Some of your dog’s behaviors may not be as cute now as they were when he was a youngster. Jumping up is one of those. He’s all grown up now and you find yourself not as appreciative as you once were of that extra special attention you get when coming home. Forget about it when guests arrive, you either have to put him away, or subject your guests to being accosted while continually apologizing for his atrocious manners. The worst part is you’ve tried everything, ignoring, blasting out commands, a knee in the chest, and nothing has resolved his excessive jumping so far.
To put an end to this obnoxious behavior once and for all you will first need to have an understanding as to why the behavior persists. To put it bluntly, dogs will always repeat behaviors that work for them. Jumping is no different, if your dog is jumping it’s only because it’s working for him. Yes, you may have unintentionally taught him that persistent jumping is a great way to get attention but he can also learn that an alternative behavior works even better.
Fixing this behavior requires that you apply two concepts. First, your dog will need to learn that any type of unwanted attention seeking behavior will not work and second that new desired behaviors do work. When working both of these concepts in conjunction with each other the dog learns rather quickly.
Decide what behavior you would rather have your dog be doing when his jumping is most likely to occur (sitting is a good choice) and begin to reward that behavior instead. For most dogs a reward comes in the form of a treat or toy, but make sure your dog gets to decide what is rewarding. You will know if it’s a good reward if he continually repeats the behavior he is getting rewarded for. We recommend rehearsing the new desired behavior often, at times when he is most likely to jump.
At Rover Rehab we are experts at fixing dog behavior problems and are always here to help with providing solutions to all your dog related issues.