Jumping up is common but difficult to eradicate for most dog owners. Although this rite annoys you every time you step through the front door when you get home, it is hard to refuse their enthusiasm and disregard your bosom friend. However, an overly exuberant dog who was alone at home all day, could pounce on you or your families, which is very dangerous for small kids, the elderly and people with physical disabilities. The good news is that with certain simple methods you can prevent your pup from jumping without losing his joy in seeing you again.
Regarding dog training, many owners may complain about their “dull” dog, once they are trained. To be honest, it is normal for a dog to be very excited when you get back, which is related to the innate nature of dogs, namely jumping up to get more attention. Therefore, they are not at fault and should be trained using correct and positive reinforcement. Here are three common mistakes that dog owners may make in preventing a dog from jumping.
1. Do not keep the training inconsistent
Allowing a dog to jump on familiar people like neighbors and family members could encourage him to jump on other people again, including people the dog does not know well. As a dog cannot fully tell who he can jump on from who he cannot, an inconsistent training would lead him to put the behavior on a variable schedule. Be aware that dogs need black and white rules, so keep your training consistent.
2. Do not move away from your jumping dog
It is a normal reaction to move away when a dog gets up and throws his body in our direction. However, this action cannot stop his behavior but can stimulate a lot of jumps, as dogs can be attracted by quick movement and regard it as attention. This also applies when you touch or stroke his head.
3. Do not scold or yell
Punishment does not work in dog training. Scolding or yelling at a dog can increase unwanted behavior. For example, if you scold a puppy who urinated on the floor when you were at home, he might misunderstand that he is allowed to pee on the floor only after you have left the house. As you will make eye contact and touch your dog while scolding or yelling at him, he may consider your reaction as attention, but that kind of attention is negative. In addition, punishment might increase in a shy dog, leading to separation anxiety.
How to stop your dog from jumping on people
Apart from avoiding the usual mistakes, dog owners will make great progress during training after learning the tricks described below.
1. Ignore your dog. As already mentioned, any kind of attention from moving away to punishment may be perceived by the dog as rewarded behavior. Therefore, the primary step of teaching a dog not to jump up is not to pay any attention to it. As soon as your dog jumps up, calm down and do not make a sound. Turn your back to the dog and cross your arms over your chest without eye contact or touch. Wait for the dog to stand in front of you with all four paws on the ground. If you turn in the other direction and your dog follows you and jumps up again, stop to repeat the actions.
2. Reward good behavior
It is always the best reward for your dog if you offer him treats as a kind of positive reinforcement, that could also be used for your training. When your dog stops jumping and puts all four paws on the ground, praise him and give him a treat without much fuss. Be aware that any exaggerated rewards and too much attention from you will stimulate another jump. Also, if your pup has overdone his command training, it is advisable that you prepare some treats in your hands and give him a “sit” command as he jumps up. A trained dog responds well to commands and treats.
3. Prepare a toy
To distract your dog’s attention, you could prepare one of his favorite toys near your front door. It can be soft toys, chewing bones or toys in which lots of kibbles or treats such as food puzzles can be loaded. A game of fetch can remove the attention of a dog from you or an arriving guest. As the door opens and your dog jumps up to greet you or the guest, you could toss the toy in an open area of your house such as the hallway. Another method is to toss loose treats on the floor before your dog pounces on people, so the dog has to lower his head and stay on the ground in pursuit of the treats. During the playtime, you will have enough time to greet your guest and probably have to repeatedly throw the toy if your dog is a good Frisbee player. After a few minutes, your dog’s excitement will decrease and he no longer jumps up to the new person.
4. Isolate your dog in a quiet place
Leashing a dog, using a baby gate, or locking him up in a room can temporarily hold back an excitable pup. However, these are not recommended methods. As your dog cannot be leashed around the clock, he still has plenty of opportunities to jump up when he is not leashed. It is recommended to use the command and positive reinforcement method when training the dog at home. Considering the safety of the people in public places, we suggest that every dog owner has the dog leashed while walking, regardless of whether your dog is well or poorly trained.