Lisa Deal, Creekside Doodles

We’ve been on the topic of nuisance behaviors this week and another super annoying behavior is jumping. Have you ever gone to a friend or family member’s house only to have their dog accost you at the door, jumping up to get in your face and putting his feet all over your clothes? Annoying? Yep. Also super common. 

Think of your dog like a child. Children do not inherently know how to control their impulses. They have to be taught good manners and acceptable behaviors. It’s the same with dogs. We just aren’t usually as good at teaching our dogs to control themselves. When they are puppies the jumping up, begging for attention seems cute and so we allow it, even reward them for it by bending down to pet and fawn over them. Who can resist those puppy eyes and that wagging tail?

Who can resist those puppy eyes and that wagging tail?

The problem is, we are teaching them a lack of impulse control and when they are grown it won’t be so cute when they jump all over you and your guests to get your attention. It will become an embarrassing and annoying habit that you might not know how to correct. Don’t worry though, there’s hope, and help for this issue. There are a couple of tactics you can try to get this problem under control.

“The problem is, we are teaching them a lack of impulse control and when they are grown it won’t be so cute when they jump all over you and your guests to get your attention.”

  1. The Step Away Game. This little game helps to teach your dog to control himself when approached by someone who would perhaps like to pet him, or when approaching a guest in your home or out in public. Simply put your dog on a leash and attach that leash to an immobile object, such as a doorknob. This gives your dog about 6 feet of free space. Next approach the dog with a favorite toy or treat and try to get him to jump up( squeak the toy, talk in an excited voice etc.) When the dog jumps up, take a few steps back, out of his reach and stand quietly. Wait for him to calm down and try again. Each time he jumps up on you, repeat the process. Eventually he will learn that if he jumps, you are going to back away and he won’t get his reward. If he DOESN’T jump up after a few seconds, give him the toy/treat and praise him. This can be practiced every day for a few minutes a day and you should begin to see a marked improvement in his behavior

When the dog jumps up, take a few steps back, out of his reach and stand quietly.

2. For dogs who REALLY like to jump, you can try teaching the dog to jump on command. Sort of “permission to misbehave” if you will.          By giving the behavior a name/command to accompany it you begin to control when it happens. Your dog will only be rewarded for            jumping when you ask him to and will be ignored if he jumps without being asked. He will quickly learn, jumping is only worth it when        the behavior is requested.

It’s important to note that both of these tactics require patience and consistency on your part. Don’t think that you will be able to teach these methods once and your dog will magically be fixed. With consistent training, patience  and follow through, each of these tools should be very helpful in stopping your dog’s unwanted jumping habit, or at least making it a fun trick.

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