by Jenny Turner
Dogs often jump up on people. This is normal behaviour for a young dog. Puppies of wild dogs and wolves do it all the time to teach them how to act as a predator or how to challenge other pack members. It may be cute for a puppy to do, but as your pup grows into a large dog you’ll probably regret encouraging him when he was younger.
There are 3 easy ways to get your dog to stop jumping up. You can try which ever way you think your dog will respond to the best, or try all three. They don’t have to be done in any particular order.
The Body Block
As the dog starts to jump up on you, turn your body sideways so that as their paws hit, they slide straight off again. Don’t say anything and don’t extend your hands to push the dog away, as this is only giving attention to the dog. When the dog has its feet back on the floor, ask it to sit, then reward with a treat.
Armed with Treats
The idea of going out into the backyard armed with treats is to distract the dog and give it an alternative behaviour to jumping up. But the trick is to be quick! As the dog is approaching you, say “sit”, then hold a treat at arms’ length, at the height of the dog’s nose. (Do not hold the treat higher than the dog’s head, or you are forcing the dog to jump up for the treat!) The dog should stop when it gets to the treat, then sit. Then you give the treat as a reward.
“Too Bad”/Time Out
This method involves isolating the dog when it does something wrong, by your leaving the scene. Step out into the back yard and let the dog jump on you, say “sit” and if the dog doesn’t respond immediately, say something like “too bad”. Then immediately turn and go back inside and leave the dog on its own in the yard. Wait out-of-sight for 10 seconds, then repeat. Each time you are forced to go back inside, stay there for a longer period of time – the second time stay for 30 seconds, then 60 seconds, then 90 seconds, etc. The dog will soon realise that if it doesn’t sit like you ask it to, then you’ll go away and it will be on its own again.
With any of these methods, please remember that your dog is excited to see you and it’s only doing what is natural. So don’t yell or punish your dog with pain and you’ll find that he will trust you more and will learn faster.