Join Date: Aug 2012
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Jumping up and over-excitement meeting people
Sachi is actually doing really well on NOT jumping up on me, and to a lesser extent my husband. When she tries to jump up I just put my hands on my hips and look at her until she sits. She has to sit to say please for everything so she's getting really good at it.
However, when we're out for a walk and encounter strangers who want to pet her it all flies out the window. People of course see her and immediately their voice (mostly women and kids) goes up about ten octaves, they lean down or kneel and talk to her like a baby (which I do not) and find it utterly adorable when she starts squeaking and whining and jumping in excitement. It's only cute because she's cute and small and obviously this behavior would not be so cute were she, say, a rottweiler. And really, it's not cute. I personally can't stand it when a dog is jumping all over me, and I want Sachi to be welcome around people who also don't like dogs jumping on them, otherwise our ability to go places will be limited.
The issue here is obviously not the dog as she is learning non-jumping manners with me just fine. The issue is how do I control other people's response to her? They usually ask me if they can pet her and I say yes, but please don't let her jump on you, ask her to sit...etc. But they either don't hear me or they say something like "D'awwww she's so cute it's alright I don't mind!" And even if they do comply and ask her to sit, it's done in that high-pitched baby voice which just sends the poor dog into a frenzy of whining, licking and mouthing, and if it's a kid who wants to pet her, forget it, i'm not even sure they hear me once they're focused on the wiggling ball of fluff.
So every day when I go on a walk I'm faced with one or two encounters where I find myself thinking "should I just tell them no they can't pet her?". It's a dilemma because she's not going to learn greeting manners if she never is allowed to greet anyone, but then again if every time she greets someone her spastic behavior is rewarded then she's learning that spastic behavior is OK with strangers. The issue is further complicated because encounters on the sidewalk are very brief- people want to stop long enough to say hi but not long enough to get a lesson on how to greet my dog.
This is yet another way raising a tiny fluffy dog is vastly different from raising a big intimidating dog. No stranger ever squealed with delight and was happy to be jumped on by my rottie, at least not right away.
Now, if I knew anyone in this city I could probably set up encounters with them on the sidewalk and such, but we're new here and know no one. Being married to the military this is an ongoing challenge.
We're starting puppy classes on Tuesday so hopefully that will help a bit...should I just decline when people ask to pet her and rely on puppy classes for socialization and learning greeting manners?