Strangers and greetings - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-16-2014, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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Strangers and greetings

I'm doing a puppy class where the teacher is going through how a puppy should greet strangers. CGC requires that the dog remain calm and sit while being petted. I know about Leerburg and "who should pet your dog". But I want to get the CGC done so I want to know your thoughts on allowing people to pet your dog on your terms.

How do you keep the puppy calm while being petted? We are being instructed to have the dog in a sit, hold food in front of the nose and allow the stranger to pet.

Personally, I want my dog to be neutral towards strangers. Will letting him be petted now create a dog that craves attention from everyone? I hate dogs that go up to everyone and want to be petted.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-16-2014, 09:21 AM
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No. It will not create a dog that craves attention. That is largely an instinctive/personality trait. My GSD puppy is almost 8 months old. We did a CGC class when he was very young, around 4 months, maybe younger - We do the same things in our classes. At this point, he does not *want* to go say hi to anyone. We were at a dog show all weekend and numerous adults and kids asked to pet him. I told them it was fine, but let them know he might not notice them. He didn't. I don't think he looked a single stranger in the eye... he had better things to worry about.

My adult GSD also went through a CGC class and is the same way. No interest in socializing with strangers. BUT, the CGC (classes) are a great way to teach them what structured greetings look like and when it is/isn't ok to be pet/interacted with. Keep greetings short and positive, and make sure you're always telling the stranger "how" and "where" to pet him. IE - "Please don't get in his face, but you can pet him down his back."

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-16-2014, 09:48 AM
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Delgado was extremely interested in strangers as a pup, strangers meant food and affection from either them or me. But around 9 months or so he grew out that excited "oh boy, people!" stage and became aloof, now he'll brush past people while off our property with nothing more than a passing glance. If you offer food he'll take it but after it's gone you don't exist anymore

Don't worry about your pup being 'too friendly' at this stage, right now you need to show that the outside world is full of wonderful fun things. He doesn't need to learn right/wrong at this point, that will come mostly naturally later on

I do enforce the sit for strangers, if a stranger asked to pet him I'd explain that he was in training and to receive the treat he had to sit calmly first. There were always a few that wouldn't listen so I'd keep those interactions very short - a few moments then I'd end the session with a nice "ok, time to get going. Thanks for the help!" and we'd move on


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Jasmine - Female Miniature Poodle - born Aug 15, 2010
Loker Delgado Von Stalworth - Male GSD - born Jan 26, 2012
Koda & Zazu - 7 year old male cats
Alex - Male Cocker Spaniel (rescue) - RIP Cuddlebug 2007-2010
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-17-2014, 06:45 PM
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I did the "who Pets my Puppy or Dog" thing for my GSD with "people" issues. Worked out just fine. He flat will not accept treats from strangers and I did not make him sit to greet people. People became a non event to him.

People are simply a non issues for him now. I will do the same with my next Boxer, unless something goes wrong Boxers are typically "people nutty" that can also be a PIA to deal with..."NO everyone is not your friend!" I perfer a people netural dog myself.
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