Jumping up is a common way that dogs try to get our attention. Although this can be endearing, it really isn’t a good idea to let your dog do this, in case it topples over an elderly person or a child. Even small dogs can play havoc with tights!
Old fashioned dog trainers used just to knee the dog in the chest when it jumped up. This quite often stopped the dog jumping up but it risked breaking its ribs or even more severe injuries. There is no need to brutalise your dog in this way. There is a better, kinder way.
This is simply to ignore all jumping up. This is simple but not easy to do, because you have to ignore EVERY SINGLE TIME.
Ignoring really does mean ignore – no words, no eye contact, no angry exclamations! Telling a dog off is NOT ignoring. Move away from the dog and go and do something else, anything else. The idea is show the dog that jumping up simply doesn’t work. So, for instance, when you arrive home walk in, ignore the jumping up, and move straight into the kitchen to start putting away your shopping.
At first the dog will seem to be worse. She will try even harder to get your attention and for the first few days you wonder if this is going to work. PERSEVERE. If you forget just once and pay attention to her, you will not succeed. The difficult period will last for about a week, maybe a few days longer, and, as long as you hold out, it will work.
Then…. When your dog stops jumping up, you start rewarding her for keeping all four feet on the ground. Lower yourself to her level and give her a pet. Or hand her a treat. You don’t have to reward her every single time, but try to do it about once in three occasions.
This ignoring is given a fancy name by some trainers but it’s simply the good old rule that you ignore bad behaviour and reward good.
If your dog has the habit of jumping up at visitors, the easiest way to deal with this, is to put her on a lead before you go to the door to greet them. Hold the dog and tell the visitor to ignore the dog.
Explain to the visit that this is part of your dog training and that she can give the dog a good cuddle later. Only let the dog off the lead when the visitor is in the room and settled down.
Remember to praise your dog and give her a treat each time she greets somebody with all four paws on the ground.
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All normal safety precautions should be taken when dealing with animals. The advice in this section should be taken only at the owner’s own risk. All sick animals should be seen by a vet.
General advice of the kind found in this website is no substitute for an individual consultation with a vet or qualified behaviourist working on a vet’s referral.