Training the dog is sometimes the easiest part. But how do you train the humans to appropriately train and interact with your dog? Much like you train your dog. With positive reinforcement, management and redirection.
How to Positively Train Humans Around Your Dog
If your relatives are offering the dog fatty human foods that are bad for them, offer them an alternative instead. I almost always have dog treats on me and give them to people who want to feed Mr. N unsuitable things. If they’re encouraging mouthy play, hand them a toy to tug with.
Do people encourage your dog to jump on them or encourage other undesirable behaviors? Redirect them. Kids and adults alike are perfectly happy to high five, fist bump or shake Mr. N’s paw instead of picking him up or petting him over the top of his head (which he really dislikes). Mr. N prefers that alternative greeting too. We were at a dog park once and someone offered him a hand to sniff and he solemnly high-fived instead.
People and dogs both love rewards and good behavior should be rewarded. If kids are polite about asking to pet Mr. N, my answer is almost always yes. They get treats to feed him with and they get to watch him show off his tricks. If they just start screaming “puppy!” at the top of their lungs and come charging at us, no puppy. The puppy and I are very busy. Same goes for adults. If you try to pick him up or just start grabbing at his face, no petting time for you. But if you ask, Mr. N will be in a much happier state of mind and will crawl into your lap if you sit still for long enough.
Sometimes no matter what you do, people will not listen or follow instructions. In that case, you manage the situation. You either don’t let them have access to your dog, keep the dog crated/at home or stay glued to your dog’s side at all times while they’re there. Yelling at them might be satisfying but won’t fix the problem in the long run. An acquaintance refuses to heed my instructions regarding Mr. N’s care and he will do things like take away Mr. N’s chew and tease him with it. Mr. N doesn’t resource guard and I really don’t want him to start. So I watch Mr. N like a hawk at all times when that person is there or remove him from the situation entirely.
How do you positively train humans around your dog?
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Welcome to First Monday’s Positive Pet Training Blog Hop hosted by Tenacious Little Terrier, Travels with Barley and Wag ‘n Woof Pets . Please share your responsible pet owner positive pet training tips by linking a blog post or leaving a comment below. Our theme for this month is training the humans but any positive reinforcement training posts or comments are also always welcome. The Positive Pet Training Blog Hop goes all week long. Our next hop will begin Sept 4th and continues for a week.