Jumping has to be tied as the number one complaint along with pulling on the leash! Teaching your dog polite greeting behaviors such as “four on the floor” from day one, is critical to your success. Four on the floor is just that…any behavior where all four feet are on the floor such as sitting, standing or lying down. As with any training, consistency is the key. You cannot expect your pup to know when it is ok to jump up on you and when it isn’t, unless you train it to a cue. That takes double the work as with the barking. You are much better off to only reward your pup when her feet are planted on the ground!
That means if she jumps on you do NOT pet her, talk to her or feed her treats! Instead, you should turn your back and walk away. This will teach her that if she jumps on you it makes you go away….something she does not want! A good behavior to teach in place of jumping is the “Sit” command as this is incompatible with jumping. Highly rewarding sit is invaluable and I recommend you practice this often!Jumping is also quite popular with your pup when company comes over.
You should work on this by having many people visit your house and practice proper greeting behavior. Have your guests ask your pup to sit and then have them pet your pup and offer her treats to reward her for four on the floor. Working with many visitors also helps socialize your pup to strangers, so be sure to do this as often as possible in the next few months and you will avoid many potential behavioral problems. Another good place to practice this is out on walks. Follow the same protocol as with guests visiting your house.If your pup jumps excessively you may wish to tether her or keep her on a leash. Anytime your pup makes contact with the person it could be viewed by your pup as rewarding so use management to limit her ability to practice an undesirable behavior while you train the replacement behavior! When the pup settles, your guest may approach her, pet her and offer a treat.
Dogs are quick learners when you are clear and consistent!
Constance Dwyer, CABC Copyright ©2012 Reproduced by Permission All Rights Reserved