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Stop your dog from becoming a jumping jack

13 May 2013 | by | Posted in: Training

Our German Shepherd was a very royal looking dog. He at least believed he was royalty. Gaby, as we called him, would not give a second look to anyone. The moment he was taken out for a walk, people would make way for him, probably because they were scared of this huge looking dog. But that was not the only reason people were scared of him. Gaby had this irritating habit of jumping on strangers. And why strangers alone, he would jump on us also. The moment we started playing with him, he would get excited and start jumping on us. The moment we came home, he would jump on us. It was cute initially but later on it became annoying. We consulted a dog trainer and he told us it was because Gaby was never trained from a young age to behave himself around humans. We tried to get him trained in the same, but he would not improve. I realised this was not our problem alone. A lot many dog owners get embarrassed by their dog’s jumping on people despite being given the command not to. Early training can prevent them from indulging in this habit but one wonders what makes them do it in the first place!

Jumping-jack- dogWhy does a dog jump?

Experts say a dog jumps on humans mainly because of two reasons. One, he is happy to see people and jumps as a way of greeting and saying hello. Since he can’t reach our face to lick it and show his affection, he jumps up to reach our face. Another reason is that by jumping, the dog is trying to show his dominance over us, how he overwhelms us, how he is the pack leader, as they say. When he is a pup, it is alright with us to let him jump to his heart’s content. For then it is funny to see him trying to reach us and also endearing that he loves us so much. But, a few years down the line, when he grows up, his jumping can get out of hand and dangerous. He will jump on anyone and everyone, including elderly or the kids. That’s because he was never stopped in the initial years when he was learning to mind his manners. So, for him it is alright to do that to anyone he pleases to do it to. In the process, he will tumble over things, break them, mess people’s clothes, scratch them or hurt them in a big way. When our dog wouldn’t stop doing that, we would lock him up in a separate room till the time the guests had left. But this alienation only angered him further and he would bark non-stop.  The moment the guests would leave, he would be angry with us till we cajoled him and cuddled him. However, all this is not enough. ( how to train a dog )

How can you control him?

Just like a human baby is trained from an early age about the dos and don’ts of socialising, a dog too needs this training at a tender age. But if yours has grown into a big guy, then too repeat behaviour can make him understand the right and wrong of it all. The moment you enter home and if the puppy or the full gown dog jumps on you, look away, don’t pay attention to the excited one. It is as if he is invisible to you. Don’t touch him either. Take your arms above your head. Dejected, the dog after a few futile attempts would land his paws on the floor and not on you. The moment he does this, pat him affectionately and praise him. You could also try turning your back on him when he jumps at you, and ignore. He will circle around you to get your attention, probably jump again, but don’t pay attention. You might end up knocking down the dog unintentionally. But, don’t worry. Your dog is strong enough to handle it. Confused, he will sit or stand still and look up at you. That’s your cue to pat him, praise him and greet him. A few repeated attempts will make him understand what you want from him and for your love, he will do anything, you know that! ( Dog Training Books )

Even if some friends come over and your pup tries to do the same to them, don’t let the guests say ‘it’s alright’. Reprimand the puppy for jumping on your friends there and then. Praise him for just wagging his tail and not jumping. Reinforce it a few times and the dog will recall this training every time the door opens. Do it even when you take him out for a walk. Make him know you call the shots and when you say no, it means it is a no. ( Dog Training Collars and Chain )

Don’t ever let the dog jump on you to greet you. Make sure you bend down to his level to greet him. His paws should always be on the ground. Don’t give in, not even when your heart melts at the look he gives you. Remember, how the dog’s mother would have reacted if her pup tried to overpower her or do something she didn’t approve of. She would firmly clasp her jaw around the pup’s neck, lift him up and put him at his place. She is the pack leader and the pup would not mess with her. As a human being, you can’t do the same to your dog, but you can at least follow this dog training basic and be the boss you are meant to be.

A few little reprimands later, he will start understanding what you want from him. He will then start following you. A treat every now and then will instil in him good behaviour that you’ve always wanted your furry friend to exhibit.

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