How to "Say Hi" - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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How to "Say Hi"

Ok, I would like to see if anyone else has had to teach their GSD to Greet People, i.e. to "Say Hi" to strangers.

many GSD's that I see are not too good at this (of course I rrealize that many are good as were most of my previous ones)

My 5yo male GSD is USUALLY very good at this but not always, if someone stares at him or acts like they are leery/afraid of him or esp. if they stick their hand out toward him, he has been known to react with barking and lunging.

What i would like to do is teach him a command "SAY HI" that he would then perhaps sit and accept a pet or two w/o reacting if they don't act like an experienced dog person would (ignore him and/or offer a back of the hand).

So, one, is this possible based on your experience with sometimes a little reactive dog and two, what is the best way to go about it?

Now remember, with my dog, the vast majority of times he is fine with people and only very occassionally will decide there is something a little off (in his doggy mind) with someone and will react.

I would like to teach him to be a lot more bullet proof (if it is possible?).

Ideas?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 08:37 PM
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From the beginning with mine, I taught her to sit if she wanted to get pet. It was also part of her obedience classes. Now mine loves all people, so her first reaction is to jump, but she is learning that she won't get pet if she does this. The biggest problem and it doesn't happen often with me is people coming right up to the dog and trying to pet them without warning. I went to a Pet Expo yesterday and several people did this with mine. She didn't react, but my reaction was to kinda get her out of the situation. I politely told people she had to sit to get pet. Other then making him sit whenever a person approaches you should watch him to see how he is reacting. Is it one kind of person in particular that he don't care for..men, older men, women, etc? I think it can be taught, he's more then half way there...just be careful

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 08:46 PM
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if i had a 5 yr old dog and is sometimes reactive i wouldn't let
people pet him. i understand how you want him to react but
is it worth the risk of someone getting bit in trying to train
him to act differently? because you want him to be friendly
to strangers doesn't mean he's going to be friendly to strangers
even with training and socializing.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 08:58 PM
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Unfortunately if your dog is slightly reactive most people don't know how to take it. Delgado gets leery of certain situations, for example if a group of people come up to him he may back up slightly or jump forward so I taught him to sit, both in class and in the outside world like Lombardo

Sometimes it backfires. I was at Petsmart last week with just Delgado and I went to pick up one item so I headed to that aisle and was debating the purchase when this young Petsmart employee comes into the aisle with a husky and what I assume was it's owners trailing behind them. I saw them come into the aisle out of the corner of my eye so I turned to watch to make sure there wouldn't be any issues with the other dog or Delgado.

I'm very picky about who my dog greets and find some of the people in Petsmart aren't always savvy so I watch if they come near. The Petsmart guy is being dragged by this dog and the husky freezes about 10' away from us and is staring intently at Delgado who is sitting at my side. The guy is frozen as well and this goes on for about 15 seconds so now I'm getting annoyed. He hasn't said a word to me and is now disturbing our shopping experience with this silliness so I raise my eyebrow at him and pick up my purchase and go to walk away. I can hear him comment to the other people with him as we walk away, "see, that dog is scared"

I turned around to give him a what for but they had already disappeared and I was going to be late for class so I went to the cash and left. Man was I fuming, if he's one of the Petsmart trainers and he's teaching these clients that a dog sitting politely is "scared" what else is he teaching these people So a dog that's lunging excitedly is more confident and therefore more appealing? I hope I'm wrong for the owners sake

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doggiedad View Post
if i had a 5 yr old dog and is sometimes reactive i wouldn't let
people pet him. i understand how you want him to react but
is it worth the risk of someone getting bit in trying to train
him to act differently? because you want him to be friendly
to strangers doesn't mean he's going to be friendly to strangers
even with training and socializing.
He is friendly with the vast majority of people we meet. I guess if i rephrased the question is "can a dog be trasined to accept strangers even if they act a little wierd (in doogy language)? At least to the point of ignoring the weird ones and not reacting to them? If so, how?

BTW, of course I will be very cautious (already am!).
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shade View Post
Unfortunately if your dog is slightly reactive most people don't know how to take it. Delgado gets leery of certain situations, for example if a group of people come up to him he may back up slightly or jump forward so I taught him to sit, both in class and in the outside world like Lombardo

Sometimes it backfires. I was at Petsmart last week with just Delgado and I went to pick up one item so I headed to that aisle and was debating the purchase when this young Petsmart employee comes into the aisle with a husky and what I assume was it's owners trailing behind them. I saw them come into the aisle out of the corner of my eye so I turned to watch to make sure there wouldn't be any issues with the other dog or Delgado.

I'm very picky about who my dog greets and find some of the people in Petsmart aren't always savvy so I watch if they come near. The Petsmart guy is being dragged by this dog and the husky freezes about 10' away from us and is staring intently at Delgado who is sitting at my side. The guy is frozen as well and this goes on for about 15 seconds so now I'm getting annoyed. He hasn't said a word to me and is now disturbing our shopping experience with this silliness so I raise my eyebrow at him and pick up my purchase and go to walk away. I can hear him comment to the other people with him as we walk away, "see, that dog is scared"

I turned around to give him a what for but they had already disappeared and I was going to be late for class so I went to the cash and left. Man was I fuming, if he's one of the Petsmart trainers and he's teaching these clients that a dog sitting politely is "scared" what else is he teaching these people So a dog that's lunging excitedly is more confident and therefore more appealing? I hope I'm wrong for the owners sake
Lucky your dog didn't react to another dog giving him a direct stare for that long!

My own dog would have reacted to that as a direct challenge i suspect! Esp. if i didn't catch it and direct him away from the stare.

The emplyee sounds like an idiot!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 09:53 PM
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If your dog is on a sit stay is probably the best you can do. YOU need to tell people to back off or explain how you want them to approach your dog. If they are lunkheads like the Petsmart employee from the above post, note what she did. It was the best she could do in the situation. Turn and walk away and get away from what is going on. You are never going to be able to explain this breed to stupid peaple. The best you can do is damage control and stay alert.
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