How to train a dog not to jump on you or on others

Jumping is one of the most common problems, as dogs that jump on people can scare or injure a person. So why do dogs jump on people and what can be done about it?

Why do dogs jump on people what should be done about that

The fact that a dog tries to greet people by jumping on them with their paws and “kissing” their face is a natural dog behavior. This is how puppies and cubs greet their mothers and other adult pack members when they return to their lair. The pups lick adults at the corners of their lips so that they regurgitate the prey they bring to the little ones.

The problem with eliminating a jumping habit is that sometimes we unwittingly reinforce this habit. Sometimes, when we are, for example, in sports clothes we don’t mind our dog’s jumping but sometimes, if we are in our glad rags we scold our dogs angrily. These inconsistencies bring a lot of chaos into your dog’s life — they don’t exactly get what you want from them. 

First of all, ignore all your dog’s attempts to jump on you (you can use, for example, a backpack or a large sheet of cardboard as a shield, turn away, etc.) and encourage the dog to greet you with all their four paws on the ground.

Scattering the pieces of treats which you bring with yourself or leave near the entrance can also help. This will distract the dog, encourage them to go down on all their fours and slightly reduce their overexcitement. In this case the dog will understand that they can get your attention and affection even with four paws on the ground.

What are the ways to train a dog not to jump?

If your dog greets your friends by jumping, there are a few ways to solve this problem. 
Firstly, make sure your dog is not reinforced for this behavior. As a rule, a reinforced behavior tends to repeat. So if you don’t want your dog to jump, make sure that you and your friends never encourage the dog to jump. 

Sometimes you may unwittingly encourage the dog to jump if the dog sees jumping as the only way to get attention. Even negative attention like yelling and scolding is still attention and your dog obviously wants it.

The more you yell at the dog and push them away, the more likely the dog will continue to jump at you because this still brings attention. 

Once you make sure that you don’t reinforce your dog’s jumping, start working on prevention of this behavior. 

You can use your dog’s favourite food and treats to train them not to jump. When you are going to meet your dog after a long absence, or when they are very excited, and are very likely to jump on you, stock up some treats before you see your dog. Keep some of them outside the door or in your pocket.

Right after you enter the flat, throw some treats on the floor. Correct timing is very important here — the dog should see the treats before they decide to jump on you. After the dog has picked up all the pieces, you can greet and pet them, encouraging them to stand on the ground with all four paws.

August 20, 2020

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