5 Way to Say NO to People Who Want to Greet Your Dog (without feeling bad about it)
The #1 advice EVERYONE says is when you ask, “How do I stop my dog from jumping up?”
The advice is: “Stop letting them jump up”
BUT… how do you do that when people insist on greeting your dog. Here’s the really frustrating thing when it comes to training dogs. Its management. How many times have you heard people or trainer say ‘If he’s jumping up, stop him from jumping so he will stop learning its okay to jump’
Yet, that can feel impossible when you meet people who just want to say hi to your dog, probably because your dog looks adorable and dog lovers truly cannot help themselves, even if you say ‘They will jump’, dog lovers do not care, which is fine… BUT it goes against what you trying to achieve with your dog, and saying ‘no’ can feel rude. As a fellow dog lover, I find it hard to not want to say hi to a dog, however, I know how frustrating it is to handle a dog then goes CRAZY to see people and jump on them because some people are okay with it. There are lots of people who actually feel frightened by dogs jump, especially big breeds as a small child or frangile person could easily break hip or arm from an innocent jump, and this where find my most of my clients get stuck. They are worried about their dog can potentially cause IF they jump, yet have no clue how to STOP the behaviour when people are okay with jump-crazy dog loving. They know theirs dogs learn by habit, so the more they do a behaviour the stronger it becomes. For example, the more the dog jumps up at people, the more the dog learns its okay to jump up and will continue to jump up on e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e and even start pulling to every person they see for stranger love, The same also applies for nervous dog who being petted would be the worst thing to them, and people will say ‘they are good with dogs, and they are friendly’ and owners feel stuck on what to say. They REALLY want to say no but feel like a bad person. Okay. So let’s dive into firstly why do we feel bad about it? 90% of my students in my Life skills Membership, said they hated saying ‘no you can’t stroke my dog’ or struggled to stop them, when I asked why they felt that way, they shared with me something that blew me away a little bit… They didn’t want people to think they were rude by saying. They felt embarrassed saying so because it would that they hadn’t got a trained dog. They didn’t want people to judge their dog or even how they are choosing to train their dog. Truth is, they wanted them to say hi, and at the same time they REALLY need their dog to learn not to jump. It can feel we are denying them access. As we spoke about this rather deep topic, I was reminded of a time where I was in the exactly the same boat, that I felt ashamed of my dog was behaviour and it was easier to let people say hi then wrestle and defend why I don’t want them to say. However, it did not serve me in the long run, and the jumping just got worse, barking started to happen along with pulling and whining. I got to the point where my NO because very strong, I defended my no and built up this resilience to say no and know its okay, because it was the right choice for me and my dog and our future. And the big reminder that, probably 90% of the time, people are not judging us, it’s the thought we create and we judge ourselves. I asked 10 of my dog loving friends what they would feel if someone said no, guess what? They would not hate you. They would feel disappointed, but they understand. They would forget about it in less than 30 seconds. At the end of the day, you are living with your dog for the next 10 years or so, that person will only be in the moment with for 10 seconds. This is your dog; you get to create the rules around it and it’s a really cool thing not a bad thing AT ALL. AND there is also a way that you can say stop your dog jumping AND say hi to people. This a super easy trick for having both! Remember: You saying no is making you the advocate for your dog, a fantastic canine leader and preventing any incidents ever happening in the future – which EPIC right? Remember it <3 Okay so now you know not to feel bad here’s the 5 Ways you can use to say no without sounding rude and icky, PLUS what to do when people say ‘I don’t care’: If someone ASKS to greet/pet/stroke your dog: 1. No, it’s not you, it’s me – I really need him to understand not to jump up so I have to avoid it until he gets it. This is my favourite one, sometimes honesty is the best policy, and people can resonate with you more when there is no excuse or reason to why. I use this a lot and wish people a wonderful rest of the day.
2. No, Sadly, it’s not the right time at the moment as my dog is working on a strict training plan. I appreciate you asking. Maybe another time.
3. I would love for you to say hi, give me 10 seconds and I will get him set up If you have a trick that you can position your dog in (such as a sit), this buys you some time to get your sitting, I also LOVE to give other people some treats so dog goes straight for the treats vs jumping, you can also add a rule: ‘ you can say hi if you follow these rules) then explain what happens when they don’t : Muddy paws, ripped clothes, nipping or no greeting whatsoever.
4. No, unfortunately we are working hard on greeting people calmly right now and he/she is not ready to greet people yet 5. No. (The HARDEST way for sure, but also know that saying no isn’t being mean or rude – unless you shout it at them whilst throwing a glass of water over their head. No just means no, it’s an answer to a question and most people react faster to a no rather than no because etc… That being said it takes practice! Try with your friends and family first saying no with confidence and meaning with the intention of why you are doing this. So what do you do IF they say ‘Oh I don’t mind! I love dogs’ Like me, I used to give in and kick myself later, which is also what my clients used to do too. At the same time, I have used the same response to when I meet my friends’ dogs. I in fact say this to people who tell me ‘Oh he jumps, be careful’ and I respond by going ‘ its okay, I LOVE dogs or I am used to it’ – mostly because I feel they haven’t said no, they’ve just warned me, which is why the 5 ways are sooo important. Ask yourself, have I said no to them or have just warned them? Warning is not the same as no. If you see a sign saying ‘WARNING: Deer Ahead” you will just walk with caution. If a sign said ‘NO ACCESS PERMITTED’ you wouldn’t go there, unless you have a rebellious streak 😉. Be clear and if you meet a rebellious dog lover who pushes back, here are two things I find work really well: 1. Repeat the no, smile, turn around and walk away (if you are sitting, place yourself in front of dog or throw treats away from the person for the dog to find) This is a power move, which can also be feel extremely uncomfortable and takes practice. The most important part in ALL of this you and your dog, not what people think. You are and dogs relationship and future is the most important thing ever, by taking this moving your protecting that and choosing that over what people may or may not think. 2. Okay, if you are going to say hi you must follow these instructions, okay? Another power move! If your happy for your dog to say hello to this dog lover (like me) let them know the rules, that way both people win! ONLY do this though if you actually want the person to say hi your dog, otherwise go with step 1. I challenge you…If choose to accept.
I challenge you to practice saying ‘no’ five times a day for one week, get comfortable and excited about saying no, and remember why it’s actually a really good thing. Learn to LOVE saying no. You and your dog are the MOST important beings right now, much bigger than what people think. I would LOVE to hear how get on with you NO-Dare (which by the way could be your first no 😉 ), let me know how you get on by dropping me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Much Loveee, Kayleighxxx P.S. If jumping up is a challenge for you despite the 5 ways to say ‘No’ then I would love to invite you to book a free consultation with myself to create a plan of action for you and your dog. Book yours here.