You open the door after a long day at work and bam! 75 lbs of happy dog barrels into you. For several months, your cute little puppy ran to you, tail wagging, leaping up eagerly and you responded with loving praise. Now you realize that you’ve got a major behavioral problem.
The best course of action with a dog is to teach good behavior from the beginning. Yes, it takes time. The more time you spend teaching your dog what to do, the less time you will spend later punishing him for what he’s doing wrong.
Dogs need to have crystal clear guidelines that are applied consistently with no gray areas. Trying to ‘punish’ an established habit can often make matters worse.
Creating a “no-jumping-up” environment:
1. Outside on walks practice telling your dog to ‘sit’ as well as gently stepping on the dog’s leash when greeting people so he can’t jump up for attention, thus, he will be rewarded for ‘not’ jumping.
2. Teach the dog a behavior incompatible with jumping. A dog that gets attention for doing a ‘down or sit’ will be less likely to jump; he simply can’t do both.
3. Set up a ‘training’ scenario in which the dog is tethered and unable to follow you. Approach the dog happily and when he jumps up, you abruptly turn your back and walk away from the dog. Count to 5, and then turn and approach the dog again. After a few trials the dog should lie down, sit or stand. You may now praise and reward the dog for not jumping.
4. Shape the behavior you want. Offer your dog treats only when he is in a ‘sit or down’.
Presented as a public service by Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz Merit Puppy Training www.meritpuppy.com 703-461-PETS.