Teaching A Dog Not To Jump-Your Guests

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Learn How To Teach A Dog Not To Jump

Polite Dog To Person Greeting Behavior

Jumping, body slamming, mouthing….oh boy! Having a dog can be challenging at times and a lot of work when you don’t have the proper tools or training to teach them a more appropriate response. First, it’s always important to remember that dogs are dogs. They are not humans, and they do not know what we consider right or wrong, unless we teach them. Yes, we actually have to spend time and teach them what we prefer, and these lessons take time and patience.
If you haven’t read my previous posts Teaching A Dog Not To Jump-You First and Polite Dog and Human Greeting Pt. 1, I highly suggest reading those first, then coming back to this post. Now that you are caught up, let’s continue our talk about teaching your dog to keep four on the floor while greeting your houseguests.
YOUR GUESTS: Some challenges with teaching your dog to greet your guests politely are that your guests don’t listen (or care), their timing is off, or you feel insecure about following through with a plan. How you manage and work through this situation will determine your dog’s success. If you truly want a polite greeter at the end, you must remember that your dog is learning all the time, so make sure he his learning what YOU want him to learn. You’re the one who lives with him, not your guests or in-laws.

MANAGEMENT: Management, management, management is always the best way to start a successful

Teaching a dog not to jump
Keeping Your Dog Busy

dog training program. Have you ever wondered why dog trainers can teach a dog a reliable behavior effortlessly? It’s because we start all our training programs with a high management protocol. If you are able to prevent your dog from running and jumping on your guest, you will then be able to teach him a better greeting behavior. If, on the other hand, he performs this act over and over again he will get quite good at jumping, and this will become his ritual. Planning ahead when you know guests are going to arrive and having a plan of action for when they surprise you are the best tools. A prepared frozen dog treat toy is always a good backup for surprises.

Teach your Cavalier not to jump
Keep your dog busy. (Tux toy)

TETHER, HARNESS, AND STUFFED TREAT TOYS: When you are expecting guests, put your dog’s harness on and prepare a filled hollow treat toy. Decide which room you and your guests are going to reside in and place a tether (leash) around a heavy piece of furniture such as a sofa leg. When the doorbell rings, collect your dog and attach him to the tether by his harness and provide him with his filled hollow toy.

Go to the door and greet your guests. Take off their coats, say hello and ask them to ignore your dog. When you walk into the main room where your dog is chewing on his very delicious stuffed treat toy, sit next to your dog. Occasionally add a bonus dog treat while he continues with his chew toy. Once he is finished with his chew toy, attach his leash to his harness, then unclip him from the sofa, but do not leave. Work on some of his obedience behaviors (sithand target, down, etc.). Reward him for paying attention to you. When your dog can easily focus on you, proceed to the next step. This may NOT happen in one session.

When your dog is ready for the next step, ask one of your seated guests to reach down toward her shin and wiggle her fingers. As she does, walk your dog up to the guest and tell him to say hello. As soon as your dog sniffs your friend’s fingers say “YES!” and quickly move your dog a foot away and give him a treat. Be careful not to jerk your dog, remember he’s still on his leash and harness. This process is teaching your dog to politely sniff your guest’s fingers (not jumping up), and then by quickly removing your dog, he does not have time to get too excited and start jumping up. Remember, you are teaching your dog what to do, so you don’t want to give him the opportunity to be wrong. Repeat this process for 5 repetitions. As your dog gets the hang of this, you can allow a little longer sniffing before calling him off. By calling your dog away from your guests to collect his reward, he is also learning that you are more exciting.

When you are done practicing, keep your dog leashed to you. Only when you start to have a reliable behavior, with no jumping, should your dog be allowed to run freely with guests. Remember, prevention is the key. It will not do you any good to practice these lessons, then to unleash your dog for him to start jumping around on your guests. If you do not wish to have him leashed with you, you can use another management tool such as tethering him in sight, baby gated, or put him in his crate. When you start to consider allowing him more roaming freedom, he should respond well to The Name Game.

REMEMBER #1: Management #2: Practice and certainly #3: Patience

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