Is Your Dog Jumping on Visitors?

Knocking People DownHave you ever walked into someone’s house, and been instantly pounced on by their dog? I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand it, especially, if I’m dressed for an evening out. I always wondering why people don’t actively train their dogs not to jump. You would be surprised at how people consider this to be normal doggie behavior, and never try and break their dog from doing it.

A dog jumping up is not only annoying, but can also be dangerous. You do not want your dog to jump on a small child, handicapped or elderly person. This could put this person at risk of falling or being pushed to the ground.

Why does your dog jump? This can be answered one of three ways. He is either being aggressive, excited, or looking for attention.

The best way to get your dog to stop jumping is obedience training. By teaching your dog the proper commands, you can effectively control his behavior. Simply by asking your dog to “sit” when someone comes through the door will stop the jumping.

If you have not started your obedience training classes yet, or if your dog has not gotten the hang of the commands yet, there are other ways to keep your dog from jumping up on people.

When your dog begins to jump up on you, raise your knee up. This will act as a blockade from him being able to actually reach you. If you are not good at balancing, you can also turn your body away from your dog. Ignore him, and see if this stops the jumping. Continue to ignore your dog until your dog has stopped jumping.

Once he has calmed down, and is no longer jumping, pet him and pay him attention. This will reinforce that he does not get attention when he jumps, but does when he is calmed down.

If this technique does not work, you may need to resort to a choke collar. This is used along with a leash, and will tighten around your dogs neck, every time you give the leash a tug. You do not want to use this choke collar as a way to hurt your dog, only as a reminder that this is unacceptable behavior. Your dog will learn that when they jump they will experience that unpleasant sensation around their neck. This should deter the dog from jumping.

A few reminders:

  • Make sure to start breaking this habit early.
  • Training classes will go a long way to stop the jumping.

Never reward the bad jumping behavior. Owners are sometimes tempted to give their dog a treat to keep them from jumping on guests. This only makes you dog want to jump more to get more treats. In their mind they are thinking, “last time I jumped on that lady, mommy gave me a treat.”

Do not make the choke collar a punishment, but a training tool instead:

  • Do not pay attention to your dog when he is jumping
  • Praise him when he is calm

Make sure that you are consistent in the message that you are sending to your dog. Never allow them to jump, not even when the mailman comes to the door.

Jumping is really an easy habit to curb with the proper training. It just takes time, reinforcement and patience.

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