Jumping up isn't the Best way to say Hello...according to the human! : Happy Tails Speaks DOG
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Jumping up isn't the Best way to say Hello...according to the human!

by Michelle St Germain on 05/15/12

Haven't we all been greeted by a dog with it's paws planted in our chests?  This this such a common problem amoung dogs.  Well, it isn' a problem according to the dogs.  They think this is an acceptable form of greeting.  It's the humans who have the problem.  Big dogs, little dogs, black dogs and white dogs, jumping isn't exclusive to one particular breed, sex, color or hair length!  It is a problem that goes with just being a dog. 

Jumping is an annoying behaviour but it also carries varying degrees of danger as well.  A small or elderly person could easily be thrown to the ground by a dog jumping into them.  Paws clawing faces and arms is also a very real danger.  People who are afraid of dogs can feel threatened if your dog jumps on them.  All and all no matter how normal a behaviour it is to dogs, it is just plain rude to people.

How did jumping begin?  The history of it is simple, we bring home this cute little bundle of fur into our life and now the chaos begins.  Humans reinforce the jumping behavior from day 1, usually unconscienceously.  Petting, playing with, baby talking to, shoving away, looking at, and the list goes on.  To the jumper this is reinforcement, a license to JUMP, to the victim is is a real problem.

So, all that being said what do we do about it?  Well, for starters if you are the owners of a new/young puppy start NOW!  Do not touch the puppy when he is jumping.  Use a leash and the crate to help you manage the problem and teaching the puppy the correct way to greet people is to SIT or lay DOWN!    As the puppy approaches you whether called or not, instruct her to SIT before any petting is to be given out.  Be very strict with this and the behaviour will quickly resolve itself.  If the dog sees a loophole, he will take advantage of it.  Dogs do what works and if jumping on people gets him attention then jumping he will continue to do.  The same approach is used for the seasoned jumper as well. Consistency and management are the secret formula.  Being able to determine when the dog is going to jump and correcting him first with a firm SIT command or preventing it all together.  I like to use a crate or a leash tethered away from the front door where most offenses take place.  The dog is only allowed to approach people in a calm manner.  Hyperactivity and excitement make it too hard for the dog to follow directions effectivley.  Allow the dog ample time to calm itself down before allowing her anywhere near your guests.  Ignore all attempts of obnoxious behaviour and be sure to catch the dog acting appropriately at any moment.  Use calm Praise and a food treat.  If you are calm the dog will be too.

     Dogs are not hard to teach but humans are.  You will quickly see the dog will understand what is required of her.  Your guests on the other hand will be harder to convince not to touch your dog when she is acting like a bafoon at the door.  Be vigilent and strict in what you ask your friends and family members to do when saying hello to your jumping bean!

Another exercise to practice is to do lots of repetitions at the door when people are not there.  Practice your dog sitting at the door when you open the door, open the door and walk out & come back in, when you knock once, twice, ...  Be creative and challenge your dog.  You may need help when doing this depending on how out of control the dog is at the door.


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