Teaching your dog not to jump up
”One of the most common problems with dogs is that of jumping up on people.”
One of the most common problems with dogs is that of jumping up on people. Unfortunately, this is one of those behaviours that are often inadvertently encouraged by well-meaning owners. After all, it is cute and adorable when that little 10-pound puppy jumps up on you, your family members and your friends. Many people reward this behaviour on the part of a small puppy with kisses and treats.
This is a huge mistake, however, since that cute little puppy may soon become a full grown dog who could weigh well in excess of 100 pounds. Suddenly that cute jumping behaviour is no longer quite so cute.
In addition to being annoying, jumping up on people can be dangerous as well. A large, heavy dog, jumping enthusiastically, can easily knock over a child or an older or handicapped adult. In today’s litigious society, such an incident could easily make you, as the dog’s owner, the subject of an unwanted legal action.
The time to teach a dog that jumping up on people is unacceptable is when he is still young and easy to handle. Retraining a dog that has been allowed to jump up on people can be difficult for the owner, and confusing for the dog.
When the puppy tries to jump on you or another member of your family, gently but firmly place the puppy’s feet back on the floor. After the puppy is standing firmly on the floor, be sure to reward and praise him.
It is important for every member of the family, as well as frequently visiting friends, to understand this rule and follow it religiously. If one member of the family reprimands the dog for jumping and another praises him, the dog will be understandably confused. As with other dog training issues, consistency is the key to teaching the dog that jumping is always inappropriate.
When praising and rewarding the dog for staying down, it is important for the family members to get down on the dog’s level. Giving affection and praise at eye level with the puppy is a great way to reinforce the lesson.
Pulling on the leash is another problem trait that many puppies pick up. Unfortunately, this behaviour is also one that is sometimes encouraged by well-meaning owners.
Playing games like tug of war with the leash, or even with a rope (that can look like the leash to the dog) can unwittingly encourage a problem behaviour.
When walking with your dog, try using a lure or toy to encourage the dog to remain at your side. A training collar, when properly used, can also be a good training tool for a problem dog. When using a training collar, however, it is very important to fit it correctly, and to use a size that is neither too big nor too small for your dog.
When walking with your puppy, it is important to keep the leash loose at all times. If the puppy begins to pull ahead, the handler should quickly change directions so that the puppy fast finds itself falling behind. It is important to reverse directions before the puppy has reached the end of the leash. The lead should stay loose except for the split second it takes the handler to reverse direction. It is important to use a quick tug, followed by an immediate slackening of the leash