Monday, 17 December 2018
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Speaking for the dogs: number one dog training question of the week

Send Rover on Over had a booth at the pear festival this year with lots of nice people lined up to say hi and ask us Doggie Questions.

Can you guess what the most common dog training question people approached me on? You might be right! Jumping up on people.

Jumping up on people often starts out and is reinforced for dogs when they are young puppies. They are soooo cute, and we are sooooo tall. They jump up to meet us half way and what do we do? We pet them!!! We pet them and encourage the jumping behavior and before we know it, we have a 75 pound, jumping machine that is out of control. It can only take one time to reinforce the jumping up behavior for it to become a habit for us and for the dog, but the reinforcement usually continues well into months before it is recognized as a problem.

Prevention is always the best answer. This means when you bring your new pup home, you bend over to his level and do not pay attention to jumping and you turn around and ignore this jumping behavior. When your pup is sitting nicely and or has all fours on the floor, this is when you provide attention and reinforce the sitting, four on the floor behavior.

So, in the event you did not know that you shouldn’t pet your pup when they jump up, we get to train your jumpy monkey a new behavior. We now want to trade jumping for sitting. If your dog jumps on you, approach them with a treat in your hand in a low position at their nose level and dispense the treats while they maintain an OFF position. If they need prompting, stick the treat in front of their nose to lure or bait them off. Stay calm, do not yell, do not push, and release the treat when the dog is off. Do this repeatedly until they approach you looking at hand level and or do not jump.

For dogs that jump on your family members, guests, and all others who enter your space, try this.  Every time someone comes over it should be a training event. Your dog should be on a leash, in their crate, or taught to stay on their mat, or in a place until everyone has entered and exchanged pleasantries. Have treats handy and your dog needs to sit before they are provided with any attention. After a good 3 second sit, they can be rewarded with a food treat, or a toy, and a minimal amount of non over stimulating attention. If they remain calm, they get to stay with people, if they turn jumpy monkey, they go into their crate or outside or in another room.

This process can take days to months to train out of a dog and sometimes dogs will jump intermittently to the bitter end. If you can at least reduce the jumping, this would be a measurable work in progress.

If you have a question about training or behavior, please email me @

Make it a Pawsitive Day!

Wags of Wisdom:-*

If at the end of the day, you smell like a dog, it was a good day : )

Val S Elliott is a CPDT Behavior Coach


The Bark Box

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