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"5 Effective Techniques to Prevent Your Dog from Jumping Up"

One of the most frequent questions I am asked is how to stop a dog from jumping up. The thing to consider is that dogs are social animals and read our faces in order to gauge our emotions, in other words, it is normal for a dog to jump in order to see your face. So in order to prevent this behaviour from becoming hugely rewarding, your dog will need to be paid far more for keeping his paws on the floor.

Prevention is better than cure

So if you have a puppy make sure that everyone who greets your puppy comes down to their level, bend their knees and get right down, showing them the palms of their hands so that the pup can have a good sniff and see their face easily without resorting to jumping. Placing small pieces of food on the floor will also reinforce keeping their paws on the floor and help them learn there is no need to jump up to greet people.

If your pup or dog has begun to jump already, Don’t panic it is one of the easiest things to fix. Once your dog knows some basic behaviours such as Sit, Down and what the clicker means you can easily teach your dog that keeping his paws on the floor will pay far more than jumping.

In the video below you will see a 30-second training session with Seve the 7-month-old Viszla puppy, I click before he lifts his paws come off the floor and every so often extend the time in between when I mark with a click. At the end of the video, I scatter a number of small pieces of liver cake on the floor to indicate that the training is over. After this, I always put the pouch and clicker away and say ‘All Finished’. Everyone has a spare 30 seconds a day to help train their dogs. Keeping training sessions short helps your dog be really successful, you can extend the time as their understanding of what is rewarded grows. Then build up the duration and distractions slowly, to proof the behaviour you will follow up by practising with lots of different people, in lots of different locations too.

Ignore the behaviour: When your dog jumps up, do not give them any attention or eye contact. Shut your eyes if you need to, open them and praise them as soon as they calm down. This will teach it that jumping up does not get it the attention it wants.

Train an alternative behaviour: Teach your dog a more appropriate behaviour instead of jumping up, such as offering a nose touch or giving a high five. Reward them with treats and praise when they perform the desired behaviour. This "Space" cue can help dogs who are more excitable and less calm and confident give space too. In the video I use the cue "Expelliarmus" instead of "Space" as we are using all Harry Potter Themed cues.

Use a leash: Keep your dog on a leash when greeting people or when your dog is likely to jump up. This will prevent your dog from getting reinforced with attention from the other person and prevent them from practising the behaviour. Instead, it allows you to redirect their behaviour if they try to jump.

Teach them to greet people calmly: Train your dog to keep their paws on the floor when greeting people. This will prevent them from jumping up and also teach them to be calm and polite when meeting new people. We love using "Take Your Time" as a game to help your dog learn to be calm around new people.

Use positive reinforcement: Reward your dog with treats and praise on the floor as they approach to greet people. Prevention is better than cure; check out this video showing how you can reinforce as soon as they approach you. This will reinforce the desired behaviour and make them more likely to repeat it in the future.

Be consistent: Ensure everyone in the household is on the same page and follows the same rules for not reinforcing jumping. Inconsistency can confuse your dog and make it harder for it to learn.

Provide enough exercise and mental stimulation: A suitably tired and mentally stimulated dog is less likely to have excess energy and jump up. However, some dogs jump as a fool-around behaviour. This is a sign they are not confident in their ability to approach calmly, so they leap about and offer everything in their trick house. IF this is the case, use "Take Your Time" or this "Space" cue to help dogs who are more excitable and less calm and confident give space too.

Seek professional help: If your dog's jumping behaviour is persistent and difficult to manage, consider seeking help from a professional dog trainer or behaviourist. We can provide personalised training and behaviour modification techniques to address the issue.

Remember, being patient and consistent when training your dog to stop jumping up is essential. With time and proper training, your dog will learn to greet people calmly and politely without jumping up.


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