We love to greet our dogs after a long day at work or trip to the store, however these greetings can become quite unpleasant or overwhelming. Most dogs like to jump up on us to show their affection and excitement to see us. Even if we don’t mind it as owners, others can find it annoying or can lead to injuries like scratches or falling down. Here are 5 tips that can help curb your dog’s jumping habit.
1. Be Mindful of YOUR Greeting
If we are overly excited or have very high energy levels when greeting our dog, then they will most likely reciprocate that. When we or others come to the home, it is best to act relaxed and not give off too much energy. This ultimately sets our dog up for failure as we are getting them worked up but also expecting them to display calm behavior. We need to teach our dog that new people are not such a big crazy event and a time to jump.
2. Withhold Attention When Jumping
When your dog jumps, they are most likely trying to get your attention and affection. The reason a dog does any behavior is to get something of value whether it be food, water, or your attention. Make sure you don’t give any form of attention meaning do not speak to them in any way or look at them. If we remove the benefit your dog gets from jumping (attention) then they will no longer see the value in doing it.
3. Move Into Your Dog
Dogs don’t like spacial pressure meaning if they feel they don’t have a lot of space they tend to avoid the space or situation. If you move backwards the dog will usually jump more and continue to move into you. By moving forward towards our dog it will naturally cause them to back up which is incompatible with jumping. Over time they will start to expect you to move into them and will stop jumping altogether.
4. Teach an Alternative Behavior
Teaching and reinforcing an incompatible behavior such as “sit” or “down” is another great way to combat jumping. First the behaviors must be taught in distracting settings before they will be ready to do it during a greeting. What this teaches our dog is that they do not get to greet the person until they have performed the target behavior. Greeting the person is the reward for doing the behavior and this will also calm them down before approaching the person. Make sure you enforce the command with food and a leash.
5. Reward Proper Greetings
Whenever your dog has all 4 paws on the ground, make sure to highly reward that with food or pets. If we consistently reward this behavior and remove all reinforcement from the jumping behavior, then it will be clear to our dog what the more desirable choice is.
If after trying these tips your dog still cannot seem to keep their paws on the ground, reach out to us at Seek. We have experienced trainers to help curb all dogs of their jumping habit. Give us a call at 913-214-2659 for more help or information.