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The PupJoy Post

How to Handle Leg-Humping and Other Unwanted Advances from Your Dog

By Mary Beth Miller via FetchFind

A friendly dog is great, but an overly friendly dog, not so much. (We're looking at you, leg humpers.)

Whether you’re at home or in public, wrestling a dog that is spinning around, barking and lunging is embarrassing. Not only do you have to wrestle your dog down, but you worry about safety in the situation.

If your dog wants to "greet" everyone, but his greetings are kind of... icky, there ARE some things you can do.

Good News, Bad News

The bad news: An over-friendly dog has come to believe that his behavior is acceptable. He can only be corrected through consistent, dedicated training.

The good news: He does have a good foundation to receive training. His behavior comes from enthusiasm and happiness; he just needs to take it down a notch (or three).

Build foundation skills by working with a professional trainer, and practicing some of our training tools at home.  

The Basics

The goal in training an overly friendly dog is to get him to calm down, distracting him from the situation. You can practice this at home with the “get it” technique.

To carry out this training technique you will need some very basic equipment including:

  • A front-clip harness that relieves pressure from your dog’s neck and gives you a wider range of control
  • Doggie treats

Start Training

  • Begin training inside the home.
  • Dress Fido up as if he were about to go on his walk, wearing his harness and leash. This is the equipment he will be using when out in public, so your dog can associate his training with what happens outside the home.
  • Have a handful of treats ready in one hand and hold the leash in the other, walking slowly around the home.
  • Every couple steps drop a few treats and say, “get it.” The idea here is to put Fido’s nose to the ground on cue to distract him from excitement.
  • In the first stages of training, make the treats easy to find by placing them at your feet. As you progress, drop the treats from side to side and behind you, so the dog really has to search for his reward.
  • Mix things up and keep your pooch guessing with different flavors, or number of treat rewards. The idea being that Fido will be so concentrated on finding the treats, he won’t have time to notice anything else.
  • While your dog is searching for the treats, keep your position strong. Don’t twist or move around, simply stay in one place. In real time, this will be the point in time when you will assess the situation and decide if it will be safe to proceed.
  • Continue working with your dog inside throughout the week. Test your dog by adding another person to the room or another pet. If you find your dog is successfully distracted by the words, “get it” and/or the treats, you are ready to go outside and apply this technique when your dog is about to greet someone.

And if he still humps everyone's legs, don't get discouraged. Just keep working with him, and eventually he'll "get it."

Get it? :)