A jumping dog, especially a little toy breed, may seem cute to some dog owners, but it can turn into an annoying habit. When dogs jump on people, they not only risk muddying or even ruining the people’s clothes, but they can also cause young and elderly people to fall and injure themselves. Dog owners who allow their dogs to jump are at risk for lawsuits if a person is injured by their dog’s behavior. Not only that, but a jumping dog is embarrassing, especially when guests are over.
The trick is to curb the jumping when the dog is young. The other key element is consistency. You must continually let he dog know that jumping is wrong; otherwise, he will think it is acceptable to do so.
Training your dog not to jump is fortunately one of the easiest things you can teach him to do. By learning more about why he is jumping and what you need to do to prevent it, you should see results in just a few days.
Dogs typically jump for three main reasons. The most common reason is excitement. Dogs are happy to see their owners after being apart for a long period of time, whether it be first thing in the morning or when the owners get home from work at night. Dogs may also jump because the owner encouraged the dog to do so in the past and now the dog jumps to get attention. In some rare cases, dogs may jump as a display of dominance over their owner or guests.
How to stop dogs from jumping
There are several ways in which you can stop your dog from jumping. They include the following:
- Deflect the dog when he jumps at you. When he lunges toward you, turn your body away so he misses. Don’t say anything or make any eye contact. Just keep turning away from him every time he jumps. Once he calms down, praise him and shower him with attention. Eventually, your dog will learn that jumping will get him nowhere.
- Turn his attention elsewhere. Instead of jumping, teach your dog to sit and stay and then reward them for doing so. By doing this, your dog will learn that all four paws need to be on the ground in order to receive attention.
- Practice makes perfect. If your dog only jumps when you arrive home from work, you are getting just one opportunity per day to train him proper behavior. Therefore, you want to speed up the training process, which you can do by going out a back door and coming through a front door numerous times. Each time you “come home,” ask the dog to sit and stay. He will be very excited at first, but after several attempts, he should relax and learn how to get into the sit and stay position.
- In extreme cases, you may want to look into a pinch collar. A pinch collar works best when you have a leash attached to it. When the dog jumps, you snap the leash downward and the collar pinches the dog. He will feel a little discomfort, but it should not be too painful and the collar should not leave marks on the dog’s neck. If it does, you are doing it incorrectly. Your dog will learn to associate jumping with pinching. This method is a last-resort technique that is best used for large dogs, such as German Shepherds and Rottweilers, which can hurt someone by jumping on them.
Helpful hints for preventing jumping
- Start training the dog when he is young. It is easier to prevent undesirable behaviors than to correct behaviors that have already existed for a while.
- Don’t pay attention to a dog that is jumping. All this does is reward the behavior by giving the dog the attention he wants.
- Do not hit or punish your dog for jumping. This will only make your dog afraid of you. Instead, work toward the goal of communicating the fact that jumping is an undesirable behavior.
- Everyone in the family needs to be on the same page when training your dog not to jump. Your dog needs to hear the same consistent message each time he jumps on someone. You cannot make it acceptable for him to not jump on a guest, but reward him for jumping on you.
- Ask guests not to encourage your dog to jump on them.
- Involve others in the training process so that your dog learns to not only stop jumping on you, but other people as well.