Why do dogs jump up?
- Jumping up is a common behaviour problem and is a natural behaviour. Some causes are:
- The dog was encouraged to jump up as a puppy when it was seen as cute rather than a nuisance
- The dog is attention seeking. Does your dog display other attention seeking behaviours?
- The dog is being rewarded for jumping up – any interaction from you such as yelling, patting, pushing the dog down can be seen as rewarding to the dog
- Excitement – jumping up is a greeting. The dog is so excited to see you that he cannot contain himself. He may then have been rewarded for this in the past eg patting the dog, talking to the dog or pushing the dog down
- Eliminate any reinforcement for jumping up. Totally ignore the dog. Fold arms and turn away until the dog stops. No verbal response, no eye contact, step out of the way.
- Teach an incompatible behaviour. Teach the dog a rock solid sit and teach him that he must sit to be greeted. You could also teach him to go to his bed when visitors arrive, sit stay when people walk past etc.
- Avoid reward! Once your dog has his paws on you, he has reached his goal and feels rewarded already.
- You can raise a knee to block the dog from putting his paws on you. You are not doing this to kick or knee the dog.
- Put the behaviour on cue – teach the dog a jump up command and an off command.
- Improve owner control – work on obedience training and improve sit stays.
Like all training, the key is consistency. If you reward your dog for jumping up even occasionally, it will never stop!