How Should I Greet a Puppy?

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A hyper, super-excited puppy greeting you when you get home might seem adorable. Unfortunately, puppies grow up and all the jumping that used to be adorable becomes just bad behavior. The solution: Be very mindful of how you greet your puppy. You're teaching young Rover how to behave for the rest of his life.

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Tip #1 - Say hello when you come in, but don't overdo it. Big gestures of "Hi, Baby!" and loud noises will only serve to get the puppy more and more agitated. Agitation usually means barking, jumping or whimpering -- all behaviors you don't want to reinforce. Instead, open the door and say hi using a soft voice. Don't make it seem like such a big deal that you're coming back. Instead, pat him on the head or talk to him as you open the door and get into the house, but keep your voice and your movements soft so they calm him down rather than worsen the agitation.

Tip #2 - Correct jumping as soon as it happens. If your puppy starts jumping on your legs when you greet him, say "no" and ask him to sit. If he keeps jumping, ignore him and walk away. He'll get the message that when you greet him, you don't appreciate jumping and will stop doing it eventually. Practice the sit command at times when he's not so excited, so you can then use it when you greet him as well.


Tip #3 - Pick up the puppy and kiss him or hug him if that's how you want to say hello -- but only do it if the puppy is behaving properly. No picking up Rover if he's jumping or barking like crazy. Otherwise, the picking up will feel like a reward for that behavior. Instead, wait until he calms down or sits, and then go ahead and greet him with a kiss.

By Tammy Dray



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About the Author
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.