How do you help your puppy settle quietly in your vet’s waiting room, during quiet times at puppy class, on walks while you stop to talk to a neighbor? How do you keep your puppy from jumping up on people you would like to have greet him?

Learn to park your puppy. Not like this:

But like this:

Step then stand on your puppy’s leash, leaving just enough room for the puppy to choose whether to sit, stand, or lie down. A puppy who is parked cannot jump up on people, strain or jerk on the leash, or move away from you. Puppies who are parked regularly become dogs who relax quickly and easily in public places.

If your puppy is alarmed when you first start parking him, it is fine to offer him a nice chewy that you carry in your pocket, or drop treats to him while he is in park. Many puppies, however, adapt very quickly, and settle into ‘park’ on their own.

We want to set our puppies up for errorless learning whenever possible. It is always preferable to teach correct, wanted behavior in the first place, rather than give the puppy too many options, some of which are unwanted behaviors. A puppy ‘in park’ cannot make an error.

This is truly one of the most useful things I teach my puppies. Any time my dog is on a leash and my attention needs to be elsewhere for a few minutes. I put the dog in park. Then I don’t have to worry about what my dog is doing until I am ready to give him my full attention again.

Here is an excellent video from Learning About Dogs that demonstrates how to park your puppy.

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