Monday, March 10, 2014


One of the most common problems that people complain about with their dogs is the inability for a dog to not jump up on somebody they meet.

Whether it's a little kid walking into the room, the owner coming home after work and walking in the front door, or meeting people on the walk through town. These issues are merely of the dog's misunderstanding of training. At some point it found that it was rewarding to jump up on you. Or on somebody that you were meeting. And it continued this behavior and what's your first response when it happens? We yell "OFF!"

By yelling "off" we're not telling them its ok to do something, but were telling them that it's unacceptable to be doing what they are doing. Well, at least that's what we think we're doing, and that makes sense in our head. In the dog's head they've already completed the behavior. And what you are wanting is to give a command for the next behavior which is to go from the standing up with my muddy paws on somebody's chest position to a four feet on the floor position.

While this is the intended goal of getting the dog off of somebody, what we would really like is for the dog never to jump up. So why do we not train this behavior instead?? Exactly the question that leads to the next and more appropriate way of training.

As opposed to waiting for the dog to rush up to somebody and jump,  next time, walk up to somebody that is remaining calm and quiet, being non-stimulated, and have them stand there while you put the dog into a Sit. Once the dog is in a sit, then, have the person reach out and pet the dog's head.

To begin with,  this is all you need.

Walk towards someone with the dog on leash. Have the dog sit just before it would normally begin to get ready to jump up, you'll need to watch your body's dogs body language to understand when this is about to happen. When they sit, have the person pat the dog on the head with little or no fanfare, so the dog gets a reward for it,  but there is low stimulation, keeping the dog from feeling the need to jump , and then the interaction is done.

Continue this until the dog is comfortable and used to sitting every time they approach somebody. Then they can have a little bit more freedom. If any time they began to jump back up, go back to the non-stimulating, slow introductions. You'll find your happy balance. And you'll also find happier interactions with people you approach!

Happy training!