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When a dog jumps up, even if you glare at him, yell at him and shove him away, you are giving him what he wants - attention: looking, talking and touching.
Jumping up works!
Dogs repeat what works ...
See also: Door Manners
Why do dogs jump up?
To get attention; to get you to look at him, talk to him and touch him.
When he was a puppy he was irresistible, tottering on his hind legs trying to get your attention. You responded by bending over and cooing what a goooood puppy he was. Now he's a half grown, over-stimulated adolescent and it just isn't cute anymore. But it's not his fault. You TAUGHT him to do it!
If we are to teach our dog NOT to jump up, we must concentrate on what we want him to do INSTEAD and spend lots of time teaching him under varying levels of distraction!
Your dog must learn to sit for petting.
If you or guests pet your dog when he is standing on his hindlegs, the behavior of jumping up is being rewarded. The first thing you have to do is train all humans who interact with your dog! Teach your dog to sit for petting and then don't allow anyone to pet your dog unless both front feet and his bottom are firmly planted on the floor. IF your dog knows what he is supposed to do, when he starts to jump up, withdraw all attention. Now remind him to "Sit!" and praise warmly, bend down to his level to help him remain seated. Unless you have spent HOURS proofing this exercise and everyone he meets is consistent, he doesn't really understand!
When you arrive home and your dog goes ballistic, jumping all over you, withdraw all attention.
Fold your arms, look at the ceiling. Ignore the dog completely, pretend there is no dog - no looking, talking or touching. (He will be very hard to ignore!) If necessary, stand facing a corner and do not come out until the dog is quiet and calm. If the frenzy begins again as you come out of the corner, go back. The dog will soon discover that the only way to get you out of the corner, is to stop jumping and barking. If you reach to pet him and he jumps up - withhold the petting and remind him to sit. If he gets obnoxious, go back in the corner or leave the room!
Photos courtesy of Bea Wachter
The look-away ~ dogs use it and puppies understand it.
Notice Louie the Frenchie isn't pushing, shoving or even NOTICING this rowdy pup.
To notice would be to acknowledge and engage the pup. Eventually the pup gives up.
Notice that the pup is now mimicking what her mentor is doing.
Practice, practice, practice.
Just because your dog will sit for you, doesn't mean he will remember for visitors.
The time to train is NOT when the doorbell rings and guests arrive! Practice "sit for petting" as a stay exercise, daily. Raise your excitement level gradually, imitating the actions of people who will greet your dog. Waving - patting - goofy voices - squatting or looming - raise the difficulty factor in tolerable increments and help your dog succeed. Finally, add the doorbell. Next, practice with family and friends who will remain calm and withhold attention. Have them go out and come in several times before you add the ringing of the doorbell. Practice with adults and children of all ages until your dog is fool-proof. You will have to train the humans who come to visit as well, because if one-in-ten visitors pets your dog while he is in a frenzy, frenzied behavior is being rewarded!
Once the dog knows what he SHOULD do (sit!) you can help the over-stimulated dog resist the urge to jump.
Check out this excellent video by Dr. Sophia Yin using a baby gate to prevent contact. When you've accomplished this, move on to using the leash as a barrier.
* Stand on the leash - With the dog on a sit, put your foot on the leash. There should be enough slack that there is no tension on the leash as long as the dog remains seated. Bend slightly at the waist and extend your hand to pet him. If he jumps up, he will be unable to complete the jump. Calmly tell the dog "off" as he corrects himself and "sit." Mark the instant he sits with "yes" or click. Praise warmly and reward for any attempt to contain himself.
* Step suddenly to the side or away from the dog - be ready to praise him the instant his feet touch the ground. (The goal is to merely move out of reach of the jump, not knock him down!) Instruct the dog to "sit" and reward him generously for doing what he forgot to do in the first place!
* Please, do not knee him in the chest, stomp on his hind feet or pinch his toes. This is your best friend, treat him like one!
4 month old "Zipper" shows what a proper sit for greeting looks like!
This handout may be reprinted in its entirety for distribution free of charge and with full credit given:
© CAROL A. BYRNES "DIAMONDS IN THE RUFF" Training for Dogs & Their People -
ditr_training @ hotmail.com -