Dog Training and Dog Care advice from UK Professionals

Puppies Jumping Up

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Most puppies will jump up on people to greet them, and whilst the puppy is young this is often allowed by new doting owners or even sometimes encouraged by accident.

Such behaviour will not be acceptable as the dog matures. You must act now, before bad habits are established. It is not fair to allow the puppy to do this, but then expect him to understand when he is suddenly asked not to do it any more, several months later.

The best way to overcome this problem and to teach the dog that his behaviour is unwanted is to totally ignore him. Do not give him any attention, by hand movements, by voice or even with eye contact.

My trick for this is to very quickly turn 180 degrees around. So, as the puppy (or dog) approaches and I can read the signals that he isn’t slowing down or is ready to leap upwards, I will very sharply do an ‘about-turn’ at the very split second that he would expect to make contact with me. By doing this, the dog is confused as his anticipated reward is completely and instantly removed, causing the puppy to think for itself as to why he hasn’t got what he was aiming for out of the situation. You can also add the word “No” as you turn if you wish to teach this command, and it is a very effective and clear way to do so for the young dog.

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This is enough to do the trick in over 90% of cases when done accurately and repeatedly, and usually only taking a maximum of ten tries before the dog completely rethinks his actions and no longer jumps up. This is wonderful dog training in action, because the human is doing as close to nothing as possible, and allowing the dog to think for itself in order to obtain the result he wants. In this case, that is to WAIT a little while and try other ways to get the reward (your attention) such as sitting, wagging tail, sometimes barking, but whatever method he tries, we are always progressing as long as he isn’t jumping up.

If you are fast and abrupt enough with the turn-away, most puppies will sit their bum down in gentle confusion or surprise, this is the canine ‘safe-mode’ where they are delaying their decision about how to act for later, when they have worked out quite how to approach you. As soon as the puppy sits his bottom on the floor, give him lots of praise in the form he was originally hoping for, in other words the eye contact, physical contact and verbal excitement by way of “Hello!” which also says you have formally acknowledged his presence and want to engage.

Of course this also helps to further establish your position as the foremost authority around the home, and doing the opposite (responding to his jumps with words and eyes even if intended to scold him) will only do the opposite, teaching the puppy his physical contact on you makes you take notice of him and give him attention which is not good for you or the dog.

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Attention Span
Destructive Puppies
Four Basic Commands
Jumping Up
Obedience Basics
Puppy Training Pads
Training A Puppy's Mind
Why Puppies Jump Up

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