Juvenile delinquent

When my daughter’s class went to Sea World earlier this week (I know, don’t get me started) I was not asked to chaperone. That was OK with me, for several reasons:

1. I got to chaperone the awesome trip to the wildlife preserve in January.

2. You all know how I feel about Sea World.

One other reason: I found out that many of the parents invited to chaperone were so asked because the teacher was afraid that without direct parental supervision, their children would end up running around in the penguin exhibit. In other words, not being invited was a good thing.

So off I went about my day, pleased that I have raised such a great citizen, and off I went to work. The dogs got to enjoy doggie day care, per usual.
When I went to pick them up, the manager was there. She smiled.

“Uh…” she began, “Does Brody, you know, bite you at home? Like in the arm?”

“No,” I said. “Oh HECK no.” Her expression said, Oh heck yes.

She wanted to know if it was OK if Brody was told no by the supervisors when he did this, as though I would purr affectionately and tell them to deal with his love-bites, he was an angel, and clearly this was all a big misunderstanding. I guess that happens a lot.

“So,” she said, “He doesn’t bite you?” I assured her that no, though he used to try- a lot- he learned quickly that we did not tolerate biting 60 pound dogs. Obviously Brody hasn’t extrapolated that No Biting People thing to include all people.

There was a new dog in day care today, and I guess Brody was looking for attention. I feel like a parenting failure. It’s like the dog equivalent of your kid coloring their face with highlighters.

He jumps on people a lot as well, which is hard for me to work with because he doesn’t do it with me anymore. When he jumps on Grandma, or my co-workers, no one wants to tell him “no” because he’s just so darn loveable and they feel bad doing it- despite me telling them it was fine to do so. He almost took out my mother-in-law over the weekend with his exuberant greeting.

I’m taking this as a strong reminder that I need to back up and work harder on his greeting manners, and call my trainer and maybe go do some refresher classes. We will get there. I am properly chagrined.

In the meantime I told the manager to please correct him, and if he is overly worked up then remove him from the group for a few minutes so he can calm down. Don’t worry, no one suggested shock collars. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I know a lot of you have extensive training experience, so if you have any particularly helpful tips for the Crazy Happy Jumper Greeter or the Attention Nibbler, lay em on me.

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  • Pat in east TN

    I’d appreciate it if you would do a post on those readers tips on helping a Crazy Happy Jumper Greeter, as I have one of those too! A Boxer mix who is the best dog in the world til company comes and then he totally zones out, although within 5 minutes does settle down. Ignoring him, turning our backs to him, etc, etc, just doesn’t work with this guy.

  • 1) Invite people over.

    2) Tether Brody to something like a table, radiator (do they have those in Southern California?), or something else suitably large and Brody-anchor-worthy.

    3) Have people approach Brody one at a time. (More than one can be later.)

    4) As soon as Brody even looks like he’s going to jump (That’s where you being able to watch without worrying about Brody mugging someone comes in handy.) They turn and WALK AWAY without saying a word.

    5) If Brody does not jump, they reward him with CALM attention.

    6) Lather, rinse repeat.

    I prefer doing this without anyone telling Brody what to do. He knows what behaviors people like from him. I also prefer not using food for this. He obviously finds attention from people very rewarding or he wouldn’t do all this. Food would just be a distraction.

    And don’t feel bad. There are far worse sins than a dog that loves people a bunch!

    • Thank you Eric- always great to have your input!
      I really like the tether idea. Right now I have him at the front door with me holding on to him and I think your suggestions will be much better. OK, so no instruction, no correction, just consequences. OK.

      • Autumnhound

        I did this exact things months ago for one of my corgi puppies. It was just me and a friend of mine, and I did use a treat so that I could shoehorn the sit command into the not-jumping routine, and all in all it worked wonderfully.

        However. I have another dog named Leah, and I swear to god, she is two bricks short of a load. This didn’t work on her, nor the potty training (she pees in the house if she’s sneaky enough) or tricks, or the barking control (ruff ruff rough). I am beginning to think she’s a little inbred for her to be so…so….mentally deficient. Argh. She does catch a wonderful frisbee though, so all is forgiven as none of my other mongrels fetch anything at all.

  • Otis loved when new people came over (or hell, even fil who came often) and would greet them rather excitedly. After awhile, I started putting him on the gentle leader when people came in. That kept him from jumping. Within a few minutes, I was able to take it off. After some time of that, he didn’t do that as much to familiar people (like fil), so I only had to do it for brand new people.

    • I think that is how I did it with my last Golden- gentle leader and a short short leash. I can’t even remember!

  • I can’t help with the biting, but with the jumping, I find a quick step away and turning to the side and ignoring the dog works wonders. It works especially well if their paws never touch you. I taught a friend’s 14 week old sheltie not to jump on me in under two minutes that way. His owner thought I was a miracle-worker. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Of course, the downside is that he still jumped on other people who didn’t do what I did. (or even better, encouraged the “cute little puppy”) It’s also very hard to teach them when they won’t do it to you anymore! If you can find a few helpful accomplices, you may have some luck, though.

    • Yes, I need some highly trained PEOPLE to help. lol

  • Aida

    We were with successful training Bailey not to jump by being militant with all guests entering the home. If he tried to jump – they were instructed to turn and ignore. It’s all about training the guests. People gave me a hard time, since he was such a cute puppy at the time – but I reminded them that I had a mother who used a walker and if he didn’t learn now, there would definitely be a serious accident when she would come to visit. Everyone was more than happy to help. He never jumps. Unfortunately, I haven’t spent the same effort on the crazy barking when someone’s at the door. That drives me up a wall.

    • You’re right, I need to be more militant. The grandparents will be the toughest sell (aren’t they always.)

  • Lisa W

    It’s really hard when some people REALLY love it when the giant cute puppy greets them so exuberantly. Oscar is 10 months and about 75 pounds now — he won’t jump on us but his grandma just loves it that he is so excited to see her. I get “I know I’m not supposed to let him but it just lifts my heart…” I don’t really know what to say to that. (And turning our backs on him never worked – he’d just jump on our backs. We had to hold out a hand and physically block him.)

    I can’t get the barking thing under control, though. We have woods behind our house so there are all kinds of critters to fuss at. Sometimes he gets really excited and jumps on the privacy fence and “stands up” to look over it to see what’s going on…. One of these days that poor fence is going to give way.

    Mine have both gone to doggy boot camp and did really well, but there are these last couple of things that I can’t seem to keep “fixed” at home. Time for an at-home coach, I think…

    • 10 months? How time flies. I guess that makes sense, Brody’s 11. When did our pups get so HUGE! And NUTS?

  • Arwen

    These videos are very interesting. The method is based on teaching the dog to make the right choice, by making that choice work for him. The only thing I would do different would be to phase out treats a little earlier (go toward mostly praise/petting with the occasional treat to keep it interesting). I love that the dog is happy and attentive throughout, and when she starts self-correcting (‘I wanna ju—wait, sitting gets me what I want’) you can tell that she really understands what is happening and is making choices, rather than just be scared out of jumping because someone kneed her or something.


  • Cathey

    I found this link and information very helpful – even for a 4 month old Golden who LOVES, LOVES, LOVES everyone!


  • Liz

    Not at all the same, but I know what you mean….when I send my 15lb, mummy’s boy tabby cat to the vet and they’re all like ‘oh, what a BIG boy’ (believe me, we’re working on this), or when the neighbours come over and go ‘your cat’s been coming through out cat door and eating our cat food’…..it’s embarrassing, like you’ve sent your kid to camp with no shoes on or something