During week 2 of our 5 weeks to a calmer dog webinar we focused on how to have a calm dog when you come home or when you have guests come over.
The key take away from this to to PRACTICE not only when you come home but practice when you haven’t been gone for some time.
When evaluating any problem behavior you want to look at the root cause of the behavior.
Why Dogs Jump
Quiet simply Dogs jump up to say hello! They don’t know how humans prefer to be greeted, and it never occurs to them that they might knock us over or ruin our clothes. Thankfully, consistent anti-jump training can quickly solve the problem for good.
Teach Impulse Control we will discuss this in much more detail in week 4 of our webinar. Some examples of impulse control include but are not limited to:
- Wait – for food, before going outdoors, before getting their leash put on, before tossing toys.
- Sit for everything. EVERY.THING.
- While walking with your dog, randomly ask them to sit while you’re walking. Do not stop to ask them to sit, ask them to sit while walking. As you say sit, you can slow down.
- Encourage excitement from your pup. Play, get them excited, run with them, then abruptly stop and ask them to ‘sit’. Repeat. This will teach them to ‘sit’ even if they are in an excited state of mind.
Anti-jump training when you arrive home
- Open the door a teeny bit. If your dog jumps up, close the door.
- Repeat until you can step through the door without your dog jumping up.
- If he jumps on you, turn away. If he keeps jumping, go back outside and start again.
- Whenever your dog keeps four paws on the floor, praise and pet him.
- Ask your dog to ‘go settle’ when you walk in the door.
Anti-jump training inside your house
- When your dog jumps on you, turn your back to him. Say, “too bad” as you turn away.
- When he stops jumping, turn around to face him. If he jumps again, turn your back to him again.
- Repeat until he stops jumping. Then pet and praise him.
- If your dog keeps jumping up when you turn your back, walk away from him, ignoring him completely. If he follows and jumps again, give him a time-out. Either close a door between you or put him in his confinement area for a minute or two. (The point is not that he is being bad, but that you won’t play when he jumps.)
Anti-jump training when visitors come to your house
- When someone comes to the house, put your dog on leash before you open the door.
- Open the door and invite the visitor in. If your dog jumps up, tell him, “too bad” and walk him away from the visitor. Once he calms down, let him try again.
- Leave the leash on your dog during the visit. You don’t have to hold it the entire time, but if at any point during the visit your dog jumps up on your visitor, grab the leash, tell your dog, “too bad” and walk him away.
- Remember to praise and reward him with pets and attention when he keeps four paws on the floor.
- While a guest comes in the house ask your dog to ‘go settle’, if they are over excited put them on leash to guide them to their settle spot.
Anti-jump training when you meet people on the street.
- If your dog jumps up on someone approaching you on the street, tell him, “too bad” and walk a few feet away. When he settles, try again — if the person is willing.
Once your dog can keep four paws on the floor in the above situations (and you have trained ‘sit’), begin to ask for a sit before he says hello. With time and practice, your dog will automatically sit when he wants to greet people.
Management tools to help set you and your dog up for success while they are learning. NEVER EVER discredit management tools while your dog is learning. These tools will lead to you and your dog’s success and lessen frustration.
- Lightweight leash on in the house. ALWAYS SUPERVISED!
- Baby gate
- Exercise pen
- Another room
What I see when working with dogs not to jump is that dog owners only work on the dogs not jumping when the dog is already in a heightened state of arousal. This is not the best time to train your dog. You can work up to this excited level but start calm then increase the excitement level.