How do you get your dog to stop jumping at every opportunity? The dog trainer is in to answer your questions. Alexandra Macias, owner and operator of the Long Beach-based Alex Macias dog training, will be sitting down and answering readers' pet-related questions.
My dog Bosley loves to jump on us when we get home, and goes crazy when our friends and family come to visit. We tell him to get down, and try to hold him back, but he’s out of control. Can you give us some suggestions?
Jumping is not only annoying and rude, but can be dangerous, especially for elderly folks and young children. The most effective way to get rid of unwanted jumping is to ignore dogs while they’re doing it. The main reason why dogs jump on us is to get attention. Attention, whether it be positive or negative, is what they’re craving. If you withhold what they want, they will eventually give up.
When you come home, and Bosley begins to jump, keep walking, and withhold all attention. Don’t look at him, don’t talk to him, don’t touch him. Don’t even try to correct him, or tell him to stop. As long as he’s jumping, he does not exist. The moment Bosley stops jumping, praise him, and give him lots of love and attention. If he jumps up again, turn your back and walk away from him. Again, when he stops jumping, give him the attention he wants.
While this is the most effective way to stop Bosley’s jumping, it may not be the most realistic for you and your family, and/or guests. This is when I like to bring in one of my favorite tools—the shaky can. A shaky can is an empty aluminum can with 13 pennies placed inside. Every time Bosley jumps, you’re going to tell him “off,” and give the can one, hard shake. He will learn that every time he jumps, he hears an unpleasant sound. He will want to avoid the unpleasant sound, so will not jump. It’s important to say a command like “off” while shaking the can. This will teach him “off” means to stop jumping. That way, you can eventually fade the can away, and just rely on verbally telling him “off.”
These are a few simple steps to help Bosley’s jumping come to an end. Remember to stay consistent, and he’ll eventually meet your goal. Good luck! WOOF!
Alexandra Macias is the owner and operator of Alex Macias Dog Training, a Long Beach-based dog training business. To ask Alexandra questions for a future article, leave them in the comments below, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.