This week, I received a lovely letter from Melissa, asking how to stop dogs jumping on visitors. This is a specific jumping issue and the following steps can be taken to rectify this behaviour.
Enter the room without looking at or speaking to your dog.
If your dog jumps up at you, instantly turn your back on your dog. If your dog continues to jump up when your back is turned, leave the room without speaking to, or looking at, your dog.
Shut the door on your dog and wait for 30 seconds. Re-enter the room and repeat the above steps until your dog stops jumping on you when you re-enter the room.
Reward your dog by saying "Hello'' and lavishly patting it and rewarding it with a treat. To avoid your dog jumping as soon as you begin to pay it attention, bend to their level. If they jump again, stand upright and turn your back until they sit.
You may need to repeat the steps above many times, but your dog will soon learn that if it jumps at you, it ensures that you leave the room.
Separating yourself from your dog is the most effective punishment in this situation.
The reason that dogs will continually exhibit this behaviour is because they receive some form of attention from this act.
This can be a physical touch and push off by the victim or a stern growl.
Both of these reactions only achieve your dog succeeding in its request for your attention.
Ask all visitors in your home to only acknowledge your dogs when they are calm.
Unfortunately, there will always be the person who will allow them to get away with this behaviour and if this person is greeting your dog with a high-pitched voice, baby talk or physical contact as soon as they see your dog, you must let this lapse of control on your dog's behalf go.
There is a time for training and a time for managing behaviour and in this case, both are lost to you.
Don't fret, your dog is of course a dog and will take advantage of this person without then dismissing the work you have done in getting jumping under control.
When you have a lot of guests in your home and your dog decides to begin jumping all over them, repeat the steps above, but remove your dog to the bathroom for the time-out period rather than trying to shuffle guests in and out. Once your dog has settled and is keeping four feet firmly on the floor, your dog is allowed to enjoy the company of your guests as well.
Paw point of the week
The power of saying absolutely nothing is far greater than giving a vocal reprimand that will be misinterpreted by your dog.
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