Jumping up to say hello is a normal behaviour for many dogs. By teaching them an alternate way of saying hello and staying on all fours you are not only protecting the less robust family members and guests (and their clothing!), you are ensuring your pooch is less isolated from the family and getting more attention than what they have when relegated to the outside, a win win for all.
Teaching a young, friendly dog not to jump takes time, consistency and patience.
In essence, what you need to do is ignore the undesired behaviour which is the jumping, and most importantly reward the desired behaviour which is staying on the ground.
The other key, and it won’t work if you don’t have this one sorted, but you need to have everyone in the family doing the exact same thing.
- Teach your dog to sit. Reward him whilst he is sitting (not when he breaks from the sit- that’s just confusing). Sitting is when he get pats, attention and healthy treats. Only when he’s sitting will he get attention. Start this training in unexciting situations (i.e. in your house without visitors) and gradually build up to more and more exciting situations (i.e. your backyard, then a quiet park) until he does the sit really well. This takes time and practice. You can then start to incorporate visitors.There are many places you can get help with teaching general obedience, starting with puppy schools to adolescent classes, or trainers that use a positive rewards based technique.
- If he jumps on you, ignore. If he jumps on anyone else they need to ignore too, it’s up to you to make sure that everyone around your dog is doing the same thing. No talking, no eye contact, hands down. Turn away as soon as they begin to jump or even leave the room.
- Have your dog sit when anyone arrives and reward him. Initially you may need help with the use of a head collar and lead so that you have control. Guests that want to say hello can ask him to sit and reward him when he is sitting. (don’t do this until you have the sit happening, if your mate won’t sit he is better being removed from the incoming guests such as being in another room or outside so that the jumping behaviour isn’t constantly reinforced).
- Be calm when you return home and see your mate. Excited behaviour will cause jumping and an ignoring of the sitting behaviour.
- It’s common for a dog to learn to sit initially but as soon as the attention starts, they start to jump up again. In this case do the same as above and immediately ignore, i.e. withdrawing attention, then ask to sit again. Be patient, he will understand that if he wants attention, he must sit.
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