Every dog owner knows that dogs tend to show their emotions in different ways. However, the most common action that their pets resort to is probably the excited, tail-wagging jump. When an unexpected guest arrives, dogs tend to jump. This behavior can be desirable to few, but for many, it can be scary. This is especially true for individuals that are not so familiar with dogs.
Some people may consider it as rude even though dogs have very little control over what they can do, especially without training. From staining clothes with their dirty paws to sticky spit from their salivating mouths, jumping dogs can be a menace. Dog owners should train their pets to reduce the chances of their dog hurting them or their friends with their frantic jumping. To understand what this training will require, view this video:
Table of Contents
Why Do Dogs Jump?
For humans, a greeting would involve verbal salutations or physical acts like a hug or a handshake. However, this behavior is usually present in bipedal humans, apes, and monkeys only. For four-legged animals like dogs, it usually involves other forms of expression. It can include licking, barking, tail wagging, and finally, jumping.
- A Reaction: Jumping is usually a reaction a dog has to “emotionally charged events”. Dogs jump when they see their owner for the first time in the day after they have left for work or sometimes when they see other dogs. They become so excited that they almost cannot stop and jump up and down to show the owners their feelings. Although this may be a positive feeling for the dogs, it may not be so pleasant for some humans.
- A Dominance: Dogs also jump at times to show their dominance. This is especially true when they feel threatened by the presence of another dog. This can also be seen in the house as well. In this case, the dog will be trying to boss their owner around. One can read such a situation if their dog is jumping for no reason at all, even though there is no source of excitement at the moment.
- Boredom: For some dogs, it can be a case of cabin fever where they are just present indoors for the entire day, bored out of their minds. If this is the case, almost every emotion they display will be exaggerated. Thus, an individual will also have to make sure that while they are gone or not in the presence of their pet, the dog must have their fair share of entertainment.
Finally, jumping dogs may also reflect the inability of the dog to interact in social situations. This is especially true when they come in contact with other dogs. This can be a new situation for them and will involve a fair bit of excited and scared jumping.
Reacting The Wrong Way
The first part of the training does not involve actually shouting instructions at the pet. Rather, it involves reacting properly that will show the dog how one feels about their behavior. The owner will have to ensure that they do not reward their dogs for any undesirable behavior, including jumping.
- Giving In
For many dogs, the act of jumping may also be a way of gaining the attention of their owner. When the owner gives in and shows them attention, the dog will ask for more attention in future. The owner must ignore such behavior before it can develop into something more. In fact, simply ignoring their behavior is one of the most effective methods to teach dogs not to jump altogether. Some methods include not entering the room until one’s dog has stopped jumping altogether.
Let’s say an owner walks in after a day at the office. The dog waits patiently with perked-up ears for the door to open. Once it does, they begin their jumping routine. The owner, either annoyed or scared, shouts commands at the dog. Commands can range from “Stop!” to “Get Down!”. There is a bit of a struggle between the two. At this point, both the owner and the dog have very different perspectives on how this interaction is getting on.
For the owner, this interaction is undesirable and rude. For the dog, on the other hand, the interaction is a game of wrestling. Thus, the owner’s commands and the hand movements which should denote disapproval actually encourage this behavior. Therefore, the dog tends to use this behavior for all future interactions, much to the owner’s dismay.
- Treats Galore
Another common occurrence is that dogs use this hyperactive jumping to get what they want. Jumping is the most effective means of communication for dogs. As mentioned before, they can use this behavior to gain the attention of their owner. When they do so, the owner may use treats to try and calm them down. This is especially the case when the dogs may be harassing a relative or a friend of their owners. Thus, the dog will perceive jumping as a means of procuring treats.
Top 10 Proven Training Methods
Now that the different kinds of situations have been brought to light, it is time to understand what can be done during these instances. What should an individual do to calm their dog down? How can they prevent their dog from receiving the wrong ideas?
Training, in general, can be a tedious task. Dogs cannot understand verbal cues and would only attain whatever information they can from physical actions.
- Start Young
In case an individual can adopt a puppy, the easier it will be to ensure that they undergo proper training. In a sense, younger is better. Training dogs can test the owner’s persistence and the dog’s ability to control impulses. For puppies, the jumping might also be accompanied by nipping, which will translate to harmful biting in the future. The previous “nose bonking,” which involves dogs touching their snouts to their owners, will result in bruised noses and broken glasses in the future.
Instilling the right behavior from a young age will reduce many unwanted injuries later in life.
- Zombie Entry
The aforementioned first case involved ignoring the dog in case they were jumping up. This act of ignoring this behavior can involve trying the “Zombie Entry”. According to this, individuals will have to enter their home with a blank look on their faces and avoid eye contact with their dog. Although this requires a fair bit of restraint on the owner’s side, it is quite effective in the long run.
Another method of ignoring their attention-seeking behavior would be to turn oneself away from their dogs simply. While doing so, it would also help to cross one’s arms and avoid eye contact again. Wait till the dog has calmed down and one can finally greet their pet.
- Avoiding Nose Pokes
As mentioned before, dogs, especially puppies, tend to nose poke their owners when they feel insecure or just excited to see their owners. In this case, the owner can use a posture or a movement that prevents the dog from actually carrying out the nose poke.
For example, one can lean over and bend down to the dog’s level, especially puppies, before they can begin their jumping. It teaches them to wait for this signal instead of jumping. In addition to this, one can also step close to the pup with their arms crossed before leaving the ground.
- Dance Routines
Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not like dancing on their two feet. If the dog is already in its leap position and has made contact with an individual, one should take hold of their hands and dance for a little. The dog, especially puppies, do not favor this movement very much and would refrain from jumping up.
In fact, after a few repetitions of this, the dog can stop jumping altogether. However, the chances of this tip working may be small since it involves interacting with the dog when they are acting in an unpleasant way. Therefore, other options would provide a more promising result.
- Go Fetch
Another tip is to enter the house and immediately play a game. This can involve throwing a toy across the room and making the dog fetch it. This can also be a way for one to channel the sudden excitement to something else. In a nutshell, redirecting the dog’s focus can be an especially good tip for dogs in training and puppies as they are not old enough to understand any other form of training. The need for instant gratification like finding the toy or eating a treat will always trump greeting an owner in a god’s eyes.
- Express Pain
Dogs are more perceptive than anybody gives them credit for. It is a known fact that they can detect when their owners are feeling stressed or depressed. Thus, it would be good to capitalize on this empathy and use it as a training technique.
This technique requires one to show that they are in pain when their dog decides to tackle them. This may not have much of an effect in the beginning, but it requires repetition. The trick is to play up one’s emotions of pain as much as possible and make it clear that one is in pain. To make this more effective, it would be advisable to use sounds that a puppy would make to show pain.
- Corner Training
Dogs can also be taught to run to their corner when they hear someone at the door. This can require a lot of training but is very much possible. This is a form of crate training that is recommended by vet and animal trainers.
As per this method, one can hand out a few treats in a separate part of the house away from the door. Then one can direct the dog to move towards that part of the house and finally, open the door. If one does this enough times, the dog may automatically go to their feeding corner every time the doorbell rings.
In addition to this, training a dog to have a particular corner may also be a source of security to the dog and will thus reduce the anxiety that they might feel.
- Tying Down
Dogs can also be trained to submit to certain orders by utilizing the tie-down technique. According to this technique, one can tie a dog’s leash to a device known as a dragline or just a railing that allows some sort of movement.
Therefore, the owner will only agree to release their pet when they display the behavior that is according to their preference. That is, the dog will understand that the leash is removed only when they are calm and not jumping.
- Variety in Trainers
Dogs also have a preference in terms of who they are willing to listen to. They may learn to act a certain way around their trainers and owners but completely forget all these things when it comes to other people. Thus, another aspect of the training process will involve allowing other people like friends or family to train one’s dog as well. This not only increases the familiarity between the dog and other people in one’s life but will also help the dog understand how to interact with people who are not their owners.
- Practicing “Please”
Some trainers try to use the act of sitting as a way for dogs to communicate with their owners. That is, the act of sitting goes beyond just a command but will have more of a meaning. If done right, trained dogs can sit every time they want to do something.
Take, for example, going out. Some trained dogs sit close to the door and motion or bark to show that they would like to go out. This kind of behavior requires positive reinforcement and should be encouraged.
However, there is a quick but temporary fix as well when it comes to a dog that is still in training. This tip involves brandishing some treats in front of the dog before they can even jump. But the window of opportunity is very small in this case. When they start jumping, one cannot give them any treats since it will be viewed as reinforcement for their behavior.
How to Teach Dogs Not to Jump in Different Instances
In addition to these tips, an individual can also train the dog while present in particular postures. Let’s look at a few cases:
1. Walking the Dog
The chances of having an unsavory interaction with a passerby when one’s dog is training are fairly high. Dogs on the walk have some of the most exaggerated reactions to anything that they see. This, unfortunately, includes pedestrians and other dogs.
To prevent them from jumping up at strangers, always spread out a treat or two on the ground as another person passes by. This will preoccupy the dog and make the prospect of scaring a pedestrian less attractive.
2. Greeting a Person
There are three ways to teach a dog not to jump while greeting a person who visits their home.
- The first method involves the use of a leash. In this case, one can tether the dog away from the door before opening the door. Once their adrenaline-fueled jumping episode is over, the dog can then be let loose.
- The second method involves the use of treats to discipline the dog. This is a two-person with one-dog exercise and will ensure that the dog will know how to greet a visitor.
First, lay out some treats on the floor and allow the dog to become preoccupied with these treats. Now allow the other person to pet the dog or just approach him or her in general.
Before the dog can finish their treats, make the person step away. This method will require some repetition in order for the dog actually to understand what the rules are. With every repetition, remember to decrease the number of treats slowly until the dog can greet the person normally without any treats.
- The third method would involve crate or corner training. This may seem like an unethical method of training one’s pet but is an essential one, nonetheless.
3. On All Fours Rule
The “On All Fours” rule is quite common in the dog training world. The basis of this rule involves rewarding a dog when they are on all fours. The owner will have to shower treats on their dog every time they choose to stay on all fours instead of jump on a visitor. This type of training usually comes later in the process as the dog will require a foundation first. In addition to this, one can also use a toy as a reward by placing it on the floor instead of holding it up. In this case, the dog will be forced to go back on their fours again. .
Common Don’ts That Occur During Training
When it comes to training a dog, one can commit several mistakes, which could be detrimental to the dog as well as the training process. One common mistake that most people tend to commit is using a leash to control the dog.
- Do not pull the Leash
Let’s consider the situation where an individual is taking their dog for a walk. During the walk, the dog may try to jump on an incoming person or another dog. In such a situation, the owner of the dog may decide to pull on the leash. This could very well harm the dog and may not even teach dogs not to jump in the process as well.
Therefore, one should turn to the alternative methods mentioned above in an attempt to calm the dog and prevent annoyed passersby. The reason why training them on a leash may not contribute to their training is because dogs are usually not on a leash for the entire day.
- Knee to the Chest
Another mistake is the use of the “Knee to the Chest” routine. This involves the use of one’s knee to reject advances and prevent jumping in general. However, this physical approach will in no way contribute to the training as well. Rather, it will lead to a sort of reinforcement as the dog will perceive this as a game again.
In the end, the training process should involve telling the dog exactly what one would like them to do instead of telling them what they would not. It is easier to relay such information to a dog, and it is also easy to use treats to do so.
As seen in the above examples, treats were placed or given either as a guide for where one wanted their pet to go or as a reward for showcasing the desired behavior.
Dogs, especially puppies, are prone to giving in to their natural instincts. It is a part of their nature to bite, jump and bark. It is also what makes them so loveable at times. While training a pet, one must remember that being obedient is not a part of their nature. Thus it requires patience and perseverance on the trainer’s side for the dog to get anything right. Thus, the process of teaching a dog not to jump is a learning curve for both an owner and their fur ball of a pet.