Overly enthusiastic dogs jumping on family and visitors is a common issue, especially for adolescent dogs. Since it is such a pervasive issue, we have an online training module dedicated specifically to jumping. It is also addressed in my book, Juvenile Delinquent Dogs: The Complete Guide to Saving Your Sanity and Successfully Living with Your Adolescent.
We love that our dogs are so enthusiastic to greet us when we arrive home. Who else in your life is so thrilled to see you – even if you’ve only been gone for ten minutes?! That’s one of the things we love about our dogs. However, if your dog is jumping all over you, it’s not always so enjoyable.
As anyone who has trained with me knows, I will tell you NOT to give your dog any attention for the jumping. Even scolding your dog, pushing him away, or other things we think of as “negative” are usually looked at by our dogs as some form of attention. And they will take whatever attention they can get. Ideally, we want to prevent the jumping and replace it with an alternative behavior, such as sitting. But sometimes, it’s really difficult to prevent any jumping.
I was at a seminar by John Rogerson. I’m pretty sure most of you have never heard of him, but as a dog trainer, I heard about him quite some time ago. So I was glad to have the chance to hear him speak. Since he lives in the UK and travels around the world, he’s not often anywhere near here. Although he also does not believe in the use of harsh punishments, choke chains, prong collars or shock collars, he does do some things very differently from most of the trainers I have learned from.
At one point, he talked about dogs jumping on people when they arrive home. He suggests something I thought was a great idea. Here it is:
- When you arrive home, ignore your dog and walk straight to the nearest window.
- Stand still and spend two minutes describing everything you see outside the window.
- After your two minutes are up, look around to see where your dog is and what s/he is doing. If s/he is calm, go ahead and say hello calmly.
While his idea of ignoring your jumping dog is similar to mine, I love the idea of giving you something to do that helps you to completely ignore your dog. Even though I tell people not to give their dogs any attention, I know many still do – even if they are trying not to do so. But by describing what you see out the window, it gives you something to focus on so you’re really not paying any attention to your dog.
If your dog is a jumper, try this out for a week and let me know how it goes!