How do you make a hopping hound simmer down? The dog trainer is in to answer your questions. Alexandra Macias, owner and operator of the Long Beach-based Alex Macias dog training, will be sitting down and answering readers' pet-related questions in the coming months.
My two-year-old Golden Retriever, Redondo, jumps on everyone he meets. He especially jumps on strangers in public if they approach him to say hi. Any suggestions?
Staying calm in social situations is definitely one of the most important skills we can teach our dogs. It’s important to teach him that he needs to be calm in order to get attention from people. The absolute best way to set Redondo up for success while out and about is to put him on a Gentle Leader and on his leash. The Gentle Leader will give you more control and help take the edge off of his energy. Have a friend or family member go with you to a public place to practice, and follow these steps:
- As you approach someone, put Redondo in a sit position at your side.
- Have the person calmly approach him.
- If Redondo gets excited, or gets up from the sit position, have him sit again, and tell the person to turn around, and walk away. Once he’s calmly sitting, the person may approach again, and attempt to give Redondo attention.
- Repeat steps one through four as many times as it takes for Redondo to remain sitting for attention.
He needs to learn that he must be calm and sitting to get pet. If Redondo gets overly excited when you come home from work, or jumps on you, ignore him until he calms down. Once he’s calm, you can give him as much attention as you’d like. If he jumps on you, or gets overly excited, stop petting him and giving him attention, and turn your back and walk away. Continue to do this until he can remain calm for your attention. Practice is the key with all dog training, especially when it comes to teaching them how to stay calm in social situations. Be consistent, and practice as much as possible.
Above, left: file photo.