellos are no fun for anyone. Here are a few tricks to train your dog to politely say hello without jumping up.

Ask a friend or another family member to help you with this exercise. Make sure that your dog knows and likes the other person involved. 

  • Begin by putting a leash on your dog and standing 20-30 feet away from the other person. 
  • Use a happy, excited voice to get your dog’s attention then begin walking towards the other person. If your dog starts to get too excited and begins jumping, pulling and/or barking, stop and take two steps backwards.
  • Redirect your dog’s attention to you by asking him to “sit”. After he sits, begin walking forward towards the other person again. 
  • Repeat this process until you are able to reach the other person with all four of your dog’s paws planted on the ground. 

To avoid over-exciting your dog all over again, make sure the rewarded “hello” is quiet and calm. 

“Wait”

Does your dog leap out of the car as soon as you open the door? This behavior can become risky if you are parked near a busy road. Teaching your dog to “wait” will teach him calmly approach the car door rather than rushing it. 

  • Begin by standing outside your car. Ask your dog to “wait” and slowly start to open the car door. If your dog begins to move towards you, immediately close the door. Make sure your dog is far enough away from the door before shutting it. 
  • Wait 15 seconds before trying again. 
  • Repeat this process until your dog calmly approaches you before getting out of the car. 

If you would like information from an Anti-Cruelty Behavior Specialist regarding this behavior topic, please call 312-645-8253 or email behavior@anticruelty.org.

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