Jumping on people is one of the most common behavioral issues among canines. It may be just a minor nuisance when your joyous pet jumps up on you the minute you enter through your front door. However, Fido’s unwanted jumping can actually be harmful to seniors, small children, and people with physical disabilities.
The good news is that with some time, effort, and plenty of training, you can stop your dog’s jumping problem once and for all.
Why is My Dog Jumping?
There are many theories out there about why dogs want to jump on people. Some popular concepts are greeting behaviors and to show dominance. The simplest explanation, however, is that your dog is jumping simply to get attention.
Many dog owners inadvertently reward their pets for jumping by giving them what they want. As the old saying goes, negative attention is better than none at all. Fido may not know that when you push him off or yell at him to get down that you’re actually trying to punish him. Instead, he may see this behavior as exactly what he wants: attention from you.
How to Stop Your Dog from Jumping
Training your pet not to jump will take a lot of persistence and patience on your end. There are some actions you need to take and others that you need to avoid. Consistency is key. Here are six simple steps to train your furry friend to keep his paws to himself.
1. Withhold Attention
The initial step of teaching your dog not to jump on people is withholding your attention. It can be tough to do, especially if you have 80 pounds of dog hurling itself all over you, but it’s essential.
As soon as you see your pet begin to jump, turn your back on him immediately. Cross your arms and stay silent. If your dog runs around in front of you and tries to jump again, turn the opposite direction, and wait for him to stop jumping.
Another trick is to remove yourself entirely. If your pup jumps on you as you’re entering through the front door, turn around and walk outside again. If he does it when you’re inside the house, go into another room. Wait a moment and then try entering your home or room again. Repeat the process until your pooch calms down.
2. Four on the Floor Rule
The Four on the Floor rule is another way of withholding attention from your pet. Don’t touch, talk, or even look at your pet until he is calm and quiet with all four paws on the floor.
3. Keep It Quiet
Dogs naturally feed off of energy and may jump a lot more if you make a big commotion upon returning home from a long day of work. When you’re entering your front door, avoid making a huge fuss. Calmly and slowly enter your home without even acknowledging your dog. Go about your typical routine without making a lot of noise or movement.
4. Reward His Positive Behavior
Tasty treats go a long way when you’re training your dog not to jump on people. Keep some close at hand. As soon as your pet stops jumping and has all four of his feet on the ground, reward him with a treat. Offer him some verbal praise too, but keep it low key. Too much noise and excitement may cause him to jump again.
5. Try a Sit Command
Once Fido can keep all four feet on the ground for more than a few seconds, start asking him to sit. Walk through your front door or into a room and immediately give your pet the “sit” command. As soon as he sits, reward him with a treat. With plenty of repetition, your pup will start taking a seat as soon as he sees you.
6. Make It a Family Affair
It’s not enough for you to practice with your pooch. Your entire household should participate in his training. If you’re the only one telling your pet not to jump on you, he may think other people are fair game. Having everyone help teaches him to keep all four on the floor, no matter who comes into your home.
What to Avoid Doing
When you’re teaching your dog not to jump on people, there are some things that you should avoid doing. This includes any method of aversive training or punishment, such as a knee to your pet’s chest or harshly yanking on his leash.
Your dog is most likely jumping on you and other people to get their attention and to say, “Look at me!” By withholding attention until your pet is calm and training him to sit when he sees you, he will become a quieter, more well-behaved dog.
Featured Image Credit: MishuHanda, Pixabay