"OH MY GOD SHE'S SO CUTE!!!" Puppies. We all love them. They are cute and floppy and cuddly and smell like pee. It’s pretty hard to resist an excited puppy wanting to be pet. But how much do you really love puppies? Do you love them enough to ignore them for a minute until they are calm? Because that’s what’s best for a puppy learning how to behave in our world. Learning to control excitement is one of the hardest things for a puppy owner. But when every stranger encourages excitement and jumping, the puppy learns that it’s normal, expected behavior. So, it would really benefit the puppy to wait for a calm state of mind to pet or ignore altogether. Too much excitement leads to unwanted behaviors and many dogs are given to shelters or put down because they become unmanageable. If you truly love puppies, do the right thing and hold back for a minute.
Many puppy owners let them do whatever they want and setting rules would be considered mean. Then once the dog is older, they are scolded for behaving the way they have always been allowed to behave. Is that fair to the dog?
Other puppy owners know that training is essential in the younger years to achieve a well behaved dog later on. But when you walk a puppy, it’s a no holds barred love-a-thon. Strangers will go out of their way to come love on the puppy and don’t mind excitement, jumping, mouthing or any other behavior that would be considered bad form for any adult dog. So, who’s the love for? Most people don’t realize that allowing the behavior means you’re agreeing that it’s ok and it encourages the dog to jump on everybody for attention. If the owner denies the stranger puppy love? How cruel.
So how do we solve this dilemma? Education and awareness. For starters, if you are a puppy owner, here are some things you should know:
So, if you see a puppy walking down the street. Be respectful of their space. Would you want strangers invading the space of and touching your new human baby without asking? Ask the owner first if you can pet the puppy and if there are any training techniques they would like you to follow. They will either thank you or possibly be inspired to start training. If they don’t seem to care, do the puppy and owner a favor by rewarding a relaxed state of mind. The more we all do our part, the more we can spread the message and have better behaving dogs in our environment.