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Training: How to Stop Jumping Up

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Stop Jumping Up

Jumping up is a cute behavior in puppies, but it gets old fast, especially when that puppy becomes an 80 lb adult! This is the kind of obnoxious behavior that can make an otherwise great dog a nuisance that visitors and even family members start to avoid.

Look at things from your dog's perspective. He's excited, he wants your attention - how can he get it? He jumps up on you. You tell him to stop and push him off, he's gotten what he wanted - and so he does it again, because he's learned that THIS WORKS. You need to teach your dog that calm behavior will work better to get him the attention he wants.

The next time your dog tries to jump up on you, turn your body to the side so that he slides back down, and ignore him. Don't look at him, don't talk to him, don't acknowledge his presence in any way. At first, he may think he just needs to jump MORE to get your attention, so you have to stick with this until he stops jumping. As soon as he shows any sign of relatively calm behavior, such as standing with all 4 feet on the floor, immediately give him a treat and praise him. If your dog is trained to sit, have him do this before you give him the treat and the praise. The goal is to make it clear to your dog that sitting calmly is the best way to get the attention he wants.

Breaking unwanted behavior takes time. Expect that you will have to repeat this exercise over and over before your dog "gets it." Even then, he probably won't be perfect every time. Be patient, be consistent, and make sure that everyone else in the family is doing exactly the same thing. Different reactions from different people will confuse your dog and undo your hard work.

Products that can help

Training your dog to stop jumping can be a difficult task. Chronic jumpers can be a danger to themselves, other dogs, and people. For some dogs, the use of a specially designed harness is required to discourage this habit. You may also want to try offering a healthy treat, such as Drs. Foster and Smith Tasty Snacks, for their effort and to keep encouraging their good behavior.

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