The Secret to Stopping Dogs From Jumping Up on People

By: David Codr

Published Date: July 2, 2018

In this Omaha dog training session we taught 3 year-old Shih Tzu Wally to calm down and stop getting over excited and jumping on guests who visit.

Knowing that Wally got the most excited when people come to his home to visit, I called ahead with some instructions so that the guardians can use my technique to stop any dog from jumping up on people when they are excited.

The great thing about this secret to stop dogs from jumping up on people is it allows the dog to learn that jumping is not desired on their own. As a dog behaviorist, I have seen hundreds of people micromanage their dogs; telling them what to do for everything. While this can work, it requires a lot of work on your end as you have to monitor the dog and correct or disagree with it right away each time.

By calling or texting each other when they are on their way back home, the guardians can pretend to be a guest and practice this exercise to stop dog jumping. If they do this consistently for a week or two, and invite some friends and neighbors to come by to practice it as well, Wally should stop jumping up on people and learn to calm himself down.

The rest of the session was all about flipping the leader follower dynamic so the dog sees and respects the humans as being the authority figures. Once this is the case, he will listen to them faster and stop engaging in some of his other unwanted behaviors.

One of the things I showed the guardians is something I call the leadership exercise. Its a variation of a leave it exercise that helps the humans practice offering clear body language to the dog.

I also emphasized the importance of petting and rewarding Wally for desired behaviors, something a vast majority of people neglect to do. While its great to reach out and pet your dog for no reason at all, consistently petting with a purpose can go a long ways towards communicating the behavior you want out of your dog. Same goes for passive training, ie petting the dog when it offers any desired behavior (like sitting, coming, laying down, etc) on its own.

The more we recognize and reward desired behaviors, the more the dog will offer them as a way of pleasing us. After spending a few hours with Wally, its clear he is all about making his people happy.

I wrapped things up by sharing a few tips about introducing dogs to baby for the first time and recapping many of the dog behavior tips I shared with Wallys family during this in home dog training session in the roadmap to success video below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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