Controlling Dog Jumping Through Training
jump because it feels natural. They are excited to get your
attention and don't realize that you aren't happy. Dog training
for jumping is relatively simple: teach an incompatible behavior
and reward only that behavior. Ignore everything else.
TEACHING AN INCOMPATIBLE BEHAVIOR
Sit is the best behavior to teach a jumping dog because it is
easy for him to learn, and he definitely can't jump while
sitting. This is best taught while your dog is calm, not when
you first walk in the door.
You want your dog to respond to your sit command, so you
don't want to use any physical gestures because then your dog
will only respond to the physical gesture (pushing the butt
down). Thus, to teach sit:
- Hold a treat just above your dog's nose level and slowly
move it over your dog's head. This should cause him to fall
backward into the sit. If he doesn't, keep trying. If your
dog is rising on hind legs, you're holding the treat too
- When your dog starts to sit, say "sit" and then say
"good" and give the treat.
- Repeat with the treat in your hand only 2 to 3 times.
- Now, use your hand without the treat the exact same way
you used it when you were holding the treat.
- When your dog sits, give him a treat or two from a
hidden place like a pocket and praise.
- Practice this in all rooms of your house. Have everyone
in the family participate.
SOLVING JUMPING PROBLEM
Now that your dog has a default
behavior, you can teach him not to jump when he is excited,
which is usually when you come home from work, put out food
or begin a game.
- When you walk in the door, immediately ask your dog to sit.
If he does, give him a hello and plenty of pets.
- If he does not,
walk straight past him. Do not talk to him or touch him. Turn
your back. If you tell him no or push him off, you are touching
him and talking to him, which is still attention (a reward). The
behavior will continue, even if you mean those as corrections.
- Once his feet hit the ground, praise and pet him. As soon as he
starts jumping again, remove all attention.
- If you must, go to
another room and close the door or walk back outside. When he is
calm enough to sit, resume greeting.
- If he jumps for food, set
the food bowl down where he can't reach it and leave the
kitchen. He can only eat once he sits.
- If he jumps on you during
a game, the game ends. Resume the game when he has calmed down.
PREVENT JUMPING ON GUESTS
Obviously, you don't expect your
grandmother to ignore your jumping Great Dane, so you have to
modify the techniques a little when dealing with guests.
- Keep a leash by the door. Clip it on your dog when someone
knocks on the door.
- Instruct your guests not to look at or greet
your dog until he has calmed down.
- Keep him by your side on the
leash. Don't give him any commands, just wait for him to calm
down. This means no pulling, jumping, barking, straining or
heavy panting. Invite your guest inside, but acknowledge the dog
only once he is calm.
- Once your dog is calm, allow him to greet.
- If he starts jumping, pull him back and start over. Your dog
should only get to greet people when he is calm.
depend on consistency. If you enforce these simple rules every
time your dog jumps, he will learn quickly that jumping is
ineffective and choose a new (acceptable) behavior to get your
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What to Look for in a Professional Dog Trainer