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!
Lately I’ve heard so many frustrated dog parents complain about destructive chewing and digging. I will admit that it is extremely frustrating. I’ve been through it with one of my dogs. When he was younger, he would dig up sprinkler lines and proudly sling it all over the yard. It’s not funny or cute when a sprinkler or piece of furniture is chewed and damaged and holes are dug in your yard. All of this damage really adds up and can get very expensive!
What are the common factors that these destructive behaving dogs have in common?
How can I make the destruction stop?
Spend time with your dog(s) daily. They deserve your attention just like one of your family members. Respect their needs and try to understand what they are trying to tell you. No dog means to be naughty. They just need guidance and a little of your time.
If you have any questions about Destructive Behavior or would like to schedule a consultation, call or contact me today at 762-218-3708.
I am frequently asked, “When will my dog mind me without having to give him treats?” That’s actually a really good question! This is how I explain it.
In order for your dog to do as you ask, you will not have to give a treat every single time, but let’s take a look at what we are expecting from a different perspective.
Say you are on vacation. You are in your favorite spot doing your favorite thing – whatever it may be. Your phone rings and it’s work. There is an emergency at the office. You are asked a question that can only be answered by stopping what you’re doing, whipping out your computer and finding the answer. That wouldn’t be that big of a deal if you were just lounging on the couch of the room you were staying but you are sitting on the beach with a cocktail and the ocean breeze blowing ever so perfectly. What you are being asked to do is something that is nowhere near as wonderful as laying on the beach relaxing. You go back to your room, turn on your computer and get the information that is needed to curb this emergency. Now let’s say that you give your office the information and they say “Ok! Bye!” How would that make you feel? If it were me, I would feel like they were very ungrateful! All they needed to do was give me a simple, “Thank you. I know you’re on vacation so I really appreciate your help.”
Chances are when you ask your dog to do something, you are interrupting something that is much more interesting than what you’re asking him to do. If he does as you ask, why wouldn’t you tell him “Thank you”? What’s the best way to tell your dog thank you? With a treat, of course! I always carry treats with me. Do I give them to my dogs every time they do something I ask. Of course not. But I do give them treats when they’ve cooperated with me or handled a particularly stressful situation like a champ. In other words, I don’t take my dogs for granted.
Remember that your relationship with your dog is what you make of it. The stronger your bond, the more obedient your dog will be. Let him know you appreciate him and you will reap the rewards in ways you could never imagine.
If you have any questions about training or rewarding your dog or would like to schedule a consultation, call or contact me today at 762-218-3708!
A few weeks ago, I met a client for a training session at the local park in town. This is a place where people and dogs go to walk and hang out. In Georgia, where we are located, there is a leash law. This means no matter how big or small, no matter how well-trained your dog is, and no matter how friendly your dog is, by law, your dog is supposed to be on a leash.
As we were winding down our training session, my client let me know that there was an off-leash dog behind me. I turned around to find a Yorkie and his tall male human. The Yorkie was about 20 feet away from his owner. Without so much as a “Hello” or asking if it was okay, the man told his dog, “It’s ok. Go ahead and say hello!” Mind you, this was a Yorkie, so you may be thinking, “What’s the big deal? Was he a devil dog?” He wasn’t but it was a big deal and I’ll tell you why.
This dog owner was only looking at the situation from his perspective. His dog is friendly. My client’s dog was on a leash. What’s the harm? Here’s the problem. This man had no information about my client’s dog. My client’s dog was at least three times the size of his. Had we allowed play between the two dogs, his dog was at risk of getting injured. While my client’s dog was not aggressive, he had no idea that she was in training, deaf and that she was working through fear and anxiety problems. He gave his dog permission to approach my client’s dog without asking if it was ok and without knowing anything about my client’s dog. True, he didn’t know what we were doing, but that’s no excuse.
You may be wondering what happened next? Well, I intercepted the greeting and told him firmly to please not allow his dog to come over. As he walked away, he rolled his eyes and shook his head. That was a tongue biting experience. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure his dog is loved. I’m sure his intentions were good. But often times, with dogs, our vision of how the situation will play out is not the reality. Other people’s dogs should be approached with respect whether you are with your own dog or not.
Here are some guidelines for interacting with other dogs in public.
If you’re the human of a fearful dog, don’t be afraid to speak up if someone approaches your dog without asking. You can nicely tell them that your dog is fearful, anxious, or in training and cannot be petted. You can also purchase personalized leashes or covers or patches from Etsy so that others will know not to approach your dog.
Responsible dog owners spend an enormous amount of time training their dogs. Many dogs have behavioral problems that owners are either trying to manage or working hard at repairing. Be thoughtful and respectful of others and their canine companions regardless of how innocent the potential encounter may seem. It’s difficult to understand a situation unless you’ve actually lived it.
“In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely try to train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog.”
If you have any questions about your dog’s behavior or would like to schedule a consultation, call or contact me today at 762-218-3708. We currently serve the Columbia County, GA area.