How do I train my dog to be gentle? Essential Tips

Teach Your Dog How to Greet You

Teaching your dog how to greet you when you get home will help her learn how to greet guests when they come to your home. Place a “greeting mat” just inside your front door. When you come home, tell your dog to, “sit,” on the mat. Once she’s sitting, calmly give her a treat and praise her in a calm voice. Stroke your dog calmly to greet her. When she learns to greet you by sitting calmly, she will learn to greet your guests in the same gentle manner.

Once you’ve trained your dog how to greet you when you come home, it’s time to invite a friend or family member over. When your friend or family member knocks on your door or rings the doorbell, get your dog to sit on his, “greeting mat.” Do not open the door until your dog is sitting calmly on the mat, no matter how long it takes. Praise your dog, and give him a treat when he gets it right.

Open the door, and allow your friend or family member to greet your dog, talking to him in a calm voice and stroking him. Ensure that your dog remains in a sitting position for the greeting. Tell your guest to have a seat. Your dog should remain in a sitting position until you give him the okay to join you and your guest. You may need to practice this routine with your dog numerous times, so choose a friend or family member who is patient, understanding, and loves dogs.

Once your dog has mastered greeting one guest, it’s time to invite different people over. Every time someone knocks on your door or rings your doorbell, have your dog sit on her, “greeting mat,” before you open the door. Allow your dog to sniff each new guest, and allow each of your guests to greet your dog calmly while she remains sitting on her mat. Be consistent and patient; this training process will take time.

To teach your dog to take food gently, you will need lots of different kinds of treats with which to teach him gentle treat taking behaviors. For correcting play that has become too aggressive, a toy for your dog should be employed to transfer his mouthing behavior to a more appropriate target, while still allowing him to enjoy playing. Be sure not to get over excited, or yell when correcting behavior as your are trying to establish a calm gentle behavior and you want to create a calm environment to match the behavior you are teaching your dog.

Feed your dog their regular meal to make it easier for him to calmly take treats as he is not too hungry. Have someone hold your dog on a leash.

If your dog grabs for the treat, close and withdraw your hand, say “no”. Offer your hand again, give the command for gentle. When he slowly puts his nose up to your hand to gently lick your hand, provide him with the treat say “yes” or “good”.

Your sweet new puppy jumps up on you when you give him treats, wrestles and nips you while playing, or snatches food and runs away, so cute right? Wrong! It may seem cute now, but when he weighs 100 pounds, having him jump, mouth, or snatch things from your hand can result in injury and will not be appreciated by others who are the victims of his aggressive treat taking habits or play. Teaching your dog manners and gentleness when taking food, greeting others, and playing is important for your safety and the safety of other household members and visitors, and teaches your dog an important expectation that will translate to other training.

In order to keep yourself, and everyone else, safe around your grabby, rambunctious, dog, you need to teach him to be gentle. Dogs should be taught to take treats from your hand gently and calmly, and that play does not involve mouthing, scratching, jumping, or grabbing your arm or clothes. Verbally reminding your dog to “Be Gentle” or Easy” to indicate to him that his behavior is getting too rough and he needs to “take it down a notch”, will make him a much more pleasant companion and avoid injuries. The best way to ensure your dog is gentle, is to start teaching him when he is young and correcting bad behavior as soon as it manifests. If your dog has already started to be grabby or plays too rough you will need to counteract this behavior by guiding him towards gentle behaviors; carefully taking food from your hands or playing with a toy instead of your arm! Most dogs learn this behavior fairly readily as they are eager to please you, especially if you have already established with your dog that you are his leader, and the provider of all good things!

1 – Start with bland food

Using kibble from the outset will make this easier for your puppy. The smell of something really exciting, like meat or cheese can be overwhelming to a hungry puppy. Initially, we dont want them to be overwhelmed by too much temptation. Its difficult to learn to be calm when the food value is too high. Start with kibble and build to more exciting treats as your dog learns to understand how to control their mouths.

Gentle Command