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I have this conundrum I want to train around, and trying to come up with something fun me and Indiana can do to work through it.

'Magical Portals', or kind of how she must see them... 

We have things like doorways, elevators, 90 degree turns in a hallway, garage doors, where she walks and navigates in and out of all the time calmly and politely, but sometimes the gods conspire and something AMAZING appears in one of these portals! Any impulse control is out the window, our neighbors 4 year old kid she loves is racing towards her! Very tall neighbor is carrying takeout very low, and he gave Indy good scratches last time. Other neighbors extremely reactive tiny dog is growling as the door slides open.

For note, we're working on waiting at doors and that being an implied thing with general success (portals aside). 


If I had a few friends and an afternoon, maybe using an elevator as an example, what would others do to sort of desensitize this sudden overload of excitement? (5 month old pup, my expectations are realistic. However a lot of strangers indulge her, so trying to get some reps where shes not allowed to rehearse the sudden rushing and pulling).

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On 2/19/2021 at 12:10 PM, Enzsound said:

(5 month old pup, my expectations are realistic. However a lot of strangers indulge her, so trying to get some reps where shes not allowed to rehearse the sudden rushing and pulling).

Sorry but I disagree. A five month old pup is still a child and you are expecting too much of her. Be patient! Don't try to put her learning on your own schedule. She will learn, but at her own pace and rushing it or using a whole lot of different techniques may backfire on you.  And if strangers tend to indulge her, you will have to stop that from happening. I know it's not easy! You don't want to be rude or abrupt to a stranger or anyone else. But I have found that at times it is necessary. Training the dog to behave appropriately around other people is the most important thing, and ranks above complete politeness to strangers.

I put my hand out in a "stop" motion and say, "I am training my dog, so please do not distract her right now". Often that is enough but if they keep coming, I raise my voice a bit and say firmly, "I really mean this! Stop!" And the vast majority of the time they do stop. Maybe they think I am rude. Maybe they think I am being hard on my dog. Whatever. In my opinion, training good manners into my dog is far more important.

Get a few friends and a half hour of time and work with that, but don't overload her. If you did it all afternoon it would be too much. If one of those indulging strangers really wants to get to know your dog, ask them to help, and tell them that once the training exercise is done for the day they can pet her all they want, give her treats, whatever. 

I have learned to have thick skin when it comes to critical looks or comments from others because I am training mu dog. If I know that I am doing the right thing with my dog,  and training her with positive reinforcement and love, I don't need to care what others think.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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you are expecting too much of her. Be patient!

Yes, thats classic of me. I should have phrased it better as, I have no expectations, but wanted to give her some positive experiences with more control. Since they are such sudden surprises its proven hard to be completely prepared each time. Anyway, have a plan in place, we'll give it a few go's with a friend, and she'll get some chances to meet some nice new people and have a play! 

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I have learned to have thick skin when it comes to critical looks or comments from others because I am training mu dog. 

Yes! Learning this now as well, where I live the dog culture is quite strange. I don't allow on leash greetings, people have actually laughed at me and proceeded forward with their dog forcing us to turn and haul out. Bizarre, but building up the crust every day.
 

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If one of those indulging strangers really wants to get to know your dog, ask them to help

One of my kind neighbors has wanted his daughter to be more exposed to dogs, and in exchange he follows my rules for greeting the pup. He ignores her until she sits, then pets her. She started to shortcut things and goes into a down when she sees him and waits which is quite adorable, and shes starting to default sit for greetings, with only the occasional jump. Shes too excited around his daughter so we are stalling those greetings atm, but he's still willing to help so its great. 

Thanks for the good advice, we'll keep it slow and steady, try and control what we can and let her be a puppy :D

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On 2/20/2021 at 2:43 PM, D'Elle said:

I put my hand out in a "stop" motion and say, "I am training my dog, so please do not distract her right now". Often that is enough but if they keep coming, I raise my voice a bit and say firmly, "I really mean this! Stop!" And the vast majority of the time they do stop. Maybe they think I am rude. Maybe they think I am being hard on my dog. Whatever. In my opinion, training good manners into my dog is far more important.

This. Because I'm often training potential therapy dogs now, I've found that if I say "She's training to be a therapy dog" people are more inclined to take you seriously and don't try to push the issues. If it seems like they may have a few minutes I'll sometimes explain that we're working on calm greetings and enlist them to help. Most of the time it works like a charm. Willing assistants who are truly strangers to me as well as to the dog. Win/win. :)

And even if this isn't what you're training for, just saying that you're working on calm greetings will usually do the trick. But if it doesn't seem to I wouldn't be above a small fib in telling them that. People love the idea of helping tran, especially helping a dog to become a working dog of some sort. ;)

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"She's training to be a therapy dog" people are more inclined to take you seriously and don't try to push the issues.

I shouted across the street at a woman who'd already dropped her dogs leash and was heading over that my dog had an infection... it worked but I should probably steal this one for the future :P

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People love the idea of helping tran, especially helping a dog to become a working dog of some sort. ;)

Great advice thanks! 
 

We've added a little post walk ritual where we stand in high traffic areas like our buildings garage entry, our courtyard entrance where people/ bikes/ dogs just 'appear', and she gets a treat for everything she sees sitting at my side. No idea if it's working, she sits calmly and is curious and gets candy, so I guess a positive. Out and about theres just unavoidable run ins, I'll just have to be patient with her and train through what we can. It's pretty unfair for her when she gets overexcited to greet someone right after she wakes up in the morning, and I'm trying to get her to sit and wait. 

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On 3/15/2021 at 9:12 AM, GentleLake said:

This. Because I'm often training potential therapy dogs now, I've found that if I say "She's training to be a therapy dog" people are more inclined to take you seriously and don't try to push the issues. If it seems like they may have a few minutes I'll sometimes explain that we're working on calm greetings and enlist them to help. Most of the time it works like a charm. Willing assistants who are truly strangers to me as well as to the dog. Win/win. :)

And even if this isn't what you're training for, just saying that you're working on calm greetings will usually do the trick. But if it doesn't seem to I wouldn't be above a small fib in telling them that. People love the idea of helping tran, especially helping a dog to become a working dog of some sort. ;)

I thought this over for a day because I am very averse to lying in any circumstance.  I wondered if I could find a way to say something like this that was not a lie. I don't train therapy dogs, but all of my dogs are  genuinely emotional support animals for me because I have chronic depression and literally would not get out of bed some days without them to take care of and to be there for me. So, I could with all honesty say that I am training the dog to be a "Support Dog", which many people would take the same way as if I said "therapy", or even "service dog", but it would not be a lie. I may try that and see if it works, the next time I am in that position. :)

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@D'ElleIf I have my other dog with me, who is too dog reactive to pass the greeting-unknown-dog part of the therapy dog evaluations, I'll usually just say that I'm training for calm behavior. And ppl usually respect that too. If they don't I figure I've done my part and will just turn around and walk away.

But it sounds like you've arrived at a solution that works for you. If your aim is to be completely truthful I'd suggest using "support" rather than the other 2. They both have specific definitions that wouldn't be accurate in your situation. Besides, it sounds purposeful (which it is) and most ppl don't understand the nuances among the terms anyway. ;)

 

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I have also put out a hand and simply said, "I'm sorry, she is in-training right now" and that has worked equally well.  "In training" can mean obedience, therapy, support, or any number of things.  Once that is said, people usually do not ask questions since they feel you are busy and shouldn't be bothered.  :)

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People usually ask me follow up questions when I say she is in training. “Ooh what kind of training?” I think they expect something “cool” like servicedog or detection dog.  
I guess most people don’t know anyone who actually trains their dog to be a “calm dog you can take places”. I usually say I am training her to be an awesome dog - which seems to confuse them but stops further questions.

 

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On 3/17/2021 at 9:58 AM, GentleLake said:

@D'ElleIf I have my other dog with me, who is too dog reactive to pass the greeting-unknown-dog part of the therapy dog evaluations, I'll usually just say that I'm training for calm behavior. And ppl usually respect that too. If they don't I figure I've done my part and will just turn around and walk away.

But it sounds like you've arrived at a solution that works for you. If your aim is to be completely truthful I'd suggest using "support" rather than the other 2. They both have specific definitions that wouldn't be accurate in your situation. Besides, it sounds purposeful (which it is) and most ppl don't understand the nuances among the terms anyway. ;)

 

Just as I figured. :-)

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Here's a funny.....one time I was hiking a mountain with my dog and someone on the trail said "Is that a rescue dog?". Well, of course I get all my dogs from rescues, so I said yes. Then the person said, "Is he in training?" and I said, "No, he's pretty well trained at this point."

It was not until days later that it occurred to me the person probably meant search and rescue.  :D

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