Dog Jumping on People
Dog Jumping on People
How to Prevent the Dog from Jumping on You:
Every time we return home and the dog jumps on us with his tail wagging we are inclined to interpret this through our human ego: at last Rexy shows his gratitude for all the money the vet cost, he’s waited for me all day with infinite longing, he thinks that I am so wonderful that it would be very bad manners not to allow him to show me his great love. Hmmm… How shall I put this gently? In Rexy’s world his energetic pounce on you is closer in meaning to urinating on you than rolling out the red carpet. Why? Because in his eyes you are not the boss. Dogs tend to jump on those they perceive as equal partners. From his point of view it is not done to jump on the pack leader as that would be a show of dominance, for which he would be punished. In spite of the pleasure you may get from his ‘display of affection’ jump on you, know that if you don’t prevent it the dog will understand that he is allowed to question your standing in other less pleasant ways.
How to stop it? Praise be the operative conditioning approach which we laid out in the foreword. (Link) If, when the dog comes close with a movement that looks like he is going to jump on me, and my reaction is to shut and wag my finger at him, he will interpret this as the dominant dog trying to depress him and drive him from the pack. The possible outcome of this situation is that the dog will retreat and not come when I call him. If my reaction comes only after he has tried to jump on me – he will feel attacked and confused and may even feel that he should defend himself and attack back. Wear comfortable and cheap clothing and call the dog by patting on your knees, as if to say ‘come, jump on me’, the second that the dog begins to jump, when his two front legs begin to rise in your direction, and his face is looking up at you so that he can’t see your lower body, push one of your knees towards him so that he loses his balance and is forced to stand on all four legs. Immediately he loses his balance, call him in the friendliest possible way and repeat the exercise. This is not a cruel exercise and the dog is not insulted. Dogs understand action and result only, and as long as they don’t see you causing the loss of balance, they don’t connect you with the negative result and don’t become afraid of you. The dog says to himself in the most simple and unemotional way –‘jumping – negative result, standing next to – positive result’. The training is complete when after several repeat exercises the dog comes to you when you signal him and sits at your feet without trying to jump. To make this conditioning even more effective it is advisable that a few different people do this exercise with your dog so that he will learn in principle he should not jump on ‘the tall dogs’ and not think that it applies only to you.
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