Training your dog with basic skills and obedience tasks can sometimes be challenging but, ultimately, having a well-behaved canine companion is worth the effort.
This is especially true if your dog likes to jump up on people. Even the most arduous dog lovers sometimes wear nice clothes. Kids and older folks can easily be injured if your pet unexpectedly jumps up to greet them, causing them to topple backward.
Training your dog not to jump on people is fairly simple and straightforward, as long as you take the time to work with your pet and enforce the rules consistently.
The Importance of Consistency in Training Your Dog
If you want to train your dog not to jump on strangers or visitors to your home, you have to be consistent – without fail. That means you can’t let him jump on you or your family members. It also means your family can never let him jump on them (or anyone else), without exception.
Fido can’t tell the difference between friends, family and strangers – humans are humans. Which means that, unless you can be consistent in enforcing this (or any) rule, he will never be able to master the skill.
Make the commitment to enforce the rules with every friend and family member, and you’ll save tons of time and heartache for you and your pet.
Let’s Talk “Down” vs. “Off” when Training Your Dog
Have you ever visited someone’s home only to receive an overly enthusiastic – and upright – welcome from their dog? If so, the chances are pretty good that, as you’re getting the paws-on-the-chest (or legs or abdomen or shoulders) reception from the dog, someone’s standing across the room repeatedly yelling “No!” or “Fido! Down!”, utterly in vain.
The reason Fido doesn’t heed these commands may be twofold. First, Fido’s family obviously has little or no control over their dog. But, second, if Fido has had any obedience training at all, the no and down commands probably make no sense to him in this context.
Most dog trainers differentiate between down – meaning lie down – and off – meaning “don’t jump up on that person.” You can choose whatever commands you prefer for your pet, but you must use them consistently. When you don’t practice consistency, you confuse your dog and water down the effects of obedience training.
If off doesn’t work for you, you can choose another command more to your liking, such as “four on the floor.”
The problem with no is that pet owners use it too often in too many different contexts, few of which are ever effective. Instead of telling your dog to stop doing something, develop strategies that require him to take a specific action rather than a non-action.
Training Your Dog to Stay “Off”
Professional dog trainers use various methods for teaching this and other commands, preferably using a system of positive reinforcement. It’s best to undertake this training when your pet is not overly excited and, preferably, when no one else is around but, sometimes, you have to take the opportunities you’re presented with.
If Fido comes toward you with the obvious intent of jumping up on you, let him jump. Carefully grab his front paws and place them on the floor while firmly giving the off command. Immediately praise him and give him a treat.
You can also follow this up with the sit command. If you train your pet to sit after receiving the off command, this can help distract him in the future from highly attractive stimuli – such as strangers or visitors.
Professional dog trainers, like the experienced Innovative K9 Academy team, understand how important it is to teach your pet good manners. Based in Salt Lake City, we provide professional training in individual and group settings as well as dog and puppy boot camps. Contact us today to learn more about how our proven methods and approach can provide the foolproof approach for training your dog.