By Barbara Gallardo
Many dog owners take an “it-depends” approach. We don’t mind if our dog jumps on us when they walk in the door. In fact, most of us love the exuberant welcome. But we have friends and neighbors who wouldn’t like it, and it is generally frowned upon to allow even small dogs to jump on children.
Jumping can be confusing for dogs if we let them do it sometimes but not at other times. We should make it clear: they are not allowed to jump, regardless of whom they are greeting. The only exception is if we give them permission to jump with a command.
First, manage the immediate problem. You do this by physically blocking the dog from jumping. This at least prevents the behavior from getting worse. At home, when your dog is not on a leash, you can either crate her or keep her behind a gate when you are expecting company. On the street, when you stop to talk to someone, you can hold her back by the leash or anchor her to the ground by stepping on the leash about halfway down (but don’t let go of your end of the leash!).
When you are ready to change her behavior, this is how you do it: ignore the jumping. Don’t react in any way the jumping dog might perceive as a reward — this applies even to negative verbal commands. Reward and praise only when all four paws are on the floor.
The Turn Away tactic is an active form of ignoring. Every person the dog jumps on crosses his arms and turns away, avoiding eye contact or talking to the dog.
The Walk-Through, a.k.a. the Body Block, works well for dogs that continue to jump even when you turn away. When the dog jumps, cross your arms and walk toward the dog and make physical contact if he doesn’t…
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