Does Your Dog Fly Through the Air with the Greatest of Ease?
Does your dog fly through the air with the greatest of ease, at you or other people when they come to visit?…
A lot of you have pleaded me to write about dogs who have the audacity to jump up on people, its seems there are a large group of dogs with bad manners!
The first thing to do is to understand the behavior; when dogs are happy and greet each other they often jump and fly and turn and spin and get in each other’s faces, most of the time they are expressing their happiness to see one another. Dogs do not calmly walk up to one another, sit and exchange paw shakes! Although we find it irritating, this is normal behavior.
This is also a self rewarding behavior, so it is unlikely to disappear on its own! It doesn’t matter how much you are yelling, kicking and screaming, your dog enjoys being up in your face or getting into the face of other people!
What Do You Do?
First things first, make sure you are NEVER accepting your dog jumping on you. You must be consistent and keep him off of everyone all of the time no exceptions!
Second, teach him an incompatible behavior. What is an incompatible behavior, you ask? It is a behavior that CANNOT be performed at the same time as the behavior you are trying to fix, it is simply impossible.
- Teach him to sit when he meets a new person or greets you
- Teach him to lay down when he meets a new person or greets you
It is impossible to lay down or sit and also jump on someone at the same time!
“But” you protest…”How do I make him sit or lay down when someone comes to the house, he gets so excited?”
You put him on a LEASH! First he must know and obey the command 95% of the time, prior to someone coming over, if he doesn’t go back to square one and work on obedience. In order to control him and the situation, you must keep him on a leash at first, this allows you to ensure that he is NOT jumping on the person and wait patiently until he sits to get a reward and interaction.
Place a note on your dog that says “Please give us a moment to put ______ on a leash before we open the door, thank you for helping us work on his obedience”. This will help people to be patient and understand that your dog’s obedience is important to you.
Make sure you have lots of treats to reward him when he obeys and make sure that no one pets him, talks to him, or interacts with him in anyway unless he is sitting or laying down. If he gets up from his position, which he will, instruct them to stop petting and make sure he sits again before he gets rewarded or petted.
I teach all of my dogs, if they want someone to pet them, whether it is in the house or out of the house they must sit first, and they must lay down for children. It is impossible to lay down and jump on someone at the same time!
Use the leash to your advantage for as long as you need to, to get the desired behavior! You must teach him what to do in times of excitement and using the leash is not a detriment it is simply a tool. You wouldn’t take him for a walk without a leash and just expect him to stay with you if you had never taught him to, right?
If he is jumping on you, the same idea holds true! Do not interact with him until he is sitting or laying down. If he jumps, turn your back on him, ignore him or walk out of the room. He wants attention and affection and if he realizes that jumping keeps him from getting what he wants, he will hopefully stop that behavior.
Carry treats with you so that you can ask for a correct response. If you have to carry dog biscuits in the car for when you get home from work, do it so that you can ask for and reward the good behavior of sitting instead of jumping and flying around like a kite! Be sure to reward him when all 4 feet are on the ground!!!!
Recognize when he is making strides toward the good behavior and lean down and pet him on his level, this truly enforces the good behavior; instead of waiting for him to make a mistake and jump you are coming down and giving him what he wants when he has made a correct choice. He should learn that love takes place when he has four on the floor!
DO NOT kick him, knee him, poke him, jab him or yell these simply are ineffective and unkind! The old school “kick a dog for jumping” doesn’t work and that is why I so often hear people frustrated after they have used it.
Reward the good behavior of sitting or laying down or just keeping his feet on the floor. If you are struggling put a leash on him in the house, so that you may pluck him off of you and ask for appropriate behavior that can be rewarded.
The leash is a tool, not just for outside walking, use it to your advantage and take it off when you don’t need it anymore! But, most importantly teach your dog the response you want him to show, control the behavior and the situation, understand WHY it is happening and reward correct choices!
I’ve said it before and perhaps in all my blog posts, but I will say it again…EXERCISE, exercise, exercise…tired dogs are less apt to jump and run and fly at people or you for that matter. If my dog was an extreme jumper and I was having company, I would go for a few mile run just prior to their arrival. Tired dogs make great pets!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.