If your dog is a jumper, you know how difficult (and stressful) it can be for them to knock off the bad habit and to stop jumping for attention! With the lack of socialization both us and our dog’s have experienced due to COVID-19, they may be even more excited than usual to see someone new! Your pup jumping up on people may frighten some, but can also cause injury. But don’t worry! This is a behaviour that can be trained with positive reinforcement.
First and foremost, your dog will need to have a good understanding of the command ‘sit’. Second, it’s important to make sure that all members of your household are onboard with training, if you don’t live alone.Consistency is key!Grab a supply of your dog’s favourite treats. We recommend the banana crisps treats as they are low in calories, or the beef lung as they are easy to break into small pieces.
Just You And Your Pup
If your dog gets excited when you come in the house or enter the room, you can start working on this exercise on your own first. When you enter the space, tell your pup to sit. If your dog jumps on you, ignore them completely by turning around and leaving. Then, enter again. Once again, ask your dog to sit. Repeat the process, ignoring them fully, until all four paws stay on the ground. When they sit as asked, mark the behaviour (with a “yes!” or a clicker) and reward with a treat. Keep your energy calm and quiet throughout the training
If your dog jumps up on strangers during your walks, this will require a bit more communication from you. If the stranger wants to approach your pup, ask them to wait until you have your bud sitting. Give them a treat and let them know that they can treat and pet your dog as long as your pup remains sitting. Especially with strangers, you may run in to some people that say they don’t mind your dog jumping up (especially if your dog is a young puppy or a small breed). It’s ok to let them know that you appreciate that, but that you mind, and this is a training moment that you’re working hard on.
Most importantly, remember to make training consistent (but take breaks if you’re getting frustrated!) Over time, it will definitely pay off.
*Keep in mind: for some dogs it may take more time to understand that they are not supposed to jump to get attention (particularly if they are used to receiving lots of attention at home prior to starting this training!)