A helpful guide to get your pup's paws back on the ground.
Does your dog get a bit excited when greeting you or meeting other people? Do you have to shower apologies when those muddy paws are all over a stranger out on a walk? If you are looking for a solution, you've come to the right place!
Jumping up can be a hard habit to kick. Especially since this habit is usually picked up in the puppy stages. You have also probably unintentionally encouraged this behaviour by reacting in a positive way and giving your dog attention.
Sadly this behaviour is seen differently depending on dog breed/size. Most people tolerate and allow smaller breeds to jump up because it's not seen as a big issue. However for larger breeds, people then realise how big of a problem it is. Especially when there is potential for injury. No matter the size or breed, it should not be tolerated or allowed.
Tactic 1: The Cold Shoulder
This tactic is the first step in getting your dog to realise that jumping up does not get them the attention they are looking for. When your dog starts jumping on you, turn around with your back to them and ignore them (no eye contact either!). Patience is key and so you must not face them again until all 4 paws are on the floor. Once this happens, immediately pour on the praise, play with a favorite toy, or give them a tasty treat. If you have children, ensure they are doing this too. Consistency and repetitiveness is crucial in helping your dog succeed with their new training. Just keep going and don't give up. Lack of patience is the #1 reason most dog training fails.
Tactic 2: Get Friends and The Community to Help
Every single person your dog meets will need to implement the same tactics we described above. This is easier said than done! The last thing you want is all your hard work to be undone by others allowing your dog to begin jumping up again and getting positive attention from it. If a friend comes over, ask them to use the cold shoulder method with your dog's preferred reward. They will soon learn that no one will give them attention for jumping.
If you are in a park or field, put them on a longline while you are practicing this command. This gives you full control and sets them up for success. If a stranger approaches, be sure to pull the longline in so that they cannot get to this person. You can then let them them know you are working on jumping and to ignore your dog's behaviours. You can also ask your dog to sit and then praise/reward them when they have calmed down and followed instruction.
Tactic 3: Diversion with Commands
If your dog is REALLY persistent, (some will really test your patience!) you may need to try another route. Using the same cold shoulder tactic, you are going to ask your dog to either sit or lie down. This redirects your dog's behaviour from a bad one to one that is better and ultimately one that will end in a reward. Your dog should also quickly learn that your command gets a reward, not jumping up. Be sure to ask all family members and house guests to do this before the dog gets any attention.
Remember, consistency is key!
Tactic 4: Don't Be Tempted to Tell Your Dog off For Jumping
This one is hard because you want to discourage the jumping. However for some dogs, talking or moving them away is seen as attention. This will mean your dog will just continue to jump up to get that attention. Remember to stay calm! Dogs can read body language and emotion extremely well. Anger and frustration will only add confusion and anxiety to your pet's feelings and may cause more undesirable behaviours in the long run.
Most dogs take only a few days to stop jumping, others may take a month. It all depends on your consistency and timing.
Your dog depends on you for instruction and guidance. Training isn't easy, but it's not impossible! We know that using these tactics will help you and your dog's journey.
If you liked this post, why not have a look at our other posts? We have a range of topics for various species.
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