Unwanted jumping up on guests. Tearing pillows to shreds. Gobbling down a sandwich that’s placed too close to the edge of the kitchen counter, or find their way into or onto any place that’s a ‘no-dog-zone’.

If you’re a dog-lover, these situations likely sound very familiar to you. If those actions aren’t trained out of the dog, they’ll continue, and, it begs the question: who’s training who?

Dog Training 101: You’re the Boss. No, Really, You Are.

I’m a dog lover and we’ve had numerous dogs as vital members of our family over the years. Our current happy hound is Tater, a nearly 3-year-old Golden Retriever. Tater is loved not only by our family but by everyone he meets. Sometimes, however, even though he’s pretty much out of his puppy phase (which is the excuse for bad behavior so many of us go to) he’ll still violate someone’s personal space. By this, I mean, he may be so excited to see or meet you, that he’ll likely grab his blanky in his mouth, wagging his tail and wiggling around like he’s so full of joy that he wants to explode. Another reaction, which is a problem since he’s 100 lbs of dog, he might jump upon you to make it easier for you to hug him.

Visitors Can Help Put a Stop to Bad Behavior

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming the victim here. If you're visiting and a dog jumps up on you it’s primarily the dog family’s responsibility to anticipate and prevent such an event from happening. However, we do experience situations where someone, perhaps wanting to be polite or simply someone who actually does want to hug Tater as much as he wants to hug them, invites or encourages him to do so. While their tolerance and understanding are appreciated, this really isn’t helping us, or Tater, or the next person who gets knocked down by a big lovable doggie.

Do Your Research and Get Professional Dog Training (People Training)

There’s no shame in asking for help. In fact, you should be ashamed of yourself if your dog has behavioral issues which are left unchecked, simply because you don’t want to admit you’re having trouble going it alone. Tater graduated from a local dog training school, with high honors, and he, along with my wife and me, had a great time getting to know other dogs and dog families. I’m sure there’s a dog for dummies book out there too. Online – so many resources are available. Watch out, though, for some pretty bad advice on social media where anyone can post information that may not be good for you or your pooch. You might also start with your trusted Vet as a primary resource.

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