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Teaching Your Dog Not To Jump

Train Your Dog to Stop Jumping

You pull into your driveway after an exhausting day at work; you step out of the car, just wanting to climb into bed. Your keys click softly as you unlock the door. You enter your home and then… Suddenly, you’re on the floor, two paws planted on your shoulders and a massive tongue licking your face. While you’re annoyed, you cannot channel that annoyance against your dog. After all, he was only loving you.

This enthusiastic greeting, while affectionate, is a problem. Your dog jumping on you as a way of welcome can become a stressful thing–that is why you must learn to curb that impulse in puppyhood, teaching your dog more acceptable ways to shows its love. There are, fortunately, techniques you can use to train your dog; by following these tips, you can have the affection without the paw prints.

When beginning training, it is just as important to know what not to do as it is to know what to do. Never use punishment as a way to stop jumping. If your dog leaps at you, do not bat him on the nose or kick out at him. This sends contradicting messages to your pet: you are either upset at him or want to play. Your aggressive behavior can be seen in both lights; it does not stop the jumping but, sometimes, encourages it.

Instead of punishing your dog, use the more effective (and much less violent) approach of rewarding him. There are multiple methods you can use:

  • Your dog wants to be close to you; that is why he jumps. When you enter your house, kneel down to the floor and put yourself closer to his level. This way, he will not have to jump and can still show you how much he missed you. If he does try to jump, tell him “No!” When he sits down, reward him with an enthusiastic “Yes!” and, if you wish, a treat. If he starts to jump again, however, you must reinforce the “No”.
  • When you enter your home, you can also try the second method. If your dog jumps at you, turn your back to him. This will immediately stop the jumping because your pet will be confused; he will, most likely, sit down and stare at you, waiting for some sign of recognition. When you turn to face him, reward him for sitting down. This is a hard process to use and requires much patience. Your dog will, probably, start jumping again as soon as you turn to face him and may even begin to associate getting a reward with jumping. He has to jump and then sit to get his treat. To reinforce the need for sitting, be sure to reward your dog for other times when he sits. Otherwise, this method will not work.
  • This method is the most recommended but usually the most overlooked. Habits are learned in puppyhood. To stop jumping before it starts, you should enroll your puppy in obedience school. Many refuse to do this, citing reasons of “there’s no time” and “it’s too much work”. In reality, the time and effort you will put in basic puppy training is nothing compared to what you will have to do as your ages. It is best to learn the essentials as a puppy. Learning the basic commands of “Sit”, “Stay”, “Come”, “Lay Down”, etc will help you bypass the jumping stage. If your puppy goes to jump, you can simply give him a command not to. Eventually, he will learn that you do not want him to do this and forget it
  • This final method requires a great deal amount of patience and a lot of practice. You must tether your pet to an immovable object and limit his movement. Once he is secured, you walk away from. Once you have gone a certain amount of distance, you start back toward him. If your dog tries to run toward you, two things will happen: 1. he will come to the end of his tether and 2. you will stop walking toward him. The dog will eventually realize that you will not come toward him if he jumps or runs. This method takes a great deal of time but is still effective.

One of these methods is sure to work for you and your pet; see which is best tailored for your lifestyle and begin the change today!

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