The most lovable attribute of any dog is the overwhelming affection they shower on their owners and unsuspecting visitors. Unfortunately, not everyone your dog decides to love will return the favor with a hearty 'who's a good boy'. There are tons of reasons that dogs jump up on family and friends, and almost none of them are cause for alarm. Keep reading to for tips and tricks to get your family dog to stop jumping on everyone he meets.
Understand the Behavior - The number one reasons dogs jump on people is that they get excited and it's the only way they know how to show it. Jumping is the dog's way of giving you a hug, which is so adorable when it's a tiny little puppy. However, when that tiny little puppy is now an eighty pound adult, this jumping behavior can be annoying or frightening. It's important to stop this behavior before it becomes a habit or you could be in real trouble. A stranger could mistake a large jumping dog as an attack, and not all guests to your home will enjoy having a dog jump on them.
The other reason dogs jump is just basic security. Dogs jump to sniff you for recognition. This does not require jumping so for the convenience and cleanliness of your home and guests begin training immediately to stop the jumping.
What You Can Do - The first thing you can do to stop this behavior is to stop encouraging it. As owners we tend to think our pups are jumping just because they're excited to see us and we greet those jumps with hugs and affection. What else are our furry friends supposed to think when encouraged to jump? It is up to you as the authority figure to establish boundaries for your pup or dog.
Consistency should be your mantra when training your dog to do anything, particularly to stop jumping on you and everyone else. Don't pet your dog or pup to relax them when they begin jumping, this will only reinforce the jumping behavior. Instead, try some of the following techniques to curb this behavior:
- Redirect your dog's energy by commanding him to do something else. SIT is a good command to begin with because it's usually one of the first commands a dog learns.
- Ignore your dog's attempt to jump on you, only if he hasn't learned the "sit" command. This will confuse your pup or dog, but after a few moments he'll calm down. When calm and sitting, shower him with affection.
- Command your dog to stop jumping as soon as you notice the behavior. STOP, DOWN, OFF, NO JUMPING are good command words to try. SIT is always a good fall back word, but it's important to have different commands for different tasks.
- Walk forward as your dog or pup begins to jump on you. This will make them feel insecure in their balance and force the dog or pup to get down on all fours. It won't hurt them; it will just force them to choose balance and security over jumping.
- Encourage your guests to get involved. Request that they don't allow the dog to jump on them and give them the command word to make him stop jumping.
- Reward him only after he has obeyed your command.
Remember that teaching your dog not to jump on people is important for your safety as well as your dogs. Continuous jumping can cause joint damage in some dogs, which can lead to behaviors far worse than jumping.
Andrew Daigle owns many successful websites including Dog Training Advice and Tips, a website to learn how to train dogs and puppies with proven techniques with audio and lessons and Secrets to Dog Training for more dog training information.