Stopping a dog from jumping without using punitive methods

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A lot of times when a dog jumps, trainers will advocate squeezing the dogs paws, kneeing him in the chest, squirting lemon juice in his eyes or even rolling him over. This is abuse. Rather, to effectively prevent jumping we must understand why it occurs.

Why dogs jump

Dogs jump primarily because they seek attention. They’re much like little kids that way. Kids can start crying in the grocery store when they don’t get their way, and while most of us know not to hurt the child, the same people might not think twice about hurting a dog. Because essentially, that’s what a jumping dog is: a child crying at the grocery store.

Step 1: To prevent jumping, stop giving it attention

By simply turning away from the jumping dog and ignoring him completely, you’ll effectively communicate that jumping does not lead to a reward (attention).

Over a relatively brief period of time, the dog will learn that jumping leads to nothing (except boredom). While this is undoubtedly more humane than getting physical with the dog, it is often more effective too. Considering that the dog is essentially looking for a reaction, even negative attention equals a response from you.

Step 2: Reward an alternative behavior

Once the dog understands that jumping does not elicit attention, he will soon settle down. At this point it is vital that you praise him by giving him exactly what he wanted in the first place: love and affection from his human. Not only have you communicated that jumping does not result in a response, you have also successfully taught him that standing on all four means getting what he wants.

In other words, you have replaced a bad habit with a good one - all without being harsh and punitive. Congratulations.

Author: Stian Karlsen

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