One of the biggest concerns I hear from my clients is that their puppy or dog jumps on people. It can be scary and embarrassing when guests come over. Depending on the dog’s size, it can be quite painful and dangerous too.
This is a common problem in puppies and adolescent dogs. Dogs are social animals and seek your attention. Since we are taller than they are, jumping is only a natural way for them to get closer to us – similar to the way a toddler wants to be held. An adolescent dog is roughly between 6 months and 18 months of age. The breed and size of the dog also factor into this. Typically, the bigger the dog, the later the stage. It’s important that a dog starts learning manners early. Did you know that you can begin training with your puppy as soon as you bring him home?
If your dog is a “jumper”, you will want to give him an alternate behavior to perform. If you only tell your dog what NOT to do, he won’t know what you DO expect of him. If he jumps on you, have him “Sit”. Pause to give him a chance to comply. If he doesn’t, tell him again to “Sit”. Continue pausing and giving “Sit” cue. The pause is very important. If you regurgitate, “Sit!Sit!Sit!Sit!” he’s probably not going to do as you ask. All he’ll hear is “Wahwahwahwah”. You may need to use a treat at first so make sure to keep plenty on hand! Try not to push him away since he’ll think you want to play! As soon as he sits, immediately give him a treat or a calm rub and tell him what a good boy he is. One thing to remember is to be calm. If you get excited, chances are your dog will jump up again. If he does, immediately remove your hands, stand up straight and tell him to sit again. Repeat as many times as needed.
The keys to success with this is CONSISTENCY AND PATIENCE. Every member of the family MUST do this EACH and EVERY time your dog jumps up. If you have guests over, ask them to do the same thing. This can take anywhere from a few day to a few weeks before you begin seeing results. The more consistent you are, the quicker it will happen. You’re dog will learn that in order to receive attention, he must sit. Before you know it, you’ll see a huge improvement! Extra tip! This also works for jumping on countertops!