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Hi everyone. I'm pretty new here, and a new puppy parent. I've tried to look for similar threads to this one without luck, but please forgive me if this discussion has already happened. Anyways, here it goes:

I'd love to hear some thoughts on having family, friends and strangers handling your puppy, especially when they do things you don't like. I find that most people are really good, and it's great with puppy socialisation, but how to handle the people that don't really conform to your ways of thinking about dogs? Like, friends and family that your dog is going to meet time and time again.

Lifting
I don't like it when people try to lift my puppy up without asking (they usually don't do it right - holding her up under her armpits away from your body while talking to her is NOT what I want to see), but my husband's family all seemed to think this was the most natural way to interact with our puppy at first meeting. I didn't feel too comfortable telling them "no, don't hold MY puppy" (wait for her to come to you..), but tried to get them to lift her correctly and also sat down on the floor hoping they would follow my example. I'm happy she gets to meet all these people who are happy to see her, by all means. And it's probably good to get used to people with different ways of interacting, but still...

Giving treats
Now, I've never been very particular about my dog getting some random treat here and there - the stuff they will sniff up when outdoors is too gross for me to be picky. BUT. I also expect to be asked when people want to give my dog a treat. A vet or a trainer - fine (although the good ones usually ask fist anyways). After the puppy-lifting-marathon at the last family gathering, I am a bit nervous about treat-giving (from the humans table) in the future. How to avoid them feeding my dog chocolate cake?? For now I have been using my husband to give strict instructions, but I do worry about meeting extended family during holidays. Two years ago, at christmas, a family friends who has a dog herself decided very suddenly to feed large portions of scrambled eggs and smoked salmon to my aunt's chihuahua during a Christmas lunch. It's not the worst thing you could give a dog, but it was the worst possible timing for having a dog with a tummy upset...

Other people "training" my dog
Puppy biting, jumping, invasion of privacy - I see the need for people to do something. But how do I best tell them to a) not giggle and continue playing at first if they don't want the abuse to continue (and thus reinforce my pup to be mouthy/jumpy/pushy..), and b) not suddenly get overly scary and reprimanding my pup in a bad way? I try to give clear instructions, but would appreciate more tips on good ways to do this. People also seem to love to ask your dog to sit, shake hands or tell the dog to go lay down once they decide they've had enough, using their own methods of training (please don't ask my dog to do something we just started working on and then don't reward or ask him/her to go lay down after!). I've also had people (strangers in the park or distant family friends) try to "establish dominance" over my dog or advice me on how to do this, often people will lean forwards and stare at the dog or bark at it (???). What if extended family or people I can't be rude to tries something like this?

There are lots of other small stuff, and most people are great. But if anyone has some good pointers on how to not come off as a overprotective puppy-nut while informing people politely on how to treat my pup? I think I'm a fairly decent puppy parent and trainer, but might be less good training people... Please, I'd love to hear your advice! Can I clicker train my husband's family? :D

His family were recently joking/talking about once abandoning a family dog by dropping him off in an unfamiliar neighbourhood because he nipped at visiting kids legs - eeeek! They "only did it once" and "that's how they found the dog anyhow, someone must have abandoned him". This attitude towards dogs is just totally alien to me, and so I don't really know how to approach them and others like them on this.
 

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Hi, I'm definitely no expert and just got my puppy too, but here are a few thoughts, especially since this seems to be more of a human-human interaction issue.

Lifting: I would ask family to let her come to them. Then if they lift wrong, and she doesn't seem to be hurt, I probably wouldn't say anything. The wrong lift is not necessarily teaching her an unwanted behavior (she can't exactly self-lift). Like you said, it just gets her used to different types of touches. If it really bothers you though, perhaps try showing a child/teen in the family the correct way to do it while in front of the rest of the family and see if they catch on. That way, other adults won't feel scolded for the wrong lift.

Treats/table food: I would just say "actually, we don't want to feed her from the table." If you're not comfortable with being this direct you could add a white lie of "she recently got diarrhea and we're learning that she has a really sensitive tummy." Before the meal, you could also just make a point of saying in front of everyone something like "well, I'm going to put pup in her crate so she isn't begging since this makes her sick."

Training: As far as trying to help humans have the right behaviors toward your puppy to show her what you want/do not want, I would just tell them from the start rather than "catching them in the moment." This can make people feel scolded and is probably what makes you uncomfortable. For example, I recently left my puppy in his crate (he's only been with me a week) to run an errand. I texted my roommates instructions for what to do if he started whining (no talk, touch, eye contact). By doing it beforehand, I think it comes off better.

Finally, in terms of people trying to train your dog...if they're only doing it inconsistently and not really providing a consistent reinforcer, I wouldn't worry about it. It probably just seems like regular random human babble to your dog. Think about how many times you have to attempt/reinforce something to make progress. If someone tries something once or twice, it's really not going to seep into your pup's head.
 
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