Teach your dog to never jump again!
“Anytime, anyone is struggling with a dog behavior problem, I ask them one simple question. “Well, what do you want your dog to do instead?” I get a lot of surprised looks! Most of us haven’t actually thought about it that way!”Andrea Kutzko, CPDT-KA
So, let’s teach our dogs to sit instead of jump. They can not simultaneously sit and jump. We’ll use tons of reinforcement to make your dog WANT to sit. He’ll think it’s his idea with a little practice. (If you’re stuck, remember I offer lessons in your own home!)
A note before you start:
- Your job is to prevent jumping because jumping is FUN and usully, rewarding.
- Do not reward bad behavior!
- If your dog makes the wrong choice, break eye contact and walk away.
- If that’s impossible, I’d personally keep my dog in the other room, relaxing in his crate. More practice is needed.
- Dogs learn involuntarily every second so make it count.
Teach Your Dog to Sit (or Lay Down)
First, teach your dog to sit and look at you anytime he wants something. You could also ask your dog to down and look at you. This is called “Saying Please”. Not only is this crucial for manners, but it teaches your dog that he should sit… pretty much anytime he’s not doing something else. Be sure to practice inside, outside, and any time there is activity around.
Have your dog sit:
- Before exiting the crate
- Before going outside to potty
- Before meeting people or dogs
- Before going through the back gate
- Before exiting a car door
- Before receiving a meal
- Before receiving petting or attention
- Before receiving a treat
- Before playing a game
Following these rules consistently gives you the opportunity to remind your dog over and over that he should be sitting. Going outside to potty or playing a game are a reward in themselves.
Then, set yourself (and your dog) up for success.
- Exercise your dog before guests arrive.
- Have your dog leashed so he can not reach your guest to jump. (EVERY single time he jumps, he thinks he is rewarded. If something gets a reward, your dog will do it again! Prevent it entirely.)
- Have small training rewards handy. I recommend Lil’ Bitz Hickory Smoked Beef Training Treats (4 oz) for their value and size. You will want to focus on rewarding your dog for making the choice to sit with you.
- Begin training with familiar guests that may be less exciting.
- Consider giving your dog a special chew or bone to take his attention off your guest as they arrive. My favorite is a stuffed Kong Extreme Dog Toy.
Let’s set up some rules for your guests.
- Have guests text you before they exit the car.
- Instruct guests not to knock or ring on the door.
- When guests enter, have them 100% ignore your dog.
If you have guests who can’t follow these rules, don’t put your dog in this situation.
Now, your guests are at the door.
After your guests are settled, bring your dog into the room on a leash.
- On leash, have your dog play with a food puzzle or stuffed Kong.
- Have your dog sit and stay with you until relaxed.
- When relaxed, allow him to politely sit for your guest.
Now, if your dog relaxes, work with him to sit politely to greet your guest
“But my dog was horrible…”
If your dog never relaxed, it means he needs more practice sitting with distractions.
Still have questions or need more help? Remember I offer in home services to train this! Just reach out to me in the Messenger box below, or call or text (219) 973-7538.