You get home from a long day at work, and on the other side of the door, your dog is there to greet you. For most, this is the long sigh at the end of the day right before you kick your shoes off. But for many others, the sounds of claws scraping wood, high-pitched yaps, and hyper panting is the last hurdle to cross before the events of the day finally wind down. You wish you had trained your dog to not jump on people – not even you!
Depending on the mood, this could be handled with mild annoyance or a flared temper. Either way, no one wants to walk through their home threshold and be greeted that way. It’s just bad manners. What’s worse? When you have company and your jumping dog hurts someone by accident. By then the first aid kit is empty and your furbaby can land you in an embarrassing situation. Without a training technique in place, there is no recourse. The dog questions, “Why are the humans yelling the wrong name? Who is this Down, Off, and Bad Dog?”
Jumping is a submissive greeting intended to appease pet parents. Dogs jump to express happiness, pent-up energy, and anxiety but it is not an appropriate communication. Training offers a common langue. All training techniques take practice, management, and adaptation. You won’t get things right on the first try and that should be expected.
Before you jump right into training remember to set the stage for success.
General Tips for Successfully Training Your Dog Not to Jump on People
Before you begin
To improve focus, let off excess energy with physical activity. A brisk walk around the block can be the difference between a successful train session, and a disappointing one. Or hire a dog walking service to help exert pent-up energy, we are glad to help!
Use scrumptious bite-sized training treats
Training treats should be healthy but super yummy and enjoyable. Pick up a few extra and try new treats when you get the chance. Treat variety and preference can fuel the drive to do well in any training session.
Praising your dog
You can use short, verbal praise or a pat on the head. Praise with restraint though as overreactions can be counterproductive.
The training environment
When you start out, your environment should be free of distractions. Later, after your dog has gotten comfortable you can, and should, add distractions. Challenge the training by generalizing the desired behavior. Which results in a focused furkid who will follow commands anywhere at home, or in public.
Keep training sessions short, fun, and end each session on a positive note. If you and your training partner are having difficulty, first evaluate the speed of your training and the value of your rewards. Do you need to slow down, or does your dog need a better payday for a more difficult accomplishment? If the uncooperative behavior continues, take a break and try again later. Don’t lose the fun!
How to Train Your Dog to Not Jump on People
Most people who deal with bad jumping behaviors experience them at their front door as they come home. So, you’ll have lots of opportunities to practice.
Entering the home
Upon your arrival prepare yourself to enter into training mode. If you open the door and are greeted with jumping, implement a time-out. Time out can be spent in another room, or in a size-appropriate dog kennel that they feel safe in. Return after a brief period and try again. Continue this message until your dog no longer jumps. Once planted and no longer air born, give the reward. For most dogs nothing motivates like food, however, a quick verbal praise is useful because you may not always have treats handy
Pro Tip: If you are having trouble you can correct the behavior by showing your furkid what you want, you’ll need to bend at the waist and hold the collar. Slip your thumb underneath the collar with your palm facing down and guide into a sitting or calm state. A shortened leash under your foot works well too.
First, you’ll need a 6-foot leash. Using the leash to help teach a counter command such as jumping is one way to train as well. This can be done with distractions, like at a park or in your backyard. While supervised tether the leash to a tree and approach your dog. As long as all four feet remain rooted then offer appropriate praise or reward. Then practice this with other people! You could meet a new friend by asking a stranger to help in your training process.
Pro Tip: If your furkid is having trouble, secure the leash with your foot so he can’t jump. Offer praise or reward once good behavior returns.
Sometimes our furkids get too excited when you reach for the leash. How can you possibly leash a jumping bean? The answer is similar to arriving home. When your canine jumps excitedly for the leash, you should back away from the leash. After a moment your dog will stop jumping, and you may proceed to the leash. Give praise or reward once you have successfully leashed the dog in a calm manner.
No one likes to hear the word “no”, not even our dogs. This is why teaching them not to jump can be trickier than teaching them “sit”, “stay”, or “down”. Dogs will test your boundaries. That is why consistency is so important. If your rule is no jumping, then they shouldn’t jump. Not even if it’s their birthday, or they haven’t seen Grandma in a while. Continue setting those boundaries in a way that they understand even if the setting changes a bit. They should not get attention for bad behavior.
Although this kind of training can be challenging, don’t give up! Part of developing a special bond with your dog means going through difficult periods and overcoming them. A little patience is necessary, and remember to always have fun!
Melanie is the owner and founder of Brevard’s premier trusted in-home pet care company. With a Sociology & Criminal Justice degree from the University of Tennessee, she took her corporate security background and combined it with her lifelong passion for animals – that’s how Space Coast Pet Services was born in 2016! She is certified in Pet First Aid & CPR, insured, and proudly completed a full background check successfully. She is committed to ongoing training and education for herself and her team. To learn more, click here.
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