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Discussion Starter #1
So, I am amazed at all the things DaPuppies can now do, and usually do, on command. I have even taught them to shut the cabinet doors. We are working now on taking a bow for the weekly training challenge.

BUT, I still have not been able to train them to greet strangers calmly! They get too excited and jump and rub all over them. I have tried many things to deal with this, but it is a stubborn behavior to extinguish. Part of the problem is just not having enough people come to our house. I don't have that many friends/family to invite over for such things.

I would appreciate any ideas to help with this.

In addition, I am trying to teach them "take it", so that they learn to hold things in their mouths. I can easily get them to open their mouth and "mouth" an object, but what I can't seem to elicit is an actual hold.

Any ideas for this?

There are a lot of things I would still like for them to learn better (LLW, for instance, and proofing their stays etc. for distraction), but these particular behaviors are what I'd like to work on right now.

shallbe
 

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Jumping.
You've identified part of the problem: If you are dedicated to solving this you do need to expose them to more people.
But at the same time, the people need to completely understand that there is absolutely no attention if the dog is trying to jump up at them. Doesn't matter if they love dogs or 'don't mind.' No baby talking the dog while it's trying to jump up, no eye contact, nothing. Calm, slow praise from people when all four paws are on the ground.
Also, if the dogs like food, you can have people throw food down AS they are coming in your door or as the dog is approaching them. Dogs can't jump if their nose is to the ground... After many repetitions they should anticipate there being food when there is a person, instead of thinking of jumping first thing. That pause, however short, is what you're looking for. Gradually you can delay the reward. Kikopup has a great video on this on youtube somewhere.

Holding things.
Mark and reward when they mouth things. As you reinforce that, they should naturally start putting their mouths on it longer and longer, maybe even picking it up experimentally (mark and reward!). When they start doing that consistently, mark and reward only for picking up. They'll eventually start holding it longer, and at that point you can introduce the cue. Basically, think about all the things a dog could do, all the things that happen between dog-mouthing-toy and dog-holding-toy. Break it down and reward each step of the way. Go back a few steps if the dog is getting confused. Be consistent and patient.


Also, general and obvious advice is to train both dogs separately. But you probably already know that :)
 

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I can sooo relate to the jumping up thing and not having enough or the right kind of practice! It seems to be impossible for some people to completely ignore the dog. Or they will try it for a while, then amp her up with exciting talking and play, then expect her to stay off of them the next minute - grrr! What is actually helping us is to keep her on a short leash and keep some distance. When she calms down somewhat, then I ask her for a sit, a few "touches," or some tricks. When she calms down further I can drop or remove the leash. Depends how excited she is or how exciting the people are. Now that she's almost 2 years old helps, I'm sure. She's steadily getting better; I used to have to just leave her outside for a half hour or so, keep her in a separate room, etc. as a first step. I will be following this post hoping for other things to try as well!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sorry it's taken me so long to reply; life is crazy sometimes.

I did type an answer a few days after posting, but the internetz ate it, and I wasn't highly motivated nor did I have time to re-type it.

I still don't have enough people coming to my house. Next week is spring break, and if my great nieces and nephews are in town, I will attempt to use them to help. I've also ceased working on "take it" for the time being, simply because other behaviors were coming easier and there is at least one behavior I am majoring on right now that is vital.

So I'm working on a solid "stay" (though the stay is not a separate command) and release using kikopup's video right now.

I have worked on a proper greet in the past, so the dogs are familiar with it. I'm thinking that if I can bring that up to a higher level of reliability, then back-chain it to a more calm house entrance, I might get better results when people come over.

shallbe
 

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You can work on greetings in public places too, taking your dog to pet stores, or even a local park (on leash park, not dog park). Problem there is you need to be outgoing enough to recruit the help of anyone who shows some interest in petting your dog. Greeting at home is different, just because your pooch greets nicely outside of the home doesn't mean at home they'll do the same....but if you can get decent greetings started somewhere, it is a step in the right direction, you then just have to teach them to greet "the right way" (which they may have learned outside of the home) at home too, which will be easier than starting from scratch when you don't have enough visitors to keep up on it.
 

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Oh, it's great that you'll have some help with polite greeting! Not having anyone to practice with is our biggest problem.

If you decide to go back to teaching a hold, Donna Hill has a couple videos on training retrieve to hand and give and take: Donna Hill video index When I was trying to teach Katie to hold objects, I started waiting longer and longer (beginning with milliseconds) between her picking up an object and clicking. She figured out pretty quickly that a fast grab and drop wasn't getting her anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the video link cookieface...I always like watching real trainers work!

Yes, we've worked on greetings in public before, too.

shallbe
 
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