How to Deal with Jumping

Jumping occurs when a dog is jumping up on a human, a door, a gate, a fence, or when placing two feet on a chair.

Dogs do not jump in order to establish dominance or to get closer to your face. They jump because it is natural and it receives some sort of acknowledgement from humans.

Many people try to remedy jumping by holding the dog’s paws, kneeing him in the chest, smacking him on the nose, grabbing him by the collar or giving a command. All these actions are giving the dog attention or are placing fear into the dog for offering a behavior.

Ignoring is very powerful and can be used to eliminate many behaviors that are not self-rewarding. If we ignore the jumping we can teach the dog that it is not a desired behavior. Owners have a harder time ignoring this behavior because many times it is uncomfortable or it happens to guest in the home that does not know to ignore.

Ignoring means you do not look at, touch or talk to your dog. Avoid eye contact with him and turn away if you must. When your dog realizes the behavior is not getting him attention, he will offer something else. When he offers an appropriate behavior for at least three seconds verbally mark and reward. If you acknowledge too quickly, you will teach him a chained behavior. Reward as long as he has four-on-the-floor. If at any time he begins jumping again, ignore.

If your dog jumps on you to throw a toy, simply ignore and wait for the appropriate behavior before throwing. He does not have to sit but needs to have all four feet on the ground.

When faced with other humans that want to greet your dog you must take responsibility in setting him up for success; especially if you plan on taking your foster to adoption events or out in public for training.

Because you cannot trust other people to know your dog is in training, you must control your dog’s immediate environment. This means limiting your dog’s options and controlling the response of others. Place your dog on a leash. Allow your dog to greet people with permission. If your dog exhibits appropriate behavior, praise him exuberantly; however, if he jumps, take a step back. This is an interruption with little interaction. Once the dog is giving appropriate behavior, give permission and allow him to greet the person again. Do not assume another person will ignore your dog when he jumps.