Does your dog jump all over people? For children this can be terrifying, especially when the dog knocks them down. For adults, it can be obnoxious! For you the owner it can be embarrassing or put you at risk and an expensive fine.
When dogs greet each other, they do so face-to-face. This is common etiquette between dogs. The problem arises when a dog offers this as a form of greeting to a human. You as a pet parent must teach your dog that what is acceptable in the dog world is not acceptable in the human world.
So how do you teach your dog to stop jumping up? I have seen people knee the dog in the chest when he jumps up. I have seen others use shock collars and shock the dog when he jumps up. This is so not the Bark Busters way. We do not believe in using any form of pain to train your dog. These methods do not really communicate to your dog what you want him to do instead.
Instead, Bark Busters relies on communication and leadership. You must suggest an alternative behavior, either standing or sitting, but with all paws on the floor. You can start simply, using yourself as the stooge. Teach your dog that he is praised when he remains on the ground, and that jumping up will earn him no attention from you other than a vocal correction. Be alert, and be ready to issue your vocal correction as soon as the paws start to leave the ground – don’t wait until his paws are on your shoulders to do this. As soon as his paws are back on the ground, give him lots of praise, but try not to be too physical with your praise as this may encourage him to jump again. By consistent repetition, teaching him that remaining in the sit or stand position when visitors arrive will earn him your praise, you are positively reinforcing that behavior.
What you must understand is that we, as humans, often overcomplicate the communication between ourselves and our dogs which makes the training process harder. When you set out to train your dog either to start or stop certain behaviors, consistency is the key.
Dogs are consistent creatures who tend to respond in the same way to the same triggers. They learn through repetition. Humans are inconsistent, and respond differently to triggers depending on their moods and situations. If you start behaving inconsistently or give your dog conflicting commands, you will only confuse your dog and jeopardize the training process.
For example; you may accidentally encourage your dog in his jumping up habits by laughing and hugging him when he jumps up on you. Then, when he jumps up on visitors or strangers you get angry. The rule is simple…if you don’t want your dog to jump up at everybody then he must not jump up at anybody – including you. A dog cannot make the judgement as to who he can and cannot jump up at, so you must teach him never to jump up at anybody. He is greeted and praised when he has four paws on the ground.
Practice your training before you go out on a walk or before visitors are due to arrive. Try to do so when the house is quiet. Your dog will learn more quickly when there are fewer distractions and he is not excited, as he will be better able to listen to you as you teach him and praise him. Training your dog also helps you build a bond, entertains your dog, and teaches him to use his brain. A trained dog is a pleasure to be around.
If you need any help with this or any other issues, give me – Michael Konstantaras — a call. Or email me. I look forward to teaching you how to have a well-behaved dog!