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I’ve never had a puppy before, so I’m curious about one aspect of Clayton’s behavior. He’s a nearly six-month-old toy poodle, and when he greets other dogs, he gets so excited that he tends to jump all over them. This tends to earn him growls and occasional snaps from other dogs, whereupon he tucks his tail and runs away.

I know puppies are exuberant, but is there something I can do to help him greet dogs a bit less enthusiastically? It always makes me a little sad when he gets growled at. It seems to be a “get out of my face” kind of growl. Or is this just something he needs to work out on his own? I was leaning toward the latter, but his behavior isn’t changing.

Any advice?
 

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I would just try to teach him not to jump on other dogs. That's what I'm doing with ours, who after sniffing another dog, tends to jump on them too. Maybe you can ask a trainer too and go to classes where there are dogs and help train him there. Then reward him when he's good. That's all I can think of, hope that helps.
 

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I agree with hulk, the other dogs will show him what is appropriate and what is not...BUT, some dogs correct to harshly or will get PO'd and could hurt your pup. So work on having him sit politely and calmly before going over to greet another dog. You can work on it with a friend who has a dog. If he gets excited turn around and walk him away from the dog and put him in a sit/stay until he acts calmer and is less likely to jump all over the dog.
 

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If you do let him greet other dogs that you don't know, make sure their owners know about this behavior before hand.
My dog is good with other dogs on leash, but at one point a little bull dog puppy wanted to say hi to her (I say little sparingly, it was bigger than Dandi lol). It literally smothered her. She growled at the pup and scared the owners. I don't think they understand that she was just telling the puppy not to jump on her like that because they walked off pretty quick without saying anything. Poor Dandi wanted to follow them and play. If I had known the pup would react the way he did, I probably wouldn't have let them meet.
Although it's normal behavior, not all dogs are tolerant, so it's really important that the owners of the dogs your pup meets know about it.
 

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I would exercise him FIRST, so that he's not overly excited. Just watch him and guide him a bit when he greets new dogs. My dog will growl and open his mouth to show his teeth, but he never bites. Scares the **** out of puppies, and owners until I explain.:rolleyes:
 

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I learned the hard way that socialization is not to be used as exercise. This includes the dog park.

You need to have your dog adequately exercised BEFORE he has interactions with other dogs, or it will go very poorly. My suggestion would be to only let him meet other dogs when he's dead tired. That way he is too bushed to try any antics, and he can learn positive methods to meet other dogs that have good rewards.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the ideas. I don't actually take him to dog parks--it's more that we often run across other dogs while we are out on our walks. Plus there is my friend's dog, who still growls at him when he gets near her (see this previous thread). I'll plan to exercise him when I know he's meeting other dogs. Sometimes I don't have advance notice, though. Plus he's super enthusiastic about meeting other dogs, even after a long walk.

On the plus side, he gets along great with my friend's other dog. They have great times together.
 
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