It is great when a dog is friendly. When meeting a new dog for the first time, most people would rather be greeted by a wagging tail than a frightening snarl. But there is such a thing as too much canine friendliness, and having a dog jump up and say hello can be intimidating or even annoying.
If your dog jumps up on people, it is best to nip the habit in the bud. It may seem like a sign of affection to you, but for others the gesture could be unwelcome or even frightening. A person who has suffered a dog bite in the past, for instance, could be traumatized by the unwanted attention, and small children or elderly individuals could be knocked off balance by the jump, possibly causing an injury.
So how do you stop a dog from jumping on people? How do you teach your canine to respect human boundaries? Here are some training tips that will keep your dog's feet on the ground.
Start with Basic Obedience Training
Breaking bad habits like jumping up on people requires care and consistency, and it helps to have a solid foundation to work from. If you have not already done so, enrolling in a basic canine obedience class is always a great place to start.
Obedience training can help with unwanted behaviors, but more than anything it lays the groundwork for a positive relationship with your dog. Once your dog understands and responds to some basic commands, it will be much easier to stop bad habits in their tracks.
When training your dog to stop jumping on people, it is best to start with someone the animal already knows. Having a patient and animal loving assistant will help a lot, especially if the dog automatically jumps up whenever it sees that person.
The basic obedience training your dog has already received should have included the commands for sit and stay. If not, it is best to start with that foundation. Once your dog is consistently responding to these commands, you can use them to stop them from jumping up on people.
When your dog starts to approach, give the command to sit. When the dog responds appropriately, giving a treat will help reinforce the behaviour.
You can follow that sit command with a request to stay, followed immediately by a reinforcing treat.
It will take time, patience and consistency to keep your dog on the ground when he would rather greet visitors with a paw to their shoulder, but the training starts with these two commands. Once your dog is consistently responding to the sit and stay commands, breaking the jumping habit becomes much easier and more effective.
It can be frustrating when your dog greets visitors with a jump instead of a friendly tail wag. As a dog owner, you want your canine companion to be happy, healthy and well behaved, and that means eliminating bad habits before they become too deeply ingrained. Basic obedience training can stop your dog from jumping on people, and you and your friends will both be quite relieved.
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