Down, Boy! Teaching Your Dog to Keep his Paws on the Ground
Of course you’re as happy to see your dog as he is to see you — but that doesn’t mean that you want him jumping up on you with every greeting. A jumping dog can smear mud all over your clothes or even knock family members over, potentially injuring them. the larger the dog, the larger the concern over uncontrolled jumping. Let’s take a closer look at this problem, along with some effective ways of teaching your dog to keep his paws securely on the ground.
Why Dogs Jump
Jumping is a dog’s instinctive way of saying hello to humans. This is partly because jumping can be presented as a submissive gesture to a master. It also has to do with the fact that dogs traditionally greet each nose to nose — and a human nose is usually much higher off the ground than a canine nose. A dog who is excited to meet a beloved human will also jump purely for joy. Humans may indulge and reinforce this behavior simply because they enjoy being greeted by their dog. However, some humans may not share that enthusiasm, while others (such as children or individuals in fragile health) may actually come to harm. That’s why you need to train your dog not to jump.
Training Your Dog to Behave Around Family Members
First of all, never punish a jumping dog in any kind of painful or intimidating way; you might accidentally teach the dog to react with fear or even hostility to humans who come near them. Instead, you want to teach your dog that he will receive the attention and affection he wants only when he keeps all four paws on the ground.
One effective means of teaching this idea is to practice avoidance whenever your dog tries to jump on you. Simply use a discouraging keyword and turn away from your dog, backing away from him instead of rewarding his jumping behavior. When he obediently remains at ground level, reward him with the affection he seeks. Have every member of your family practice this technique, and soon your dog will behave himself with the entire household.
Polite Encounters With Others
Teaching your dog not to jump on other people may prove a bit trickier. Draw on a regular pool of volunteer guests to practice the same avoidance-reward combination that your family members use. When total strangers visit, tether your dog to a strong tie-back leash. In addition to rehearsing guest arrivals in the home, practice outdoor encounters with guests with your dog on a leash. Reward your dog with treats whenever he remembers to keep his distance and stay calm.
Could you use some professional help with your dog’s jumping (or other) misbehaviors? Contact German Dog Training Center today to learn more about our services and request a custom training program.