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January 10, 2015

PetSafe® Expert

Michael K. Shafer

Discourage Your Dog’s Jumping

dog obedience jumping problemDoes your dog struggle with bad manners? Does he think jumping is a good way to say hello? It’s  no secret that many dogs struggle with jumping while greeting people. This creates a frustrating situation for everyone. But with some simple, consistent dog training, you can easily stop your dog's jumping.

To address the jumping problem, it’s important to understand why your pet is jumping: attention. Dogs are very social animals and love human contact, and that’s why your attention is so important.

Many dogs learn this as puppies. It’s easy for everyone to pet and praise puppies when they jump up because they’re so cute and small. From puppyhood, your dog has learned that jumping gets a lot of attention. As pets grow, their increase in size and energy creates more desire for attention, and the behavior gets worse.

It may feel natural to push your dog down or correct him, but most dogs will still view this as attention and will continue to jump. The key is to remove the reward for jumping by not giving your dog attention when he jumps. Here are some training tips to get the ball rolling.

  • Immediately ignore jumping. As soon as your dog’s front paws leave the ground, take all attention away from him. Take your hands away from your pet, look away from him, and don’t say a word. Your body language and verbal cues make a big difference to your pet.
  • Don’t push or knee your dog. Dogs play rough and many will think you’re playing with them.
  • Immediately reward not jumping. At the moment your dog’s front paws land back on the ground, reward him by giving him your praise and attention.
  • Leave the room if jumping continues. If your dog continues to jump after you remove your attention, simply walk out of the room without saying a word. This will help you stay calm and make your point. You can always come back into the room after a few moments.

Remain patient and consistent. Don’t expect your dog’s jumping to go away overnight. Every dog learns at a different pace. This process may take some time for you dog to understand, and it’s best for both of you to keep calm and stay consistent.

stop dog from jumpingFollowing these simple rules will start to change your pet’s jumping behavior. The more consistent you can be, the faster that change will happen. Make sure everyone who interacts with your dog follows the same training procedure.

There’s one more piece to this puzzle that you need to know. During your training, you might experience extinction burst, which means the problem will get worse before it gets better. Your dog is used to jumping to get attention. When that stops working, he doesn’t know another way to get your attention yet, so he triples his efforts. Once he realizes he gets attention after he stops jumping, the jumping behavior should stop.

A strong relationship with your dog is very fulfilling, and proper greeting manners will only help improve your relationship. Now that you have a better understanding of why dogs jump and how to get them to stop,  you can start changing your dog’s behavior for the better. Simply follow these rules and remain consistent and you’ll see a big difference. If you need more help, you can always find a local trainer to help coach you through the process.

Written by

Michael K. Shafer

Michael K. Shafer

PetSafe® Dog Trainer

PetSafe® Expert

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