Often starting during puppyhood, dog jumping can be a serious behavior problem. It seems innocent while your dog is young, but as he grows it can become extremely irritating. This is especially true if he’s from a larger breed, although toy dogs are no exception. If your dog jumps on you, he’ll definitely jump on other people. This can create an uncomfortable atmosphere for your guests. Take the time to train your dog not to jump up and you’ll be one step closer to a well-mannered companion.
Jumping on you
If your dog jumps on you every time he gets excited or greets you, there are a couple of ways to train him to adopt an alternative behavior.
Place your foot on his leash
This simple leash technique should help to stop dog jumping. Whenever your dog looks like he wants to jump up, place your foot on the leash. Leave enough slack to keep him from noticing your foot is on the leash but not enough to let him jump all the way up. When he tries to jump, say “Off!”. If your foot is placed properly, the leash will automatically correct your dog. Tell him to sit and gently praise him when he does. Eventually, your dog will learn that jumping up causes an unpleasant tug on his neck while sitting leads to your affection. Remember to remove the leash when your dog can’t be supervised.
Hold his paws when he jumps up
When your dog jumps on you, grasp his paws and hold them firmly in place. Wait until he gets uncomfortable and starts to struggle, then let go and say “Off!”. Tell him to sit and give him praise if he does. Repeat this process every time your dog jumps up.
Jumping on guests
In order to stop your dog from jumping on visitors, practice the techniques described above before you introduce him to people. Once he no longer jumps on you, your guests should be safe as well. However, if this doesn’t solve the problem, you can train an alternative behavior with the help of a friend or family member.
Have your dog sit as a friend approaches
Have your visitor approach your dog instead of allowing your dog to go to the person. If he jumps up to greet them, have the person go away. If he sits, then have the guest reward him with a treat. After a few rounds, your dog should figure out that sitting allows him to greet the guest. Be sure to practice regularly with different people to make the behavior a habit.
Jumping on furniture
If you prefer to keep your dog off of your furniture, the following two-step process should do the trick.
Step 1: Provide a comfortable alternative
Put a cozy dog bed in your dog’s favorite area of the house. The more comfortable the bed, the less enticing your furniture will appear. In some cases, this will solve the problem by itself. If it doesn’t, then go on to step two.
Step 2: Train an alternative behavior
If you’ve given your dog a bed of his own but he still refuses to stop jumping on the furniture, train him to retrieve an object or go to a target area. Whenever you see him jump on your furniture, say “Off!” then issue the retrieval or target command. Gently praise him once he’s finished his task. If you see your dog resting in the bed of his own free will, be sure to give him some praise. You want to create a good association with the dog bed.