Teaching The Puppy Etiquette

Now that your pup has learned the basic commands, h0 will be a better citizen. He is not, by any means, a trick dog, nor is he browbeaten. He's a dog under control.

You may, if you wish, go on with the dog to more advanced training that will lead to competitive obedience trials or proper etiquette in the show ring. Among these are advanced maneuvers such as figure-eights and circles while heeling; tracking, fetching and other advanced work. What he knows now, though, makes him an obedient dog.

However, by way of finishing school, you can teach him some simple etiquette. He can be taught to stand and not to jump on people or chase cars.

Standing

Teaching the dog to stand is usually done for the purpose of examination in the show ring. But you may find it useful when you and the dog meet someone on the street. You also have the option of commanding the dog to sit.

Start from the sit position, heel the dog and, as you are walking, switch the leash to your left hand. Next, give the command to "Stand!" Immediately follow the command with a hand signal: put your right hand, palm down, close to the dog's nose. Repeat the command "Stand!" If he moves, tap him on the nose with your hand. He'll soon learn to stop and stand.

Jumping up on people

Correcting the pup when he jumps up on people requires a reverse technique from the one you have been using in the basic commands. You now have to teach him not to do something.

There are several methods for convincing the pup he shouldn't jump up. One is to take the psychological approach. The reason the dog jumps up is simply that he wants to reach your face. So, remove the attraction—bend down to him every time he comes to you. When your face is down near his level, he has no reason to jump up. But you will have to get the other members of the family to cooperate on this one. If they encourage the dog to jump up and you discourage it, there's going to be a confused pup. While some dog owners don't mind the dog jumping up, strangers (particularly those in clean or white clothes) will not take too kindly to such an effusive greeting by your dog.

The dog may try to jump up when you least expect it. If you are quick enough, you can stall him by grasping his front paws, waltzing him back and away from you, then pushing him down. Another method that can be used on a large dog is to plant your knee on his chest as he leaps up. The impact will usually throw him back. When he drops down, immediately tell him "No!"—then give him the command to sit. Praise him when he sits.

Car chasing

This is a habit that has to be stopped before it becomes chronic. Car chasers are difficult to rehabilitate. Prevention is worth a pound of cure in this case. If you are out with the dog and he suddenly gets the urge to chase a car or bicycle, make him come to you and give him the command to sit-stay. Release him and have a friendly tussle with him to get his mind off the car or bicycle. If he tries to dash after another car, give him a severe reprimanding and make him sit-stay. A full discussion on this bad habit is given in Chapter 9.

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