Teaching A Dog Not To Jump
“Can I pet your dog?” This may be a question you hear and start to worry about how your dog will greet a stranger. Will your dog jump on your guest? Will your dog knock your guest over when saying hello?
Why do dogs even jump up on people? In most cases, it is just because we are taller than they are, and they’re trying to get to our faces for a social greeting. This is a pretty normal dog behavior, but something most humans do not appreciate. This article is the first in a series that will start you and your dog on a better path to polite dog and human greeting behaviors.
Your Family: First let’s address how you and your family greet your dog. After a long day at work, you are probably eager to see your dog and start baby talking your dog, “Dexter, I’ve missed you so much! Oh, you are such a handsome boy!” If you are speaking to your dog in a high-pitched, excited tone, you are likely going to increase his excitement and your dog will start to get bouncy and jumpy. So, let’s tone it down a bit.
Walk in your house calmly and smile softly at your dog. “Hiiii, Deexxter.” Quickly squat down to your dog’s level and gently rub his chest and talk very softly to him. If he jumps up, stand up and ignore him until he gets all four on the floor again. Repeat. It will be a bit of a Yo-Yo exercise for you. Don’t yell at him, don’t tell him “off,” just stand up and ignore him. My rule is I have an “Invisible Dog” when my dog is jumping up on me (or barking for attention). As soon as those feet go back down, he reappears.
Fast Tip: You can jump start your dog’s polite greeting behavior by the use of food or toys. When greeting your dog, coming home from work, or letting your dog out of his crate, have some dog treats or dog food on you or in your pocket. As soon as you see your dog, drop a dog treat or dog food kibble at his feet. Repeat as soon as he finishes eating the treat. Do this as you walk around with your dog or take your dog outside to potty. As your dog gets better at this routine, your kibble drops will be spaced out more. Instead of a kibble drop every second, it’s every 3 seconds, 5 seconds, etc. until they are no longer needed.
To use a toy in polite dog greeting behavior, you must first find a toy your dog thinks is very exciting, that he eagerly wants to fetch or hold. Sometimes this means having a cupboard full of new dog toys to keep them interesting and engaging. As soon as you see your dog, wiggle the toy and toss. You may need to have a few toys in your hand so you can keep tossing as you walk around with your dog. Again, this is a behavior you can fade over time.
Exercise and Attention: Please remember that your dog needs to be adequately exercised every day both physically and mentally. If your dog does not get physical and mental quality bonding time with you, he is unlikely to be successful. If you are unsure if you provide your dog with enough exercise and attention, keep a log book for a week. Write down your daily activities with your dog. And when I say “with your dog” I mean that you are actually paying attention to and bonding with. Not that your dog is lying on the floor in the same room. Dogs are Man’s/Woman’s Best Friends for a reason. They need you and your attention.
Is Your Dog A Polite Greeter? Tell me in the comments.
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