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Dean Verger
It’s always good to know a little about the person working with your dog.

Letters on Problems



Great dogs, good neighbours


- A collection of letters on behaviour -

Dealing with Over Exuberant Greetings

Exuberant greeting behaviours are normal. This does not mean everybody enjoys having the nails of their dog raking into their leg.

We want to maintain a good relationship with our dog, allowing the dog to be confident and secure, yet we wish to be comfortable and safe. How to achieve both.

Things to do: Set ups.
This is where you repeat greetings with many people many times in a controlled setting usually in a small period of time.

  • calming signal: turn your back on the dog until s/he calms down.
  • pay attention to your dog when all four feet are on the ground.
  • repeat entry or approach approximately 20 times
  • larger reward for first non-jump
  • work on one element at a time, such as jumping; crying; pacing
  • use of a barrier is good during the training phase so the dog cannot access you
  • having a mat as a target where the dog must stay for the reward helps

As well it is advisable to make departures and entries or approaches as neutral as possible. So no games before you leave the house, nor any frolicking when approaching your dog. Give your dog a chance to calm down from the 'happiness' s/he feels over your return before playing, paying attention towards, or feeding your dog.

Pay attention to your dog when the dog is calm. Ignore, or remove yourself otherwise.

Submissive Urination

Submissive Urination is a classic example of doing nothing being the best approach.

To begin with submissive behaviour is either appeasement, the dog's attempt to get the owner to calm down, when the owner is angry or it is an excited response. Therefore either being angry, or attempting to physically calm the dog down results in an increase in stress...(excitement or anxiety).

Let us begin by teaching an appropriate greeting 'sit'

  • Next in a half hour period or less try to enter the house at least 20 times.
  • do not look at the dog, but be calm and relaxed
  • wait until the dog calms down,
  • ask for a sit then pay mild attention to the dog
  • if the dog urinates ignore,
  • if the dog does not urinate, but does sit, reinforce
  • after the dog calms down exit and repeat entry

We are attempting to make entry a non-event, with the proper reinforceable greeting being the 'sit' We are also developing the dog's confidence level.

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