Is your dog jumping and are you at a loss how to control it?
Your tiny puppy jumps on any-and-everything he comes into contact with and, because he’s little and cute, no one minds. Plus, he’s too short to really reach anything of consequence. But when your tiny puppy turns into a full grown dog and hasn’t been taught to stop jumping, he’s going to create some stress—and possibly some damage as well!
At a minimum your pants (or shirt depending on his height) can end up with muddy footprints all over them. Even worse, lovely meals and birthday cakes end up as goners if your pup spends time counter surfing. And when your big dog knocks someone over and injures them? A lawsuit coming your way makes your dog’s poor behavior look less and less cute. Teach your young pup to remain on the floor as a critical part of having a well-trained dog.
3 tips to stop Dog Jumping
Try these tips on stopping dog jumping on people or to stay off of your counters and keep his feet on the ground:
- Curb That Enthusiasm. Your dog jumps when he’s excited. Even if a jumping dog doesn’t bother you, this habit comes across as very rude—or even scary—to many other people. Dogs can’t distinguish between the different people they jump on, so you must train them not to jump at all. No matter who it is.
First, train yourself to never touch your dog unless all four of his feet are on the ground. Because he craves your affection, your dog learns quickly that he doesn’t get a pat if he is jumping up. Cuddling or patting on him when he’s jumping up sends the wrong message and teaches him this is acceptable behavior. If your dog jumps up on you, use your leg to gently push him away. At the same time, use a voice command such as “get off” or “down”.
Once your pooch sits back down with four feet on the floor, offer him praise calmly. Keep your voice and actions calm. If your dog acts super excitedly, ignore him until he calms down. Using a loud, booming voice will only excite him more so keep it low. Give him attention at the point where he has calmed and shows less interest in you.
- Teach a Polite Greeting.
Many times dogs use jumping up on people as a way to greet or say hello. Dogs with poor training don’t realize that this is simply rude and unacceptable. As the owner, you must work to be sure that your dog’s manners are polite. Teach your dog to sit prior to greeting someone, which will ensure he is calm first. Puppies or super excitable dogs often require their owners to put a finger in their collars in order to help contain them in a sitting position.
When introducing your dog to a new person, ask the person to calmly and slowly approach your pup. Firmly use the “sit” command while ensuring your dog obeys. Stay persistent in requiring your dog to sit until he can calm down, otherwise he doesn’t get to say hello. If you find it difficult to keep your dog seated, explain to the person that your dog is still learning. Explain that saying hello is a reward and your dog must earn it by being calm. If your pup simply won’t behave, tell the person that he isn’t allowed to greet them right now and ask them if they can try again another time. Eventually your pup begins to understand your expectations and obey.
- No More Counter Surfing. Jumping on people and jumping on counters come from very different motivations for dogs. Dogs who jump on people simply want to give a happy greeting. Dogs who get on counters usually do so because they are looking for something they aren’t supposed to have. The fact that your dog tries to do this in secret makes it one of the most difficult behaviors to stop!In the case of counter surfing, your goal should always be prevention. Because many human foods actually make dogs sick, it’s best to simply keep your counters free and clear of food in general. However, when in the process of training your dog, seek to use food as “bait” and set him up. It probably seems mean, but really it’s the best way to teach him.
Put a leash on your dog and place some tasty (but not dangerous!) food near the edge of the counter. No doubt, your pup will go for it! When he begins to jump up, immediately tug on the leash. At the same time, firmly tell him “no”. Once he gets down off of the counter, praise him.
Did he get the food item? Take it out of his mouth, even if you need to put your hand in his mouth to do it! There no use in your dog receiving a reward for doing something he shouldn’t. Otherwise this exercise produces positive reinforcement for negative behavior. If he has a tendency to get the food when you practice this, try using a food that doesn’t take as good as he expects. For instance, a piece of bread with chili paste might seem appealing. But once he eats it, he’ll instantly regret it!
Again, persistence reigns supreme in teaching your dog how to stop jumping on people or counter surfing. Work consistently for a little bit of time every day. Teach your dog the rules, and make sure your dog knows who is in charge. Be patient and you’ll find that he’ll eventually respond with the appropriate behavior. Before you know it, you’ll have a well-trained dog with four feet on the ground!