Dog Training Tips: How to Stop Your Dog From Jumping on People
Is your dog frequently jumping on people? Learn how to stop this problem with our top dog training tips on how to keep a dog from jumping up.
When it's just you and your dog alone, it might seem like a loving embrace for them to jump up on you. In many ways, it's a beautiful thing that your dog wants to jump on you and give you some love.
Your dog training might even end with a joyous leap into one another's arms.
What happens when they jump up into your elderly parent, though? How about a stranger with a phobia of dogs?
These instances pose problems, and there are a lot of situations where a dog might cause trouble by jumping on someone. At the very least, it's something that a lot of people don't enjoy.
So, if you want to keep people safe and happy, you've got to train your dog to avoid jumping up on people. Let's take a look at some ideas on how to make that happen.
Dog Training 101: How to Prevent Jumping
Let's start by looking at why dogs jump in the first place.
Puppies get the attention of their mothers by jumping and licking at their faces. If a mother has food and the puppy is hungry, they'll do whatever they can to get into their face and grab their attention. It's also the case that dogs greet one another by sniffing, licking, and generally bombarding each other's faces (and behinds).
These two behaviors transfer into the dog's relationship with humans. It's buried into their instincts to greet in this way. Dog's don't have the natural ability to socialize in a polite way with humans, especially if they're not taught how to socialize in the ways that we want them to.
Also, recognize that dogs repeat behaviors that bring rewards. The reward doesn't always have to be a treat. In a lot of cases, dogs seek the attention of their owners more than they want a treat or scrap of food.
The mistake that a lot of people make is failing to recognize that attention of any kind is almost always what the dog wants. Naturally, there are negative forms of attention that the dog doesn't enjoy, but the line between positive and negative isn't so clear for the dog.
Attention and Reward
For example, if you try to get your dog to stop jumping by pushing them away from you each time they do it, they might not understand what you're trying to do. The dog might see this as a roughhousing behavior like playing or wrestling.
That's positive reinforcement. The pup associates jumping up with wrestling, and they'll perform that behavior again to get some more "playtime."
In theory, avoiding any sort of attention or reward when the dog jumps will make them stop. That association goes away over time and the dog starts to avoid jumping because nothing happens when they do it.
Just because the dog stops jumping on you doesn't mean they won't jump on other people, though. Most other people will offer some kind of attention or reward when the dog jumps on them.
This is the most difficult thing to manage because you can't train your dog with everyone you meet on the street. The trick is to insert a different behavior into the greeting.
If the dog associates a desirable behavior with greetings, they're more prone to repeating that behavior whenever they meet someone so they don't even think about jumping.
Training Your Dog to Lie Down at Greetings
Find a friend to help you out with this training. You can also train your dog this way whenever you come home, but it's important to have some other humans to help make the association for the dog.
Have your dog on its leash, and ask your friend to come into the room for a greeting. Once the engagement starts, put some treats on the floor where your friend and the dog will meet.
Your dog should start eating the treats before he or she engages with the human. As this happens, ask that your friend pets and greets the dog while they're down on the floor.
Have the human walk away and out of the dog's sight. Repeat that process a few times. Have another person come and perform the process with you on another day, lowering the number of treats that you give to your dog.
Over time, the treats will stop being the reward. Phase-out of throwing treats on the ground and start making the petting and greeting the reward for the dog. Eventually, the pup will just sit down in front of someone when they meet them, and the natural human response to that is to pet.
Work With Professional Dog Trainer
The best way to establish dog obedience is to work with someone who trains animals for a living. There are a lot of ways to train your dog, and you might find a lot of success doing so on your own.
That said, a streamlined pet obedience program will establish a whole lot of positive behaviors in your animal. Whether you have a jumping dog, an angry dog, or you're just having trouble getting them to listen, a professional is the best way to go.
There are numerous types of training available as well. You might send your pup away for a few weeks, or it might be a situation where you drop your dog off a few times a week to start learning new behaviors.
In all cases, you'll have to implement obedience training on your own to make sure that the behaviors stick. That said, getting the foundation of those behaviors is the hardest part, and a dog trainer is the person to lay those fundamentals down.
Want to Learn More About Dog Training Tips?
Hopefully, the ideas above will help you get your dog to stop jumping on people. There's a lot more to learn about dog training, though. We're here to help.
Contact us for more insight into training your dog, finding professional help, and a whole lot more.
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