Wednesday, March 13, 2013

How to stop your dog from jumping: Week two of our March de-stressing tips

Do you dread people coming to your house because you don’t know how to get your dog to stop jumping? We are here to help! Continuing our March theme of giving you some helpful de-stressing tips, we are focusing on jumping.

The behaviors your dog displays when meeting another person can be just as important as the behaviors they display when meeting another dog. Before you scold Fido for jumping on people, it’s important to establish your rules for jumping. Decide what you want to allow your dog to do, and stick with it. Once you determine whether or not you will allow your dog to jump, you can begin training.

The main rule of training is just as important for you to follow as it is for your pooch: You cannot be selective about who your pup can and can't jump on. It’s no okay to praise and pet your dog when they jump on you, for example, but punish them when they jump on grandma.

The most important part of teaching your dog not to jump is to remove any type of attention when they do. Even when you tell a dog “no,” they are still getting some sort of attention from you. Your dog doesn’t care whether or not the attention is negative or positive, as long as they are getting attention. When your dog jumps, it’s best to turn your body around 180 degrees, face away from them and ignore them. This removes the attention they are used to getting and discourages jumping.  Here is a short clip of staff member Caitlyn demonstrating the 180 turn and asking for a sit before petting:

It is crucial that you do not overreact when your dog does jump. If your dog is jumping on you, sniffing and giving you love and you respond by shouting in their face or putting your knee up, you are actually rewarding the wrong behavior and giving your dog the attention they are craving. Believe it or not, this encourages the jumping! The only effective way to respond to jumping is to remove all reinforcement by turning your back, walking away, or giving the dog a time out.
If you do have a dog that you allow to jump, it’s important to take steps to prevent your dog from jumping on someone that they shouldn’t. When grandma comes to visit, ask for a different behavior out of your dog, such as a sit, or prevent them from jumping by curbing the leash. There are ways of managing the situation when you can’t do anything else. You just have to choose the one that works for you.

Morris K9 Campus works on building “no jumping” skills in our Level 02: Impulse Control class. Register your dog for a pet training membership today.

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