Dogs jumping up on people is at best an embarrassing, annoying habit and at worst a danger for all involved.
What starts out as a cute habit in young puppies often escalates into a big problem that can be very difficult to correct. If you can't stand your much loved dog jumping on you, just imagine what visitors to your home must think?
Dog Jumping Up - Annoying:
Your dog jumps all over you every time you come home, on visitors to your home or just when you've put on freshly cleaned and ironed pants!
Dog Jumping Up - Dangerous:
Any small child
person who crosses path with your dog. Depending on the size of your dog, anyone could be in danger of being knocked off their feet.
Why Do Our Dogs Jump Up On People?
- Excitement, they're just showing you that they are happy to see you.
- Your dog could be seeking your attention and has been rewarded with it by jumping up in the past.
- To assert dominance over you or guests. This is a rare one but can happen.
General Tips For Correcting Dog Behavior Problems - Jumping Up
Always keep in mind that your dog doesn't understand that the jumping up behavior is "inappropriate". It's up to you to clearly communicate this to your dog.
- Start as early as you can. It's much easier to prevent behavior problems such as dogs jumping on people, than to correct ingrained existing habits.
- Punishing or hitting a dog for jumping up just doesn't make sense and will never work. Your goal, and your best chance of stopping your dog from jumping up is to clearly communicate that jumping up is always an unacceptable behavior.
- Never reward a dog that jumps up on people by giving them the attention they are seeking. Rewarded behavior is reinforced behavior, meaning it will become more common.
- You have to send a consistent message to your dog in all circumstances. Make it simple for your dog and eliminate any confusion. This means that everybody who comes into contact with your dog has to reinforce the same message. It's pointless and unfair if you give your dog a cuddle and attention when he jumps up on you, but then yell at him when he jumps up on a delivery man.
- Don't give your dog what he/she wants (attention) every time he jumps up and you'll find the behavior decreases.
How To Stop Your Dog From Jumping Up
Depending on what stage you're at with the jumping up problem, you should find one of these training techniques will do the trick. In most cases you will see some positive results in a matter of days
. These are my favorite methods which I have successfully used to stop my dogs from jumping:
- When you see that your dog is ready to launch up at you, turn your body away from him. This will make your dog miss you, or at the very least deflect him off you. During this process don't make any eye contact with your dog and don't say a thing. Ignore your dog and make it clear to him that when he jumps he gets nothing from you.
When your dog has settled down and stops jumping, you then initiate some contact with him. Get down to his level and lavish him with praise and a nice scratch behind the ear. If you are consistent and persistent with this method, your dog will soon learn that staying on all four legs is a much better alternative!
- The next method is the one I prefer to use with my dogs. In situations where your dog is excitable and prone to jumping up, give him something else to do. In these
situations I instruct my dogs to "sit" - this is sometimes referred to as "alternate behavior training".
So instead of jumping around like lunatics, my dogs sit patiently awaiting my attention (which I always reward them with). This is the dog obedience training guide I follow when training my dogs - dog training membership site. You can also use go to your spot for the same purpose.
- Many dog trainers use and recommend correcting jumping up problems with a pinch collar (sometimes called a prong collar). This technique is most suitable for bigger, strong willed breeds like German Shepherds and Rottweilers. The key is to leave the pinch collar on whenever you are around your dog and have a short leash attached to it. At the moment your dog jumps, give a short sharp snap downwards on the leash. This tightens the collar and creates a negative association to your dog. It is said to replicate the correction that dogs use between themselves. Never pull on the leash for more than a second or two, and never hurt your dog. When used the right way the pinch collar should not leave a mark on your dogs neck. Your dog will learn very quickly that when he jumps up on people, it will be an unpleasant experience. I believe this is an extreme method and would only consider it as a last resort for a dog who is jumping up dangerously.
The good thing about jumping up problems in dogs is that they are usually an easy fix. As long as you are determined to correct the problem and follow the above training techniques consistently you should be on the right track.
An article from leading clicker trainer Karen Pryor on addressing dog jumping up problems - Stop Dogs From Jumping Up On Strangers.
Further information on dog jumping up problems.