Let’s face it. Nobody likes a rude dog. Does your dog humiliate you in front of company? When people come by to visit, does she brazenly jump on them? Are you tired of the isolation and shame? Want to know how to get your dog to stop jumping on people?
Obviously, this jumping habit has got to stop! The future of your social life hangs in the balance!
If you’re desirous of breaking your dog of the bad habit of jumping on people, read on. The following discussion can spare you endless years of future grief, as well as stanch the steady flow of friends and relatives exiting your life due to of Fido’s “faux paws.” (Sorry. My bad. Couldn’t resist.)
If your dog loves visitors as much our Allie does, you too must be constantly asking yourself how to go about solving this behavior flaw. I’m sure you’ll agree it’s a mixed blessing. While jumping on people — friends and strangers alike — certainly demonstrates a certain exuberance and lust for life (and for humans), which can be a good thing, it’s also just – plain — RUDE.
And, let’s face it — nobody likes a rude dog!!!
No matter how well intentioned your pet may be, your guests should not have to endure an all out assault (in Allie’s case, that is an apt description) on their person(s) every time they enter your home.
This is especially true in the case of guests who have a low tolerance for creatures of the canine persuasion. (Believe it or not, there are actually people out there who are not fond of dogs! Go figure.)
So, what can you do about the issue of your “dog jumping on people”?
Dogs don’t know the meaning of subtle. In fact, they’re completely “in your face” when it comes to expressing their adoration for you — slobbery, wet tongue and all! (Oh. By the way, that’s alley over there to the left – tongue and all.)
But they don’t reserve this honor exclusively for you — their master and meal ticket. No. No. No … It is a gift they’re happy to bestow upon any two-footed creature who happens to cross their domain (e.g., your front door, your back door, your patio, your sidewalk, etc., etc., etc.).
So, how do you make sure Fido has the attention he needs to prevent him from ambushing every visitor who crosses your threshold? Here are a few tips I’ve received from dog trainers I have known throughout the years, as well as a few from experienced dog owners who have learned their lessons the hard way: by trial and error:
1) Ignore her greeting.
Painful as it may sound, the best way to curb your dog’s enthusiasm is by showing her absolutely no attention when you first walk in the door.
A trainer friend of mine demonstrated this recently with Allie.
When Allie tried to jump, the trainer immediately turned her back and made no eye contact with her. It only took a couple times before Allie realized what was happening (smart dog!) and stood quietly awaiting an invitation to greet her.
Of course, she fell back into her old habits as soon as the trainer left.
But with repetition and consistency, she soon learned to behave with a modicum of decorum at the arrival of company. (Alright. I’ll admit it. She still pants and gyrates like a belly dancer at an Elk’s convention on most occasions—but she doesn’t jump! Much.)
2) Show Him Your “Alpha” Side.
Another technique that was suggested in a book I recently read on dog training. (You ought to see my book shelves — they’re lined with doggie trainng self-help manuals of every shape and size!) When your dog jumps up on you, gently grip his paws and hold them tightly.
Don’t squeeze them hard enough to hurt her, but don’t let go when she tries to pull away either. This will let Rover know that YOU are the alpha in this relationship. Do this a few times and she will get the point!
Once she has all four paws planted firmly on terra firma and is demonstrating a modicum of calm, you can kneel down and greet her at her own level with a calm pat or a hug, and some commendation – or a treat. (Have you ever noticed how much dogs like oral gratification?) But the greeting should be at your bidding and without a lot of fuss. You don’t want to get her all excited again.
Your pet will soon come to expect this type of greeting and will await your signal or acknowledgment.
Remember too, dogs are creatures of habit. Both of the above-mentioned techniques, when done over time, will get the message across to your pooch that if he wants your attention, he must give you a proper greeting.
Your friends and other guests will soon start coming back, knowing they will not be toppled like ten pins the minute they cross your threshold! They’ll be bowled over by your dog’s exemplary behavior. Maybe they will even spare a minute or two to pet your dog. (Again … my bad.)
I would be remiss if I didn’t clue you in to the primary (although not only) source of my information on dog training. I’ve picked up numerous helpful tips on numerous subjects (including how to stop your dog from jumping on people) from dog expert, Chet Womach, one of the very best dog trainers I have ever followed. Chet has some very simple lessons on the various problems that come up in the on-going battle of wits between dog and owner. His course is outstanding – and relatively inexpensive too (under $40 on line). In it he offers suggestions you can practice with your dog at home — on your own time.
And his method really works! The stop jumping training is just part of a comprehensive dog obedience training course that also includes the following and so much more:
- Clicker Training and Positive Reinforcement
- Teaching your dog to stop barking for attention
- Dealing with doggie aggression
- Training your dog to sit quietly for children and elderly adults (especially great for service dogs!)
- Jumping on guests
- Messing in the house
- Pulling on the leash
- Separation anxiety
How about this one?
Teaching your dog to fetch the newspaper. All together now — Aw-w-w!
Just something to think about.
There are a lot of training methods out there that work. I’ve learned people can get pretty opinionated when it comes to the proper way to train, feed and raise their dogs. But, as is truth in most things, there is more than one right way to train a dog. Personally, I’m into positive reinforcement … just one of the reasons I went with Chet Womach’s methods. (I’m especially impressed with clicker training, but that’s another post. )
If you would like to see Chet in action, click this link to watch this >>> Free Dog Training Video.
In the end, the choice is up to you. You love your dog and, after weighing the various methods out there, you are going to choose what you feel is best for him or her. And I applaud you for your efforts to be a responsible dog owner.
If you’ve found something that has worked for you in managing the dog jumping on people issue, or, for that matter, any other behavior issue, please give me a shout out in the comments section. I’d love to hear about it!