If you want your dog to see you as the authority figure in the house, you must act like a leader. The greeting is a great place to start.
No, I’m not suggesting that you sniff your dog’s backside. But I am suggesting that you learn how to greet dogs in a manner that represents the fact that you are the one in charge of the interaction.
Consider this: How would a dominant dog greet another dog? He would be erect, postured, tail high, head high, and serious.
How would a submissive dog greet another dog? He would be low, sometimes crawling, groveling, slightly excited, whining, and occasional submissive urination.
Now, how do people typically meet dogs? They tend to be low, excited, and speaking in a high pitched voice. If you were a dog, how would you see this type of greeting?
So, the big question… How do you want your dog to see you?
Greeting our dogs is something we typically do multiple times per day. We greet them when returning from work, walking to the mailbox, etc.
Here’s how to great your dog correctly:
• Enter the space.
• When dogs come to greet you, stop.
• Gain roots in your feet. Stand your ground.
• No eye contact. Looking at a dog during the greeting phase only invites them to totally molest you.
• No petting. Petting during the greeting is only rewarding the excited behavior.
• No talking. Talking will only bring more excitement to the entire situation.
• Be quite. Remain calm.
• Bump the dog off of you if he jumps or rubs on you.
• Wait until the dogs TOTALLY calms down before interacting.
By following the steps, you will be rewarding wonderful, calm, submissive, relaxed behavior.
Anytime we can assert leadership and remove stress from our dogs, we are “closing the gap between the canine-human bond”.
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