Are you weary of being knocked over by an enthusiastic greeting when you come home after a long day? Or perhaps mortified when your canine companion insistently jumps on dinner party guests? If your dog has a habitual tendency to jump on people, it’s high time you addressed this behavior. By adhering to the following dog training guidelines, you can ensure that your furry friend keeps all four paws securely on the floor.
Wrong (and Right) Way to Deal With a Jumping Dog
You say “Off.” Your dog jumps off. You praise your dog. Guilty? It’s okay, but we’re going to tell you what’s wrong with this picture: Your dog hasn’t learned not to jump up on you. He’s only learned to get off when you tell him to. After all, you praised him when he did, right?
The way to show him that jumping isn’t okay is to call him out on it before he does it. Watch his body language, and you’ll be able to anticipate when he’s about to jump. When he makes even the slightest suggestion of the motion, very sternly tell him “No. Off.” Then walk away and ignore him. He’ll learn that jumping not only gets him a rebuff, but it also gets him ignored—exactly the opposite reaction from what he’s hoping for.
Simple House Breaking Tip: Try Stooping to Her Level
If your dog is a habitual jumper, try this strategy: Next time you walk in the door, crouch down to your dog’s level right away, before she has a chance to jump up on you. Praise her warmly and pet her. Combine this method with a firm correction—a stern “No” at the first sign of impending jumping—and your dog should learn that keeping her feet on the ground earns her praise and much-coveted social interaction, but jumping gets her nothing but a correction.
Dog Jumping Up a Storm? Set Up a Practice Situation
Dog training techniques require repetition. It generally takes at least three to ten well-timed action-consequences sequence for most dogs to catch on. But what if you get company only once a month? How can you teach your dog not to jump up on people? Set up a practice situation. Enlist the help of one or two friends or neighbors, asking them to stop by briefly at specified times each day for about a week. Then put your dog on her leash when the agreed-upon hour approaches.
As your “bait” comes through the door, give the command “Off,” but don’t pull the leash. If the dog obeys—meaning that he keeps her feet on the ground—praise her and have your visitor praise her softly, too. If the dog tries to jump, give a quick snap on the leash and tell her “No. Off.” At the same time, close the door quickly so that the dog gets no praise, no attention—nothing but a correction. (You’ll need to explain the whole routine to your assistant in advance, of course, so you don’t offend the friend while training the dog.) Do this several times every day for a week or so, depending on your dog, and it should cure her of jumping.
Dog Training: Jumping Pups Should Dance
The next time your dog enthusiastically greets you by leaping onto you, consider implementing the following tactic. Gently grasp her two front paws, effectively prompting her to stand on her two hind legs. Maintain this position until you can discern a degree of discomfort or dislike from her end. Signs of this could include struggling or producing whining noises. As you gently let go of her paws, firmly but calmly communicate your disapproval with a command such as “No”, “No jump”, or “Off”.
Dogs typically don’t enjoy maintaining this bipedal stance as it’s unnatural and uncomfortable for them. Therefore, by repeating this exercise every time she attempts to jump on you, your dog should gradually understand the correlation between her jumping behavior and the resulting discomfort. This understanding will eventually serve as a deterrent, helping her to abandon the habit of jumping up on people.