Dogs love to greet their dog friends by jumping on one another. It’s a way for them to show affection. However, this is not exactly a polite way for dogs to greet people.
If you have a dog with a jumping habit, the following tips should help teach your dog a more appropriate way to greet his human friends.
Tips to stop a dog’s jumping
1. Don’t engage with a dog who’s jumping.
It’s best not to respond to a dog who’s jumping up on you, said dog trainer Dave Fitzpatrick, owner of Celtic-K9. He said the three most important forms of communication and rewards for a dog are visual, physical and verbal.
By not giving your dog any of these forms of communication and rewards until he stops jumping, you’re letting him know his behavior is unacceptable, Fitzpatrick said.
“Once he stops jumping, you then can reward the dog with one of the above.”
However, he warned that giving the dog too much attention soon after he stops jumping can trigger the dog to jump again.
2. Teach the dog a new skill.
Rather than correct a dog for jumping, dog trainer Amy Robinson of Amy Robinson Dog Training likes to teach the dog a new behavior.
“I teach ‘back up!’ so I can apply that command at the right moment, and only then reach down to pet the dog,” she said.
To teach the dog to back up, Robinson said she drapes the leash down in front of the dog and places a foot on the leash with plenty of slack. She stands up straight and cheerfully and says “back up” while stepping towards the dog and sliding her foot and the leash forward at the same time.
She also puts one hand out like a stop sign as she moves into the dog’s space, as the dog moves back.
“Works every time because if he jumps in the process, the leash inhibits his quest to be airborne,” she said. “Then I like to follow up with ‘watch’ or ‘sit’ before petting him.”
She said once he knows “back up,” you can apply it in situations when he might jump, before it even happens.
Then, of course you’d use treats or praise to reward your dog for appropriate behavior.
3. Don’t lean over or push on a dog who’s jumping.
Often, people will lean over and try to stop the dog from jumping by pushing on him, Robinson said.
“This touch feels like approval to the dog, and he leans in against the pressure.”
4. Stand ‘like a tree.’
If your dog insists on jumping regardless of what you have tried, Fitzpatrick said you should stand like a tree.
He said to “cross your arms, look to the sky and freeze.”
When the dog has stopped jumping, he said to try taking a step. If the dog starts jumping again, you should stop and stand like a tree again.
“The dog will come to realize that if he wants to communicate with you, he must not jump,” Fitzpatrick said.
Do any of you have dogs that jumped? What has worked to stop the behavior?
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