Dealing With Dogs Who Jump

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,807
    Nancy Kerns, editor of the Whole Dog Journal, discusses how to deal with dogs who jump.

    Nancy Kerns: Hi! I am Nancy Kerns, Editor of The Whole Dog Journal. Today, I am going to talk about dogs who jump up. It has to be said that dogs don't jump in order to dominate you. They jump to get attention, and most of the time it works. Either the person says, it's okay, I love dogs, and they pet and hug your dog, or perhaps they say, bad dog! No! Either way, the dog got some attention which is what he wanted, so the behavior was reinforced.

    So the first order of business is to make sure your dog does not get rewarded for jumping. Turn your back on your dog antics and don't engage with him in any way. And the moment that all four of his feet are on the floor at the same time, turn toward him again. As long as he remains with four on the floor, continue to engage him with praise, petting, or perhaps a treat or game with a toy.

    If he is being really wild and continuing to leap, put a leash on him and tether him, so you can work on this behavior without him being able to reach you. With your dog safely tethered, try this red light, green light type exercise. Stay just out of your dog's reach until he offers a sit.

    Don't give him a sit cue, wait, just out of reach until he sits on his own. Immediately, step toward him with words of praise and treats. If he pops up, don't offer any word of correction. Just step backward out of his reach, and avert your gaze until he sits again. Then immediately step forward again.

    Then, recruit friends and family members to help you play this game with your dog. You can recruit strangers too. If he is on leash and tries to jump on someone else, shorten the leash and prevent him from being able to reach the person. If need be, tell the other person I am sorry, but my dog has been trained to greet people politely. Could you stay back unless he remains in the sitting position?

    If you're consistent with this, he should very quickly learn that it's counterproductive to jump up and the behavior will disappear.