Tony Cruse is a dog trainer and the owner of Tc Dog Training based in Essex. He is a member of The Association of Pet Dog Trainers and The Institute of Modern Dog Trainers, and the author of ‘101 Doggy Dilemmas’. Tony works on training and behaviour on a full-time basis.
Get to the root cause
“How do I stop my dog jumping up?” It is difficult to rectify an issue without first identifying the cause. Dogs do things for a reason. For example, a dog who is jumping up at people has incorporated it as part of his greeting. Why? Because he is saying hello, just as dogs do…face to face. Jumping may have also become rewarding if it has been previously acknowledged. Fussing and even shouting ‘no’ or ‘off’ can be seen as attention!
Once the cause has been established, we can train a simple, do-able solution. The jumping dog can be taught to sit first. When sitting he gets his desired reward, which is to say hello! Simple solutions work.
Consequences are vital. Work towards what you want your dog to do and reward that behaviour. You can use treats such as sliced hotdogs, low-fat cheese or even your dog’s daily meal quota as a reward.
Try and arrange each training situation so your dog can’t fail and doesn’t practice mistakes. For example, don’t allow access to the sofa if you are teaching him not to jump on it. Instead make his bed or a mat, super-rewarding for him to lie on.
Rule out the Reprimands!
Never scold, reprimand or physically punish your dog for what you may consider ‘naughty’ or ‘bad’ behaviour. More problems usually develop as a result. It is likely your dog doesn’t understand what is required because he has never been shown, he doesn’t understand, isn’t motivated or he’s anxious. Instead, look to work on an alternative behaviour. Is he jumping up?
Be smart…teach a ‘sit’.