Solve Your Dog's Jumping Problem Now

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You and your dog are at a crossroads. You love him, i’s not that. But your dog’s passion for jumping…not so much.  

You’re wondering if there is a way to nix the jumping without crushing your dog’s spirit? 

The answer is.yes—a Million times yes!  Your dog—any dog—every dog, can learn:

a) to show you he loves you without the muddy paw prints on the shoulder or pant leg routine.

b) to ask for something without waiting until your back is turned to steal it.

c) to jump up on cue, or that's it's okay to lounge on one piece of furniture but not another.  

Dogs are like kids: parents know they don’t have to dodge baseballs or live with crayons on the wall, or legs dangling from chandeliers. Children need to be civilized, and your dog needs to be civilized too.

If teaching your dog has felt cruel, or just seems like a drag, I’ll make it more fun for both of you.   Give me three days—just three days, during which you ignore all the online gurus and well-meaning friends and neighbors, and sink your teeth into this modern, no-drama, approach.  

It’s less that I’m right and everyone else is wrong, but that modern methods based on compassion and redirection are right while the techniques based on fear and dominance are wrong. The following approach relates our common sense to the new science of modern dog training. It makes training easier than ever before, and more fun too.

Like dog, Like Child

Dogs, like children, are capable of thought, reasoning, and loving attachments. Both toddlers and puppies are inhibited and show affection to affirm their attachments. A child will hug their grown-ups and lift their arms for holding; puppies instinctively offer chin-licks and are often happiest nestled up close.  

So, jumping is natural- like kids looking for cuddles. The frustration is often delayed to months later when the jumping doesn’t fade and has become a habit. The problem, with correcting a dog or puppy who jumps, is that corrections are often misinterpreted as rough play, which reinforces the habit and often spurs it on.  

Below you’ll find a clear outline to help you deal with greeting and attention jumping. In later articles, I will address counter cruising and furniture fanatics. If this article leaves you longing for a personal coach, get help. Dogs consume our every day; having a great relationship with yours just requires time and the right approach. I'd be happy to help you either in person or through remote training, or find a trainer nearby if you're beyond my territory! 

Let’s Begin

To redirect a jumping habit, teach your dog what you’d like him to do instead. While a Sit-Stay sounds appropriate, it would be like expecting a six-year-old to curtsey every time someone walked through the front door.  

Before we address your dog’s jumping habits, list all the other ways your dog expresses joy.  

Here’s my list, compiled from my30+ years passion-teaching dogs and training people.  Feel free to email me anything I’ve missed, and I’ll add it to the list!

 

Fun time activities!                    Word Cue

Racing in a circle                        Crazy dog!

Shaking a Toy                             Get it!

Playing Tug                                 Tug!

Chewing a stick or bone            Get your bone!

Fetching a Toy                            Get your toy!

Soccer                                         Get your ball!

Rolling over or belly up              Roll or Belly Up!

Dancing on two legs                   Dance

Spinning in a circle                      Spin

In the left column, I’ve listed fun time activities-circle the ones your dog enjoys.  In the right column are words your dog can learn to identify with these games.

Did you know that dogs can handle hundreds of words?  No pressure, but the more words dogs learn, the better they listen. A 20-30 word vocabulary is a good goal. 

Your dog will learn words like a foreigner learns English, as a Second Language.  Say words as you point to objects or do things, and your dog will quickly associate the word with the activity.

Meanwhile, set your house up for success! If your dog likes a particular toy, tug or bone place a few in toy baskets in strategic spots, e.g. by the door or in the yard, for easy access.

Consider The Best Alternative

Whether your dog leaps on you when you come home, visitors approach or simply for attention, consider another alternative—one your dog’s already doing-- and teach him/her a word for it. 

Sarah Hodgson