Almost every person bringing their dog to me for a training or behavior consultation has “Jumping Up” on their list of things they want to stop. Does your dog jump up on you or your guests? Would you like to stop this annoying (and sometimes dangerous) behavior? This article is about stopping your dog jumping on you. Our next article will address a dog jumping on guests.
There are any number of techniques to curtail a jumping dog – from simply turning your back and ignoring the dog, to physically “kneeing” the dog in the chest as it jumps. The former eventually works, when the dog finally gets bored with jumping and walks away, but by that time my party dress is ruined and my guests have been knocked to the floor. I want a quicker and more reliable technique. Using a knee to the chest can work, but carries with it a certain degree of risk, both to the dog and to the person attached to that knee. I prefer a more natural approach, and the way dogs themselves tell other dogs to keep their paws to themselves: I “bark”.
Watch dogs at play. The dog that does not want to be jumped on, whips around and gives a sharp, quick bark, directly in the jumper’s face. The jumper takes the hint, and stays off. Then, with rank and rules established, both play happily together.
A quick shake of a penny can (shown in photo) in front of a jumping dog helps me mimic a dog’s bark and establish that I will not be jumped on. It’s effective and quick! To make your own penny can, take any empty aluminum beverage can, add 10 to 15 pennies and duct tape over the hole. When your dog jumps up, stand tall, stay very calm, and quietly say “Off,” as you give a quick, decisive shake of the can directly in front of your dog’s face. Don’t raise your voice. Don’t lurch. Don’t’ push your dog down. Your goal is to make the result of jumping up less fun for your dog than it was before, simply by “barking” in response to his behavior.
The taller you stand, and the calmer you remain as you give your quick and decisive can correction, the more believable and effective you will be. Soon, you should be able to correct jumping with simply an “Off” command as you stand tall in front of your dog. CAUTION: Dogs react to emotion! If you give an angry correction, you dog could get angry back – with dangerous consequences. Stay CALM, give your correction, then PRAISE your dog for a correct response. This is not about punishment, it’s about one result for jumping and a better result for not jumping.
If you don’t want to make your own, check out our penny can kit a set of 3 cans, sold along with my “Dog-Training-In-A-Can” instruction booklet with great tips on how to use penny cans to help stop barking, digging, house training accidents, stealing food, and much more! Good luck!