One of the most frustrating things about having a puppy (or sometimes with grown dogs) is having them jump up on every single person that comes through the door!  Look, we understand, dogs get EXCITED!  There’s nothing wrong with that, however it can become a safety issue for certain guests… not to mention an annoyance issue for people that simply don’t appreciate your dog jumping on them.

We found a great article over on PuppyTraining that provides some assistance with this.  The most common mistake people make is simply trying to say “no”, “down”, “heel” or whatever you say when your dog jumps up on someone.  This is usually accompanied by physically trying to keep your dog down.  The problem is, this verbal and physical contact may actually reinforce their behavior!  They think they’re doing good if you make eye contact and say something to them or hold them.

Using their dog Archer, the folks at PuppyTraining suggest taking a 3-D approach, so to speak.  You need to provide an alternative for your dog when guests arrive.  Keep in mind this process TAKES TIME to implement!  Don’t rush it or you’ll fail.  Here is the 3-D approach:

“Duration – So…how do we go about training Archer to not jump? We need to start from square one. Fortunately Archer knows his “go to your mat” command from his obedience classes, so our first steps are to add duration, distance, and eventually distractions. We had Archer “go to his mat” and would treat him for staying there for one second, then two seconds, then back to one second, then three seconds, etc. and would hopefully build up to 20 seconds.  The instructor made it clear that if you try to push your dog too hard, too quickly (i.e. trying to get them to down-stay for 10 seconds on their first try) it could reinforce the negative behavior of them getting up off the mat, so start slow and make sure your dog is successful. If they start to get up off their mat, go back and treat them for staying for one second.”

“Distance – Same goes with distance: start close to your dog and treat him for his down-stay, move one step back and treat, move two steps back and treat, and then alter your distances always making sure your dog is successful. I usually stand in front of Archer and step backwards when practicing distance, but I have to remember to step to the right and left and stand to the side of him to vary our training.”

“Distraction – Lastly, once Archer’s duration and distance is mastered, we will add in distractions. Distractions come in all shapes and sizes. From noise distractions (clapping, knocking on a wall/door, talking, yelling, and eventually a door bell), motion distractions (people walking/running by, toys rolling around, humans sitting down/standing up, jumping jacks, etc.), dog distractions (having other dogs around, dogs playing, barking), and out-of-sight distractions (removing myself from Archer’s line of sight for an amount of time). Again, the key is to not introduce too much too quickly to your dog: one small distraction at a time. And if it seems to be too much excitement, you could also put the distraction farther away from your dog to help keep his focus on you and staying on his mat.”

Again, stick with the plan and be consistent.  The results will come!

Sources: puppyintraining.com

 

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