Does your dog have an annoying habit of jumping up on others when guests arrive or when you are out walking the neighborhood? At first, it doesn’t seem too bad, after all the dog is saying hello to these people, just like you are. Now, you realize you must do something or this habit is going to get way out of hand. Here are 8 tips to train your dog not to jump up on others.
Train Yourself – The first thing to realize when training a dog is that you also need training. You must be consistent and disciplined so that you can be consistent and disciplined with your dog. Part-time training does not get full-time results. It can’t be okay for your dog to jump up on your kids but not grandma.
Train The People – Observe the behavior of the person coming into your home, or that you meet while walking. Do they get just as excited as the dog? Do they get a big smile, their voice raise a couple of octaves and arms outstretched? That is a problem. In dog to dog communication, animals show social acceptance and friendliness to each other by touching noses or getting close while face to face. Your dog is only repeating the behavior shown by the human. Let people know that you are trying to train your dog not to jump. Ask them to ignore the dog until the situation is calm.
Delay Greeting Until All Is Calm – Before you greet guests at the door, put your dog on a leash. Preferably with a harness if your dog pulls and lunges. Collars can damage a dogs’ throat and cause serious injury. Only when your dog has calmed down and has all four feet on the ground, (which could take several minutes-so hopefully you have patient friends) should you allow your dog to approach and say hello. If he immediately escalates into a bundle of excitement, gently turn your dog and walk away. If you are in a situation where this is not practical such as many guests arriving, then separate your dog behind a gate, in a separate room or a dog crate.
Ignore Your Dog When he Jumps– Your dog needs to learn he only get rewards for calm behavior. If your dog jumps up, ignore him until his feet are firmly on the ground. Rewarding your dog is any kind of eye contact or touching. Even if you are giving him the evil eye, you are still paying attention to him. How do you ignore a dog? Don’t pet, touch or talk to them. It’s hard, but don’t do it. When your dog calms, then you can gently communicate with him.
Distract Him With Something To Carry- Dogs like having a job to do. Sometimes holding something in their mouth is enough of a job to distract them from jumping. A good technique is to find a toy that your dog is attracted to and only give it to him when someone arrives at the door.
Go Fetch– If your dog likes to retrieve, throw a soft toy down the hallway the next time you are about to open the door. If your dog is not a retriever, scatter some kibble or other treats on the floor. This will get your dog’s attention. By the time you greet your guest and close the door, the dog will have been distracted long enough to forget about jumping. Break the patterns that lead to jumping.
Sit Stay– Before you open the door or greet other dog walkers on your outings, put your dog in a sit position. Reward your dog when they sit and reward your dog after the greeting has happened. Release them from the sit position only after the situation has calmed. You know best how to time your dog’s behavior for this exercise.
Get Down With Him- Some dogs jump because they want to be face to face with the humans. If this is your dog’s thinking, sometimes it is as easy as kneeling down and say hello. Obviously, only do this with dogs you know, otherwise, you might get an uncomfortable face full of cold nose and wet tongue – or worse.
Learning to train your dog not to jump is a practice not only for the dog but also for the owner and others who come in contact with the dog. The old saying “it takes a village” is true in dog training as well as teaching your kids.