Dogs and puppies like to jump up!
They get rewarded for the jumping up by us talking to them, fussing them and generally getting attention from us!
As puppies, we allow them to jump up as they are small and cute and its easier to reach them, but as they grow it becomes a undesirable behavior – as the bigger they are, the more likely to knock us over, jump up at guests and they don’t know they are not supposed to do it with mucky paws!!
If you are getting a new puppy, it would be much better not to let them jump up at all – this sets them up from the start with what behaviour we do want! If you are teaching a puppy, always go down to the dog to give praise and cuddles, don’t ever let the dog jump up to be stroked.
If the puppy does jump up, gently push him away, stand up straight, turn your back, withdrawing all physical, verbal and eye contact. No talking to them at all! Not even a no, as to a dog any attention is good attention! Be as quiet as a mouse!
Then turn back, as soon as all 4 paws are on the floor drop a treat onto the floor so the floor becomes a rewarding place to be! When they are on the floor, bend down and praise, strokes and cuddles but only when they still have all four paws on the ground. If they try to raise up again, withdraw and repeat.
Similar techniques can be used with an adult dog. Turn away if he attempts to jump up taking away all attention – so no talking, no eye contact and turn away as above.
Consistency is key! If just one person allows your dog to jump up that once, it becomes the ultimate reward to you dog and defiantly worth doing again to everyone!! So you need to train all people in your home and visitors.
When out on walks, you can ask your dog to do an alternative behaviour, something easy like a sit! So that he learns that when you meet people on walks he is to sit. You can practice this with friends on dog walks. If he is jumping as you go near to them just stop and wait or him to calm down and take a few steps back if needed. As you approach your friend, reward him for keeping calm and keeping 4 paws on the floor, then ask for a sit. Ask your friend to ignore your dog unless they stay calm with paws on the floor. If hr stays calm they can say hello calmly!
This is an super important exercise for any dog, but even more so with a large dog. If your dog jumps up it could easily knock someone over, probably you but worse someone who is not accustomed to dogs. To give you control you can incorporate some of the words taught in class, for instance sit.
Timing will be crucial to being with on this as youll have to be quick to reward. Once he gets it, you can increase the time until he gets the treat with the aim to eventually stop rewarding when he stops the jumping up.
Keep pots of treats around your home and in your pockets so you are able to reward all calm and naturally occurring behaviour – we often notice when our dogs are doing something wrong and forget to praise when they are offering us desirable behaviour. This will help integrate your dog more into your household. You can also give him a chew or a kong to settle with in your lounge.
All members of the family need to adhere to the new regime, as a reward from someone at any time could make the behaviour worse, by being the ultimate random reward. This needs to be adhered to until you are convinced the behaviour has become extinct.
You could also teach your dog Boundary Games! So that they go to a boundary when the door goes or when you have guests come in! if you want to know more about boundary games email Carrie about her classes!
- Teach a reliable off command (paws on and paws off – see other blog!)
- Withhold all attention, including eye contact until the dog has all four feet on the ground. Turn your back on the dog and fold arms and don’t give the dog any interaction.
- Teach an incompatible behaviour, i.e. sit or down when you meet someone
- Always reward quiet and calm greetings
- Teach a reliable sit to greet
- Reward lots for keeping all 4 paws on the floor by dropping food onto the floor