Jumping is a natural way to greet each other as well as a way for dogs to greet you and get your attention. Jumping is also a body language often portrayed when a dog is excited.
To prevent your dog from jumping, teach them a new way to greet you. Instruct your dog to “sit” when greeting you and your guests. Once your dog sits, reward this behavior by giving your dog attention and praise (remember, that is all they want). Do not be too excited when praising your dog, as this may encourage further jumping.
It is critical to be consistent when teaching your dog not to jump. It may confuse your dog if they are allowed to jump at some times but not at others. Avoid rough games, as well as vigorous play with your dog, as these types of interactions may encourage the jumping behavior.
Clients that want to teach their dog to jump during play will have a difficult time breaking the jumping behavior in general. If you are consistent in not allowing the jumping behavior, it will be much easier for your dog to break this habit and a lot less work for you in the long run.
If your dog is not listening to your command of “off”, immediately turn away from them. Most dogs will continue to jump for approximately ten seconds. They may also come around to face you and attempt to jump again. Turn away from them slowly and continue to ignore the undesirable behavior. Dogs are much like young children in that negative attention is better than no attention. Your dog would rather get pushed down or away by you instead of getting no attention. Giving your dog another way to get your attention is the first place to start. Once your dog realizes that this is not a behavior that gets them attention, they will try another approach. Instead of having them play a guessing game, give them the desired behavior right away. Sitting will get them the attention they are asking for. Most importantly, make sure they get the attention from you they desire once they choose the better option.
It Takes Time
You must be patient. If your dog continues jumping, even if it is for several minutes, you must not give into their demands. Once they stop jumping for at least two seconds, you may turn to praise and pet them while they are in the sitting position. Move your hands slowly as fast movements will most likely encourage them to jump again. If your dog jumps again, slowly turn away and repeat the process. Continue until they realize that you will only pet them while they are not jumping, but rather sitting. Repetition and consistency is most important when dealing with jumping. Obedience training and behavior modification can help you with many behavioral issues or concerns. Should you have any questions or would like more information on training, please contact All Stage Canine Development.