Tip of the Month

4/25/2007 Jumping

Jumping is a natural greeting and attention-grabber for dogs; however, especially with large dogs, it is not the most desirable behavior. You and your guests will often get knocked over. The best solution will involve specific dog training meant to teach your dog alternate ways to greet you and to get attention. Use knowledge that can be gained from an ABC Certified Dog Trainer; for example, exercise your dog’s “sit” behavior when greeting her. Reward the sit behavior by giving your dog attention, praise, and petting. Remember not to be too enthusiastic in your praise. This may encourage further jumping or other behaviors you want to avoid. The animal will respond best to focused feedback that is not overly energetic or enthusiastic.

In animal training, it is critical to be consistent, especially when teaching your dog not to jump. Avoid rough games as well as vigorous petting since all of these interactions may encourage jumping. Owners that teach their dogs that jumping is acceptable at some times but not at others will constantly have a difficult time eliminating the problem. Consult your dog trainer if you feel you are being consistent but the dog is not responding positively to your efforts.

To alleviate your dog’s jumping issues, when she jumps on you, immediately turn away from her. Most dogs will continue jumping for approximately 10 seconds before trying another approach. Typically, they will try to face you and jump again. If this happens, turn the other way and continue to ignore the behavior. Dog training, namely fixing a behavior like jumping that is considered enjoyable to a dog, takes patience. Some dogs may continue jumping excitedly for several minutes. After the dog stops jumping for at least two seconds and has all four feet on the floor, turn to her to praise and pet her. Your training motto for this behavior is “four on the floor.” Keep your hands low and slow. If she starts to jump again, turn away from her. When she stops jumping, turn around and pet her again. Continue this until the dog realizes you will pet her only when she is not jumping.

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