Tricks to Get a Dog to Stop Jumping Up and Respect Personal Space

By: David Codr

Published Date: July 7, 2017

Ember Lou is a one-year-old Dalmatian mix who lives in Irvington, Nebraska. Her guardian set up a dog behavior training session with us to get her to calm down, respect people’s space, stop jumping up and listen to commands.

Ember was excited to meet me when I stepped inside; giving me an up close and personal demonstration of her jumping behavior.

When I sat down with Ember’s guardian to discuss her lack of respect for persona space and other dog behavior problems, I learned that the dog did not have any rules in place.

Additionally, any time the dog jumped up on the guardian or invaded personal space, the human petted the dog. This is a major problem for dogs with boundary issues or jumping dogs as anything your dog is doing when you pet it is what you are rewarding or reinforcing. In other words, each time the dog jumped up or invaded personal space, the human was rewarding her; making it more likely the dog will repeat the same behavior again later.

As a dog behavior expert I always like to point out that anything the dog does to interact with their guardian is what the dog thinks is appropriate with all other humans. By rewarding the dog for invading her personal space, the guardian was unintentionally training the dog to jump up or invade the personal space of her little nieces and nephews, a big dog behavior problem the guardian wanted to fix.

I went through my Petting with a Purpose strategy to help the guardian start rewarding Ember for desired behaviors instead. I also suggested she start petting the dog any time it engaged in desired behaviors like sitting, coming or laying down while simultaneously saying the command word once.

Next I went over the series of Escalating Consequences I like to use to disagree with unwanted actions and behaviors. Disagreeing with Ember before she gets too close or starts to jump will make stopping those unwanted dog behaviors much easier.

Another suggestion I made was to incorporate rules and boundaries and consistently enforce them with good timing (within 3 seconds). Over time, this will help the dog start to adopt a follower’s mindset and also build up respect for her guardian as an authority figure.

One of the rules I suggested was to train the dog to sit at the door before letting her out. You can watch me go over this with Ember’s guardian in the video below.

By training Ember to sit at the door, and walking away any time she gets up or excited, her guardian can help the dog develop more self control, adopt a more desirable means of interacting and stop it from jumping up against the door as a way of asking to be let in or out.

I went over a few other exercises to help Ember develop more self control with the kennel, impulse control and respect for the human as an authority figure. It will be important that the guardian practice these exercises daily for the next week or two until the dog is able to master them. In time this discipline will pay big dividends in terms of teaching the dog to respect personal space.

The last thing we did was go over a structured way of feeding Ember that will increase her respect for the guardian.

We wrapped up the session by filming Ember’s Roadmap to Success. You can watch this video by clicking below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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