I have recently met a new American friend at ‘puppy party’ . She was surprised in a nation of dog lovers that the UK does not seem to have the same dog parks as the USA, areas specifically designed for friendly dogs to be off lead play and mingle together , I think she is right.
Our new pup is making us re-visit many of the training issues we have gone through with previous dogs but one issue that we never seem to have completely cracked is how to stop our dogs running up to greet other people or dogs when off lead.
Our dogs are very, very friendly and see other dogs always as potential new recruits to their ever growing social circle. But not all other dogs are friendly, some are timid, others aggressive and indeed not all people want two large dogs bounding up to them, even if they do stop wag their tails and look appealing.
So what have we tried? Well hide and seek is always a good starter . We have a local moor which is fenced and gated so it is a safe place to let dogs off lead and we wait until they are distracted and then hide behind a bush or tree so that when they realise we are out of sight they panic and rush to find us. The theory here being that they will not risk letting us out of sight. We also do the ‘name game’, which involves throwing a treat and as they collect it calling their name and throwing another treat so they react quickly to their name and give us immediate attention. We run with them and also do sit, stay come, all to keep us as the main focus.
All works brilliantly until……another dog arrives!
We are re-visiting past training now and keeping them on the lead until we reach the dog and we give permission to play and just hope that works, but any advice would be welcome
The final note is that of course sitters always keep dogs on lead unless we have had specific written permission and therefore these sort of issues rarely crop up when house sitting