How to Stop Your Dog’s Inappropriate Jumping

Dogs use jumping as part of their greeting — they are in affect saying, “I’m so happy to see you!”  While their intentions are good, humans have a difficult time understanding this when they are being “accosted”, so to speak. Most people do not realize that they are perpetuating this unwanted behavior in dogs.

Whether you have a puppy or an older dog, when they greet you by jumping and you give them attention you are effectively rewarding the dog for this behavior.  Dogs thrive on attention – any attention.  If you react to your dog’s jumping by petting and loving them, then you cannot expect them to understand that it is not okay to jump on others.  The dog associates jumping up with receiving praise.

On the flip side, if you yell at your dog or remove their paws from you and say, “bad dog”, you are still giving them attention.  It may not be the praise that they are looking for, but nonetheless they are just happy that you are giving them attention.  So, if you shout at your dog when they jump on someone else, this unwanted behavior will continue to be reinforced.

There are instances when dogs jump at other times, not just when greeting you.  This kind of jumping has to do with your dog expressing dominance over you.  If this is the case, then you will need to learn how to become the alpha-dog in your dog’s eyes.  If your dog perceives that you are lower in the pecking order than them, then you will have a difficult time getting your dog to obey your commands.

When training your dog to stop jumping up on people you have to remain consistent.  It will be terribly confusing to your dog if you allow them to jump up on you when you like, but reprimand them at other times.  Dogs are not able to tell the difference between when you are in play time and when you are not.  To effectively train your dog you must be diligent about your training routine — you will thank yourself later.

The most successful way to stop your dog from jumping up on people is to simply ignore them when they do it.  This may sound harsh or you may think that this won’t be as effective as saying, “No!”, but this method will work faster than any other.  You won’t be “hurting your dog’s feelings”, since they do not think the same way humans do.  Your dog can read your body language and will pick up that they won’t get attention when they jump on you.

The next time your dog jumps up on you simply fold your arms, and turn your back and/or face away from your dog immediately.  You don’t want to make eye contact with your dog, as they will perceive that as attention.  If your dog jumps on you and you just walk away and continue doing what you were doing, they will not clearly understand your body language.  Since dogs are always seeking attention, they will quickly learn that this behavior is equals no attention, and they will stop and behave in ways that give them praise.

Once your dog stops jumping up and has all their paws on the ground, then you can turn back towards them and give them lots of praise.  By doing this you are using positive reinforcement, teaching your dog that when it is calm and standing or sitting it is a very good thing.  Your dog will not be confused be the shift in your behavior towards them, since they only recognize their current behavior with your response.

Sally Canela is an expert in the area of dog training; specializing in training dogs rescued from shelters with behavioral issues.

If you would like to find out more about dog training techniques and how to deal with inappropriate jumping and other problematic behaviors, check out: Secrets to Dog Training. This comprehensive dog training guide is aimed at fast-tracking your dog’s learning.

Comments are closed

Panorama Theme by Themocracy