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    1. #1
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      JoAnn's Avatar
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      Question Meet and Greet Problem

      I have a 6 y/o lab and I believe that he would be a great therapy dog. He is very gentle and easy going...except when first meeting someone. He does not jump on people but just very excited when someone tries to pet him (which is pretty normal for a lab). Once I begin talking to the person he will actually lay down. He is fine walking thru crowds, pet stores. I can put him in a down while I look at something...he is fine. I just need to calm him down on the initial greeting and petting. I would appreciate any thoughts/tips that would help. Thank you!

    2. #2
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      Have you looked into Therapy Dog classes? That will help you determine if it's a good fit for you and him. It may be a good fit... it may not. If he doesn't enjoy it, it's not worth it.

      My 6 month old is in Therapy Dog classes on advice of a trainer who observed her focus w/ people. So we are training her for this, but it still might not be the right fit. Right now, she seems to love it. But it's got to be about her, and not me.

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      JoAnn (11-27-2015)

    4. #3
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      Jake loves people. We used to do rally and obedience trials. He did ok but just not a ring dog...bored. He is very affectionate and very tuned into people. We did a therapy dog class...little did I know we were being evaluated and he passed that part. We would be moving on to visiting a health facility, etc for further evaluation but I would like to calm his wiggly initial greetings. I take him to places to practice his greetings but people get so carried away even after explains to them not to got over excited with their greetings. It just reinforces the problem. Thank you for your ideas.

    5. #4
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      At the last Denise Fenzi seminar I attended, there was a golden there with a working spot. The dog was an adult, I think about five, and well trained. They were doing agility. However, he was so into people and all over them, that he would jump the gates and land in people's laps so she could not trial him. The dog literally lost it! He bolted for people. Jumped on them. Just went wild. Getting him from the crate to the ring was a job within itself. She used methods like this to overcome it within minutes during the session. However, with each new person, it started all over again.

      One thing she explained is that the dog was actually not self-rewarding. It was in a frenzied state, way over threshold. The dog doesn't want to be like that, but the action of visiting someone while the dog in that state creates even more excitement and the dog becomes out of control (both the handler and his own self) working himself up. Over time, it becomes a habit, a conditioned response. She did say that under the best of circumstances, an adult dog with a severe enough issue may never be able to have a calm greeting right off the bat.

      I think that to help your dog you will need a trainer and a handful of experienced dog people. I think, for therapy work, it could be a long road to overcome this, but you never know until you try!

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    7. #5
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      This is Sophie to a "T". She will literally choke herself out trying to get to someone. She's been like that since she was a baby, and it's not any better now at the age of 4. She misses out on a lot because I won't have her jumping on people. When we are out, the second her front paws come off the ground I take her away. The hardest part is when we are out DW usually handles Sophie, and she just doesn't get how to handle the dog when the react in a certain way. Since I'm working so hard with training Bruce, I don't want DW handling him which would cause confusion. Sometimes it's hard to have two dogs and deal with all the particulars.

      I've read through the Denise Fenzi article, and paln on working on this with Sophie. I'll give updates on how it's going.

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      JoAnn (11-27-2015)

    9. #6
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      Help me out here. As you may know, this is something I have been trying to manage with Ram Jet Rocket Dog. I don't know if what she is doing is a frenzied state or not. Oh, for sure... if someone comes breezing into the room making eye contact and inviting a slobbering love-fest, RD is will out run any other dog to the sap first. But hey, I can't control people.

      My concern is that my dog attend to me, whether people are sucking up to her or not. It usually goes sideways by increments. She's on a sit or a down, the unthinking or unenlightened person who (for God only knows what reason) can't tell the dog is on a leash with a handler, comes sashaying up to her offering high pitched baby talk and tentatively offering (then withdrawing then offering, then withdrawing) a hand. At this point RD begins to creep, then after giving me a sideways look, and judging how tight the leash is or not... THEN she launches. But even then, she is only after touching/licking the sap's hand. Then she'll bump the person with her backside asking for a rump-scratch. Then if absolutely invited... YES she'll be on her hind-legs licking the fool's face if she can.

      Don't get me wrong. This is problematic. I just think it is under her control to some degree. (That was what I found out by using the harness that said "Do NOT pat" on it.) Her breaking requires the cooperation of the other person to reach full flower (paws on their shoulder getting their faces licked.) I can call her off. I can call her back. (Gutteral... "Aahhhh NO!" *leash-pop* 'GitoverHERE!") So she can stop the behavior when told to without requiring being jerked off her feet.

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      JoAnn (11-27-2015)

    11. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by TuMicks View Post
      Don't get me wrong. This is problematic. I just think it is under her control to some degree. (That was what I found out by using the harness that said "Do NOT pat" on it.) Her breaking requires the cooperation of the other person to reach full flower (paws on their shoulder getting their faces licked.) I can call her off. I can call her back. (Gutteral... "Aahhhh NO!" *leash-pop* 'GitoverHERE!") So she can stop the behavior when told to without requiring being jerked off her feet.
      Have you tried (assuming she knows the command already) issuing a firm LEAVE IT as the person approaches? I’ve found that works well with Chloe - it lets her know that she is not supposed to be greeting. Due to repeated “tests” in class she figures it is a trick and she is being set up if the person still tries to encourage her. Otherwise, in the absence of any counter-instructions she is quite happy to meet and greet.
      Annette

      Cookie (Jamrah’s Legally Blonde, CD, BN) 6/4/2015
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      Remembering:
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      Our foster Jolie (UCh Windsong’s Genuine Risk, CDX, WC) 5/26/1999 - 3/2/2014
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      Charlotte K. (11-26-2015), JoAnn (11-27-2015)

    13. #8
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      Do people look at you strangely when they are approaching and in a low voice you are saying "Leaveitleaveitleavit" or something like that. Our command, part of the field repertoire is "no bird" because in HT, there are sometimes birds you DON't want the dog to get. I'm wondering what people would think if I'm warning "NOBIRDnobirdnobirdnobird" when they approach.

      I'm pretty sure they would think me weird. But... oh, well...

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      JoAnn (11-27-2015)

    15. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by TuMicks View Post
      Do people look at you strangely when they are approaching and in a low voice you are saying "Leaveitleaveitleavit" or something like that. Our command, part of the field repertoire is "no bird" because in HT, there are sometimes birds you DON't want the dog to get. I'm wondering what people would think if I'm warning "NOBIRDnobirdnobirdnobird" when they approach.

      I'm pretty sure they would think me weird. But... oh, well...
      Well, I usually only do it if we are either working (on Obedience or if we are out jogging and I don’t want her to stop) or if we are approaching someone who looks like they don’t want a greeting, so people either don’t notice it or appreciate it. I don’t really worry about what other people think, but if they looked at me or asked I would just explain that I am training the dog to wait to be released before greeting people.

      You might get stranger looks than I do saying “no bird” though .... especially indoors, LOL.

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      JoAnn (11-27-2015)

    17. #10
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      Leave works great with Bruce. his head will snap around and look right at me, and I tell him "watch". He's very food motivated, so once the object of affection passes, I release him and give him a treat. This process will work with Sophie up to a point. If it's someone she knows, all bets are off. There are a couple people we walk with on occasion, and as soon as she see's them she's right off the hook. They work with me to get her to stop, ie; no touch, talk, or eye contact until she settles. It's the strangers that tell you it's ok, and won't stop petting or talking, even when you tell them she can't be petted unless all four feet are on the ground. I try not to be rude, but sometimes it's really hard.

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      JoAnn (11-27-2015)

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