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How Do You Keep Your Dog Calm When Greeting People?

How would you recommend I handle “overly enthusiastic” dog lovers?

I’ll show you what I mean …

It’s fun having a purebred pup people are drawn to.

Complete strangers will stop their cars on busy streets only to yell out “Weimaraner! I’ve had 4!” Or “Love your dog!”

I’ll admit, I like this attention.

And on walks, let’s just say my weimaraner has had hundreds of opportunities to socialize with squealing grown women (and men).

Little kids have been far more appropriate when greeting him compared to adults. Kids will ask if they can pet Remy and then calmly hold out their hands.

Adults screech, flail their arms and praise my dog for jumping. And the fact that he still looks like a puppy at 2 years old (he’s small for a weim and hyper) doesn’t help.

And here’s where I’d really like your opinion …

How do you keep your dog calm when greeting people?

How should I handle the grown adults who talk to my dog in high-pitched voices while doing “jazz hands” and encouraging him to jump?

Is this something I should just put up with?

Or should I be more assertive and say something like, “Please don’t pet him, he’s in training.”

We could also just move away, but sometimes we’re trying to sit down and mind our own business.

What I normally do is grip Remy’s collar to prevent him from jumping, but that doesn’t seem fair either because these people are taunting him.

How can I be the best handler for my dog?

There’s a local brewery that’s very dog friendly, and it’s a good place to bring Remy because there’s an outdoor patio area and it’s a good walking distance from our apartment.

For the most part, Remy is pretty good when I bring him places if no one acknowledges him. He stays calm and cool until … people start squealing and encouraging him to jump and play-bite.

Is this something I need to accept since I’m bringing a young dog to a bar?

Even when I stand in a corner with Remy between me and a wall, people approach me and lean over me to get to him. No boundaries, I tell ya!

One woman was leaning over Josh’s LAP to get to Remy!

It’s all very comical, of course. I’m not writing this as a rant. I’m just wondering what you think I should do.

I suppose a bar is one thing, but what about when people act this way on walks or at coffee shops or even in our own apartment complex?


As my pup goes from calm to psycho …

I also want to say I truly appreciate the rare person who knows how to calmly approach a dog. You know, the person who can just smile and nod and say, “Nice dog.”

A compliment and respect. Thank you to those people!

And of course, dogs do need to learn to contain themselves regardless of the energy around them! Remy needs to learn more self-control, of course!

My dog Ace keeps it together no matter how people respond, but fewer people lose their shit over a big, black dog compared to a green-eyed weim puppy. And Ace has a lifetime of experiencing Crazies.

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Overall, I’m really proud of my young dog. I think he’s doing a good job considering his age and energy and the reactions he’s presented with.

I just want to know what you think.

How can I balance real-world socialization with training?

How can I help my puppy be successful?

Related posts:

How to keep your dog calm at the door

How do you keep your dog calm when greeting people?

Deanne Rader

Tuesday 17th of April 2018

People have always admired our Standard Poodles. We're on our fourth a beautiful white male. Have never, ever, over 45 years of owning 1 beautiful Irish Setter and 4 Standard Poodles - one at a time - ever run into children or adults that were overly excited. Our dogs have always loved the attention and knew they were beauties!


Tuesday 17th of April 2018

ha I get it.. there is nothing like a baby weimaraner to bring out the goofy in people. I don't know the answer on this, becasue Buck clearly knows I am in charge, but there are times when it seems to be beyond the self-control he can muster to stop jumping like a jumping bean. The way I think of this is layering and building blocks. I get him to listen and be calm most of the time and over time gradually increase the range of distractions where that'll still apply. I had not yet succeeded in getting him to stop jumping. Everyone has advice, all well intentioned and all that. You gotta consider the breed and personality to soem degree and for now I'm giving him some time to master the situation. He's still young but if he's still doing it at a year I'll strongly consider whether an e-collar might be a suitable deterrent. I'd hoped to avoid that but if we exit the puppy phase and he's still doing the jumping bean thing I'll have to reconsider that.

Lindsay Stordahl

Tuesday 17th of April 2018

I've also thought about the e-collar route for Remy but for recalls.

Cheri Fellinger

Wednesday 19th of April 2017

Unless you own a Shiba you have NO IDEA how CRAZY people can really get! When we go to a beach town for a weekend we always take two dogs. We are ASSAULTED when we walk the streets with the Shibas. My husband asked if I can photoshop out the dogs and make HIM the center of attention with the group of 15 young girls! HA!

We try to say to quickly say "no petting and avert your eyes if he jumps and you can pet him when is on the ground."

I always thank those who actually ask to pet first ESPECIALLY children. I'll usually give anyone who asks to pet a treat to give my dog. So I reward people and dogs.

There is absolutely no reason why you can't ask people NOT to pet your dog. Always do what is in your dog's best interest.

Dogs can be OVER SOCIALIZED to the point they go nuts when they see people and you lose all control.

I purchased or bred this dog for my own enjoyment and NOT the enjoyment of others so it doesn't bother me at all if my dog isn't interested in visiting other people or dogs as long as the dog isn't fearful of being in public I feel I have done my job.


Tuesday 14th of February 2017

I have no qualms about telling people not to pet my dog. If someone approaches inappropriately I have stepped in front to block them. If the person cannot be appropriate they have no business petting my dog. If someone comes up and asks calmly I will assess the situation and usually say "he is in training so you can pet him as long as he stays in a sit, if he gets up I just ask that you stop petting him so I can put him back". It only takes one weirdo to scare the dog, so I want to make sure to advocate for my dog. Also the dog needs to know that he doesn't have to get attention from everyone as well. You can also start putting a "command" to it like "say hi!" this way the dog knows that someone is going to pet him, and when they are older by saying that it can forewarn them so they don't get startled if someone comes up before I can stop it! (If that makes sense)

Keith Amdur

Monday 23rd of January 2017

You got to let it go unless people are doing bad things to your dog or trying to get your dog to bad things.I drive a truck and my dog rides everywhere with me.A car pulls up,Emma Lou and I have our windows down(hers about 3/4 way down)Where at a light,the kids taunt Emma with whistles,calls and food to try and get her to jump out.That`s a time when you can`t let it go.With people who want to pet,talk and even act a fool....just let it go.I walk other peoples dogs.The young dogs like crazy,the older dogs seem to understand crazy.