How Do I Stop My Dog From JUMPING UP?
How Do I Stop My Dog From JUMPING UP?
When a cute little puppy jumps up to lick your face many of us can only say, “how cute.” It might seem cute at the moment, but congratulations… you just taught your jumping puppy that jumping up has it’s rewards.
The puppy’s natural inclination is now a learned behavior. Too bad for your dog when he or she is 9 months old, weighs about 90lbs and is not as cute anymore. Of course this would never happen on purpose, but your dog is going to knock an adult or a child to the ground one day. Your natural instinct will be to yell at your dog then.
The 4 Paw Rule
As a dog trainer and behaviorist, I only give attention and affection to a dog when all 4 paws are on the ground! I call this the 4 paw rule. I have used this method myself with my own dogs and I have been teaching my clients and their dogs for several years with this method and it really works. You only give a dog attention or affection if they are Sitting, Standing or Lying Down. A jumping dog is not well liked by most people if they had to be completely honest with you. Unfortunately, their are a lot of people who will get busy undermining you and say, “I don’t mind your puppy jumping up on me.” Or, you will get the person who will possibly knee your dog in the chest. That is not only mean, but counterproductive because dogs often respond by trying to appease. Since humans are usually taller than dogs reaching our face to lick involves jumping up on us.
Train Your Dog to Stop Jumping Up
For simplicity I will just speak of dogs, but the training tips here apply to puppies too.
- When you are training your dog to greet politely and stop jumping up it is easier to work with two people as a buddy system. One person will hold the dog’s leash. The dog should have plenty of room to Sit, Stand or Lie Down comfortably and to move within a radius of a couple of feet. The second person can be anyone your dog likes.
- With the dog’s human friend about a 15' – 18' away the person holding the leash asks the dog to Sit.
- As soon as the dog does so the dog’s friend starts to approach. Because the dog likes this person the approaching friend will reward the sit. Just because the dog likes this friend he or she will probably get up and move toward them.
- At that moment the approaching friend has to stop completely coming forward and has to turns away from the dog and retreat.
- The person holding the leash cues the dog to sit again.
- As soon as the dog sits the friend again approaches.
- If the dog gets up the friend stops and retreats again.
Usually, after a few tries the leash holder can stop giving the cue to Sit. Instead count to 5 slowly in your head. Given a few moments for the dog to think... most dogs will experiment – what was it that got my friend to come closer? Oh yes, I had to sit and stay in sit.. that is the first step toward a dog who sits spontaneously in order to get people to approach.
More Jumping Training
This does not mean that you’re jumping, happy, go lucky dog is completely out of the woods just yet. The self-control jumping problem is still not solved just yet -- the bouncier your dog the more practice and reinforcement you and your dog need to do. This can take days or weeks sometimes. Remember, Your Dog’s Behavioral Success Depends on YOU! Once your dog can hold his or her sit until your friend has reached him or her then you can release your dog on the Okay or Yes command. The leash holder can tell the dog it’s okay to get up at this point. However, if your dog begins to jump up again on your friend your friend should instantly back away. Notice how simple and clear the communication is. If your dog sits through this exercise your friend will reach your dog and love on your dog or give positive reinforcement. Then you would treat reward your dog at this point. If your dog gets up and moves towards your friend your friends moves and retreats back.
*** This is just one of several ways to teach your dog not to jump up***
If you have any questions about dog training or behavior modification issues please feel free to call me (718) 704-6821 or email me.