What a frustration it is when your dog jumps on you or your guests. Learn some simple techniques for stopping dog jumping.
Alright, so we’ve got Razor the pit-bull here. Razor is a little bit of a jumper. He likes to jump on new people and so what we’re going to do is we’ll teach him how not to be a jumper. And so, the way to do that is we want to teach him what the word “No” means. And what I’ve found is most dogs don’t know what the word “No” means. And it’s not from a lack of hearing it. Most dogs hear “No” all the time. But it’s like, “No, off there and quit it whatever.” Most dogs hear this all the time, but the problem is dogs aren’t verbal learners. And so dogs are physical learners and so we need to physically help the dog understand what “No” means. And if we do that properly, as time goes on we don’t need to correct the dog anymore. We can just say the word “No”. But, initially, we just need to give the dog meaning to the words that we’re going to use.
Correction and Praise
So, what a correction needs to be, is what I’m teaching the dog what “No” means, is a couple of things. Number one, it needs to be well timed. So, as he’s jumping, I’m going to give the correction. It needs to be a quick tug and release. What too many people do is the dog jumps they pull him off. The dog jumps they push him off. And so what they’re doing is they’re pulling the dog from point A to point B and I think that’s a little bit of what you end up doing right here. He jumps, and you kind of pull him away. So, you’re pulling him off, so dogs have what’s called opposition reflex. Let’s say he jumps and I pull him away from you, it makes him want to jump even more. And when I first walked in that’s what he was doing.
He’s jumping and you’re pulling him away and he wants to jump even more. That’s opposition reflex. So, if you’re battling against opposition reflex, we’re not going to teach him much. And so, what we need to do, instead of this pull, we’re just going to give him a quick tap. And not only the opposition reflex, but let’s say you do pull him and you do get him off, all you’ve accomplished is you’ve moved the dog from point A to point B. And anyone can move a dog from point A to point B. We need him to learn things though and so it’s got to be his choice essentially. Now, I’m going to make sure he chooses the right thing. But he’s got to be the one choosing. It can’t be me shoving him off or pushing him off.
And so, it’s well timed. It’s a quick tug and release and then it’s followed by praise. And so you see, the second he starts jumping, I automatically start praising him. And that’s really critical. The reason that’s critical is too often we find ourselves in scolding mode. No, don’t do that. Don’t do that, don’t do that. And it’s not a very good model if you’re constantly scolding the dog because he’s jumping and he’s going crazy. Well you don’t learn very well through just straight negativity. Dogs don’t, people don’t. But think about how we do learn. We learn better when negative turn into positives. So, that’s what we want to do for him. We want to take these negatives which jumping and turn into a positive, which is not jumping. So, the second he’s not jumping, boom, I’m there good boy, and I’m praising him, helping him feel really good.
As you see, it’s a quick tug and release, and this is the benefit of this: we don’t to use a really firm correction. We can use leverage and just a really quick tap. As you can see, he wants to jump more than anything now. But he’s starting to learn to hold himself back. He’s starting to realize… And so, what I want to do is I want to tell him, “I’m not mad at you. It’s not like I’m mad that you’re jumping. Go ahead and jump all you want. But there’s this little consequence and actually it feels better if you don’t jump. Let me do a couple more times here and then we’re going to have AJ do it. It’s getting harder and harder for him to jump and with a little bit of time, with a little bit of practice you will be able to get him to jump. Now, the reason I do this, some people look at me do this and they say, “That’s so mean. You’re telling him to jump.” Well, I do this because maybe it’s the same at your house. But people walk into my house and they see my dog. “Hi dog, and they’ll pat themselves.” I don’t want my dog jumping. Don’t tell my dog to jump. People still do that. So, I want to train the dog for that scenario. I want the dog to realize that even if someone’s saying jump on me, don’t jump because that’s the rule.
He’s starting to get the clue and believe or not, most dogs will get the clue fairly quickly if we just are consistent with it. So, this is where, initially as you’re training this what I’d recommend is any time he’s going to meet somebody new, have him on a leash or what I call a tab leash. A tab leash is just a short leash. You can take a regular leash and cut it or you can buy a tug leash at a pet store. Just a little tug. Just something that you can hold really quick, but not even to hold him next to you. Just he jumps, I can grab the leash and just giving him a little tug. And so, let me try this one more time and I’m going to pass it over.
And so, what we’ve done is we’ve kept that nice little fun character. You see his tail still wagging. Now, the next person he encounters he’s going to jump on him. The next after that he’s going to jump on. But with consistency, the jumping stops. He’s not going to do it anymore. So, let me pass it over here. We’ve got a little Ginny pig here to be the jumpy.
And I would say just be a little bit quicker with your tug and release and that takes a little bit of practice. Almost everyone is used to pulling their dog around and so it’s a really quick, just like a little snap. You’ve got to use this. Let’s try it a couple of times.
And as soon as he stops, praise him. And so what you’re doing is good but I want to point out initially, you’re almost tempted to just hold him back because what most people used to do is that their dog jumps all the time, so, let me hold him back. But the dog is not learning if you hold him back. So, you’ve got to give him the opportunity to make the right choice or the wrong choice. So, you’re tempted to do that but then you let go and he didn’t jump. He rewarded you by not jumping.
And he’s still just a little bit wiser here. So, for those of you watching this at home, this is what you can do. Put yourself up for success, meaning have a leash and training collar the next times people come over. As the dog gets good on a regular leash, then go to a tab leash and do that for a while when people come over. And as the dog gets good then go to no leash. We can’t just try to train our dog with our voice. We can’t just try to train the dog by grabbing his collar when somebody comes to the door. I know people do because I see this all the time. Somebody walks in and we grab his collar and so we’re just covering up the problem we’re not fixing it. So, let him make choices but just guide those choices. That’s more energy. Time to get to work.