With patience and consistent training, any dog owner can teach his dog not to jump on people.
Sure it’s cute when your new puppy runs over to you as you walk in the door and jumps up to greet you. It’s not as cute, however, when your 100 pound “puppy” continues to enthusiastically knock you or your visitors to the floor six months later. Depending on the size of your dog, jumping is a behavior that can be both a nuisance and, at times, downright dangerous to you and your family and friends. It’s a habit that is best discouraged when your dog is young. As with all behavioral training, remember to stay positive and reward your dog for good behavior. Never punish him.
- In the wild, dogs live in hierarchical packs, lead by an alpha male and alpha female. In your household, your dog needs to understand that you are the alpha dog. It’s important to reinforce your status (and your dog’s) by being consistent with training.
- Dogs associate with each other by smelling scent glands around their faces. Since you are taller than your dog he may be tempted to jump up for a sniff so get low to greet him if you can.
- Remember never to punish your dog. Rewards are much more effective. Just be consistent.
Techniques to Curb Jumping Behavior
- As soon as your dog starts to jump, raise your knee to block him or turn your back to him. This is a gentle signal to him that you don’t welcome the attention and will help discourage his behavior.
- Another method is to issue a firm command, such as “off” or “sit” as soon as your dog starts to jump; if he responds, praise him immediately with words or a treat.
- Once your dog understands the commands “off” or “sit”, be sure not to touch him until he obeys.
- Make an open-mouthed snarl without noise, but with your teeth quite visible. This is a natural signal adult dogs use to calm their puppies. When you use this method, it is important to make direct eye contact with your dog.
- Be aware of situations or circumstances in which your dog may be tempted to jump. If he does not, be sure to positively reinforce his good behavior with praise or a treat. Recognizing success is hard, so pay attention.
- Once your dog is trained not to jump, practice with a few different friends and let them reward your dog.
Fortunately, it's not too difficult to stop your dog from jumping. With consistent training and positive reinforcement, your dog will quickly learn how to please the alpha dog in your household – you!