Dogs jump up for the simple reason that for them it is rewarding. They want to get your attention and get closer to you. Whether you respond by shouting at the dog to get down, or you cuddle and stroke the dog when he’s jumping up, in the dogs’ eyes his behaviour has been rewarded as he has got what he wanted – attention!
It can be lovely to come home from a hard day at work to be greeted by your new puppy getting so excited to see you that he jumps up; but that dog will grow. So, how can you prevent this behaviour from starting in the first place or stop it once it has been learned?
The most important step is to stop rewarding the behaviour. Put simply: ignore the dog when he jumps up.
- Stand up straight, turn away and fold your arms.
- As soon as the dog has all four paws back on the floor, turn back to him and praise.
Be consistent with this. Everybody who meets your dog needs to react in the same way. However, visitors sometimes need to be trained too!
Training your visitors!
Have a filled Kong ready and waiting at the front door so when your visitor arrives, they can be instructed to ask the dog to sit and then reward the dog with the toy.
If your dog persists with jumping up at people at the front door, have him on a lead for improved control and do some practise with family members. Also, ask yourself, who in the family is having a sneaky cuddle with the dog when he jumps up at other times?!
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