Q. My dog loves to jump on people. I donít mind if she jumps on me, but I really donít want her to jump on others. I have heard lots of things to do to her when she jumps, but so far they only make her more crazy and have not worked. What can I do?
A. First, you have to teach your dog not to jump on you. Start with No Jumping 101. Take a treat firmly in your hand. Let your dog sniff, lick, and get all excited about the treat. Raise the treat so she cannot reach it. If she hasnít already jumped, encourage her to do so. Let her jump, climb, bark, whine, and get very frustrated trying to get to the treat.
As soon as all four paws return to the floor, click and treat!
Repeat in different locations, with all kinds of body postures, and with various toys and treats; click and treat when her feet remain super-glued to the floor.
Next step: no jumping at all Ė no walking around or hopping up and down on hind legs; in other words, no doggie feet leave the ground. Paws are nailed to the floor!
Now itís time to make the game more difficult. Work until you can pet your dog, attach a leash to her collar, and examine her while she sits or stands without her licking, wiggling, and sniffing. Thatís a real challenge! When your dog never jumps on you and respects your hands and face while you are petting and grooming her, you are ready for Ö
Your biggest challenge will be training your friends and relatives to help. Dogs love silly people and your friends and relatives are all silly people to your dog.
Choose a person to approach the dog and repeat No Jumping 101. This shouldnít take as long as it did with you. If your friend cannot get the timing right, you click and he can treat. Work with at least 10 other people until your dog thinks sheís got everyone trained to give her a treat when she keeps her feet on the floor!
There are some dogs that would like you to believe that they just canít control themselves, that they are just toooo happyyyy. Donít fall for the scam. If you have worked through No Jumping 101 and 102 and your ďIím so happyĒ dog is still mauling people, try the following.
Work inside with a crate or empty room handy. Ask a friend to help. Put a leash on the dog and ask your friend to approach. As soon as Dizzy starts to wind up to flail herself at her target, ask your friend to abruptly and disgustedly turn away.
Wait until Dizzy settles down and try again. Continue increasing the and or time until you get some semblance of control. When your friend can stand in front of Dizzy and remain in a vertical position, itís time to try petting the dog.
Your friend may actually have to leave the room before the dog settles down. You both might have to leave, but only for 15 seconds or so. Use your imagination and common sense and see what works.
For real hard-core cases, you might have to gently hold the collar and silently guide the dog to the crate, put her in, and shut the door. After a few seconds, let her loose and start again. As soon as she starts blithering, put her back in the crate. Do not show any emotion during the crating process. Even the most dyed-in-the-wool slammers will catch on in a few repetitions. Your best friend will gain self-control so she can stay out with the rest of the gang.
Jumping up is fun for dogs. The trick is to have fun while teaching a pet to keep her feet on the floor. You will need a lot of patience and dedication to make this work, but if you use harsh methods, you still need dedication, you have probably already lost your patience, and you definitely wonít have as much fun.
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