When it comes to bad dog behavior, jumping up can be the most frustrating and one of the most difficult behaviors to correct. Part of what makes this difficult is the variety of reasons that a dog might jump. They’ll jump when they’re excited as well as when they’re annoyed or angry. Either way, humans perceive this as overly aggressive and downright annoying. As frustrating as it can be, there are proactive methods to use in order to stop dog jumping.
Discipline Your Dog Not To Jump
Most people use, at a minimum, strong commands. Words like, “No,” “Stay,” “Down” and “Come” are all common for dog owners, and should be used frequently and consistently in order for dogs to understand and obey.
Because dog’s are so attached to their owners, specifically their “alpha,” most dogs are easily disciplined simply by the turning of the back from their owner when they do something wrong. For example, if the dog jumps up on a guest in the house out of sheer excitement, yelling, “No!” as you get the dog off the person and then simply turning your back as they attempt not to make eye contact will let them know that they’ve done something wrong.
Practice Not Jumping
When does your dog jump the most? Is it at the dog park when he/she over-stimulated by all the different scents? Is it when guests come into your home who he/she are excited to see? Is it when he/she get a little worked up over a stressful situation, say, a cat taunting them from a distance? Determine what the biggest issue is, and gradually expose your dog over and over again to the situation. Discipline poor behavior appropriately, and positively reinforce good behavior.
Positive Reinforcement For Not Jumping
Verbal affirmation and lots of treats are a great way to positively reinforce your dog’s good behavior. The next time a guests enters your home and your dog keeps all fours on the ground, reward him with a “good dog!” and a treat. He’ll learn very quickly that good behavior is the way to go, and jumping will not be nearly as tempting as you continue on that path.
Don’t Confuse Them
Sometimes owners of big dogs will teach their dogs how to jump up and put their paws on the chest or shoulders, as if it’s some sort of neat trick. Don’t do this. It’s unfair to dogs to expect them to perceive situations in the same way humans do. It’s the same as expecting your dogs to stay off of specific pieces of furniture, or to expect them to only sleep on the bed with you when you want them to. Keep their mind’s free of confusion, and eliminate any encouraged jumping if you’re going to discipline them for it as well.
If you have a jumper, don’t be discouraged! Jumping is a behavior that can be corrected with discipline, practice, positive reinforcement and clear training.