Many new puppy owners find it cute when their puppy plays and jumps on them, but as the puppy grows, jumping up becomes less cute and more annoying. The best way to stop an undesirable behavior in your dog is not to encourage it in the first place. However, if your puppy is already jumping up, some techniques might help you correct his behavior. Positive reinforcement and consistency are imperative when retraining unwanted behavior.
Train the "Sit" command to assist you in teaching your dog to stop jumping. Correcting his jumping habit will be more effective when you replace that activity with the desirable one. Once your dog understands what to do when you command him to sit, you can begin retraining his jumping.
Start at the front door. This is a likely spot where your puppy will jump as you return home from work or an outing. Jumping is often his way of greeting you, so the entrance to your home is an optimal place to begin.
Enter your home normally, but if your puppy jumps up to greet you, immediately turn and walk away, saying nothing. Your puppy may be confused by your behavior and may run around in front of you and try jumping again. If so, repeat the procedure, saying nothing and walking in the other direction.
Approach your puppy as soon as he stops attempting to jump and instruct him to sit. When he complies, praise him and give him a treat. Repeat this exercise frequently to reinforce the desired behavior.
Encourage your puppy not to jump on visitors by using the same technique and adding a long leash. Hook the leash to your puppy's collar as soon as you know a visitor is approaching. When your puppy runs to greet the visitor, step on the leash, bringing him to a stop.
Instruct your puppy to sit, and reward him with a treat and praise when he complies. Enlist the assistance of your visitor by requesting that he or she give your puppy a treat when he sits on command.
Repeat these exercises as often as possible. Consistency is the key to retraining any unwanted behavior. Keep a few treats handy in a container by the door.
Avoid scolding or striking your puppy when retraining an undesirable behavior. Using only positive reinforcement is more effective and it will not provoke anxiety in your dog.
Use the same training technique in other areas of the house or when you take your puppy for a walk.
Sign your puppy up for group obedience classes to socialize him around other dogs and humans.
Items You Will Need
- Long leash
- Dog treats
- Dog Training for Dummies, 2nd Edition, by Jack and Wendy Volhard, 2005
- Royalty-free image from Shutterstock