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Jumpy dogs

Dogs jump up on people because they are seeking attention. They want to be close to you, but you (and your guests!) likely prefer they do it without putting their paws on your shoulders. Although we don’t mean to, we reward the jumping behavior when we touch or talk to them, even if it’s to stop them or push them down. To your dog, any attention is still a reward. If we teach the dog that the only way to get our attention is by keeping all four paws on the floor, we can redirect their urge to jump. Try any of the methods below to discourage jumping.

Cold-Shoulder Method:

  • Step #1: Say “Off.” Turn your back and ignore the dog when they jump on you. Do NOT speak, touch or make eye contact. If the dog persists in jumping, try crossing your arms and stepping away so that the dog naturally falls off of you.
  • Step #2: Once all four paws are back on the ground, IMMEDIATELY reward them with attention and praise.

Sit Method:

  • Step #1: If the dog knows the “Sit” command, you can ask them to sit as soon as they are jumping, or about to jump.
  • Step #2: Once the dog sits, IMMEDIATELY reward with attention and praise.

Leash Method:

  • Step #1: Standing on the dog’s leash can be a useful technique.
  • Step #2: Once all four paws are back on the ground, IMMEDIATELY reward them with attention and praise.

Luring Method:

  • Step #1: Say “Off.” Take a treat, present it to the dog’s nose then have them follow the treat downward.
  • Step #2: Once all four paws are back on the ground, IMMEDIATELY reward them with attention and praise.

Reminders:

  • Stay calm when rewarding, as enthusiasm may encourage them to jump again out of excitement.
  • Let people know you are working to eliminate jumping and ask them to refrain from petting your dog if they are jumping on them. If others reward your dog’s jumping behavior, it will slow your progress and could undo your hard work.
  • Use the command “Off” versus “Down” to eliminate confusion with “Lie Down.”
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