Jumping for Joy: Not Anymore!

Don’t tell her I told you this, but my daughter Ally can be a bit bossy sometimes. And I can always tell she’s feeling a particular need to be in control when she starts jumping! Some dogs are naturally more inclined to jump, but their humans shouldn’t dismiss it as harmless behavior. The truth is that whether your dog is jumping to greet you at the door, looking for attention or just excited to play, that behavior is an assertion of dominance (just ask Ally!). Since you’re the alpha of the pack, it’s your job to curb this behavior in favor of better ways your pup can communicate her joy.

Here are some great tips from the ASPCA to help you retrain your pooch: 

Since the goal of your dog’s jumping is to get your attention, you can show him what he needs to do in order to earn that attention. And jumping doesn’t qualify! Try to:

  • Keep your attention and your hands away from your dog unless her front feet are on the floor.
  • Immediately give your dog attention and petting the instant her front feet land on the floor.
Training exercises are also a good idea when teaching or re-teaching your dog appropriate behavior. Try these routines: 
  • When your dog starts to jump up, stand still, look straight ahead (not at your dog), and pull your hands and arms up to your chest. Calmly wait for your dog to stop jumping. When her front paws touch the floor, immediately look at her and calmly stroke her. If she gets excited and jumps up again, straighten back up and repeat the sequence.
  • If your dog already knows how to sit on cue (command), try this step. When your dog starts to jump up, stand still, look straight ahead (not at your dog), and pull your hands and arms up to your chest. Say “Off” and immediately turn your back to your dog so that she can’t reach your face. Then say “Sit.” When she sits (watch her in your peripheral vision so that you can see), turn back around to face her, kneel down and calmly stroke her. If your dog jumps up again, quickly stand up and turn your back on her as you did before. Keep repeating this sequence until your dog stops jumping up.
And remember, good behavior should be rewarded! With a little bit of patience and steady consistency, you can curb your pet’s jumping habit in no time. 
Bonus Tip: Keep Valentine’s Day Safe and Healthy
Love is in the air this time of year, and human always love to give each other chocolates for Valentine’s Day. But remember that chocolate can be deadly to your pet  keep an eye on special holiday treats like boxes of chocolate, flowers and other gifts to make sure they stay in your sweetheart’s hands and out of your dog’s mouth. But that doesn’t mean you can’t show Fido a little love, too! Plain cooked pasta, cooked chicken and vegetables like finely chopped carrots or cucumber are all “people foods” that can make a tastyhealthy Valentine’s Day treat for your pup. 

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Hogan, ShednPooper’s go-to mutt advocate, offers a wealth of canine facts, tips and resources that strengthen the bond between people and their mutts.