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Pet Bucket Blog

Why does my dog jump and how can I stop him?

 by yunus on 09 Aug 2016 |
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It may be cute in a puppy, but when your full-grown dog jumps up to greet you, it can be a nuisance and dangerous for children and elderly friends. Because dogs jump up to say “hello,” it can be difficult to break them of the habit. With some consistent training, however, you can teach your pet a more polite way to welcome you and your guests.
 
When puppies greet an older dog, they often lick the adult’s muzzle as an appeasement gesture. In the same way, your canine companion tries to meet you nose-to-nose, jumping on his hind legs to do so. To break your dog of his highflying habit, it is important to show him that you will only greet pets that have all four feet on the ground. If your dog jumps, don’t acknowledge him by pushing him off, but instead look over his head and turn away if necessary. As soon as your dog’s front paws are planted, reward him verbally and with affection or a treat, withdrawing your attention immediately if he hops on his hind legs again.
 
It is also important to replace your dog’s jumping with another behavior, which you can do by practicing the “sit and stay” greeting. Practice this type of training on your own, or with a friend by having your friend hold your dog on a loose leash and asking him to sit. You can then walk towards the two from about a dozen feet away, stopping and returning to the starting point each time your dog hops up. This will eventually help your pet form a connection between a seated greeting and a reward— your attention. If your dog gets too excited to meet a person while seated, you can try replacing jumping with holding or playing with his favorite toy instead. Remember, if he jumps up during training, remain calm and never shout or knee your dog or cause him any other pain when he hops up on humans.
 
Once you’ve experimented with replacing jumping with another behavior, try greeting real guests. Crate your dog, put him on a leash, or otherwise keep him calm when company comes over until he has mastered a composed “hello.” With some time and practice, your canine companion should master the art of welcoming humans without hopping up. If, however, you are struggling with training your dog shows signs of aggression, such as growling or bearing his teeth, seek help from a certified trainer. Most importantly, remember you can’t teach your dog a behavior some of the time, so be consistent about ignoring your dog when he jumps up and reinforce acceptable behavior immediately. 

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