Say Hello Politely

Teach your puppy how to “Say Hello” politely: It is important to manage the situation until you have taught your puppy this behaviour. Put your puppy on a lead in situations where they are more likely to jump so they can’t practice and self reinforce the behaviour. It is important to remember that it is too late to train at the moment it is happening, it is unfair to expect them to have the skills that they have not been taught. You must invest in the time to teach your puppy what you expect from them.


Step 1: Put a couple of treats on the ground and then move away from your puppy. As they leave the treats and move back towards you, stick out your arm with a treat in front of their nose and lure them into a sit when they get roughly to a metre in front of you (you must always have this distance between you when working on this game - if they sit closer do not reward), say the command “Say hello” when they are approaching/sitting and bridge and reward them in a sit directly in front of you without moving their feet. You will have to step into them to give them the treat. Continue to bridge and reward multiple times for sitting still. If your puppy takes treats hard, put the treat down on the floor in front of them instead. Repeat this multiple times and then remove the lure to see if they will offer a sit naturally. Be patient and give them time to work it out. 


Step 2: Whilst sitting in front of you bridge and reward eye contact. 


Step 3: Practice bending over your puppy and touch. Bridge and reward.


Step 4: Add an excited voice and movements. Bridge and reward.


Step 5: Now start to introduce strangers. When greeting guests, bridge and reward every step you take towards guests whilst your puppy is calm and place treats on the ground. Repeat above steps. If your puppy is too focused on your hand and the food. You must wait for them to look at the guest and bridge and reward. 


Variation for home life: In times where your puppy is more likely to jump like when you are opening a door, you must not advance until your puppy is in a sit position. Bridge and reward them whilst they are in the correct position (don’t worry they will be able to hear you through the door) and put the treats on the ground (the value comes from down low). Increase criteria to be able to open the door fully and walk outside without your puppy moving from the sit position before you bridge and reward. Break it down into little achievable steps to get to that end result.