How Do You Train a Dog to Stop Jumping on People?

It’s happened again and again your family is out for drinks at a restaurant or party when your dog jumps up onto a chair or table and starts sniffing around like he owns the place. You’re about to yell “no” and drag him off, but then you remember that one of his favorite tricks is bouncing on people. It looks cute, so you let him bounce once before saying something stern. But by the time you get home, he has already bounced several times. What gives?


If this sounds familiar, there are plenty of reasons why dogs have trouble learning new behaviors. For example, if they’ve been rewarded for an unwanted behavior in the past, they’ll be more likely to repeat it because they know what works. In addition, some breeds of dogs tend to think jumping is part of being a puppy. A good rule of thumb is that if your dog is too young (less than six months old), doesn’t listen well, can’t sit still, and gets over-excited easily, it may need training.


Training isn’t easy, especially since dogs are smart and quickly figure out how to avoid punishment. There are many ways to train a dog and positive reinforcement methods are becoming increasingly popular. The idea behind these techniques is that rewarding desirable behavior will eventually make the undesirable behavior disappear. This means that instead of scolding or punishing your pet, you should praise it whenever it behaves correctly.


However, even if you use positive reinforcement training techniques, it can take weeks or months for them to work. If you find yourself constantly repeating the same trick, it may be time to try another method.

There are many different reasons why dogs jump on people, from wanting affection to getting bored. Although you probably won’t be able to prevent every instance of your pooch jumping on someone, there are ways to manage it and keep your canine friend from annoying your friends and guests. Read on to learn more.


1.    Make Sure the Pets Are Trained Properly


Before you begin training your dog, make sure everyone involved understands what needs to happen. Your dog must understand who is allowed to interact with him and who shouldn’t. It’s also important for all participants to follow rules set forth by experts. These rules include things such as keeping hands away from your pet and making noise when interacting with other animals.


Also, consider whether or not your pet has any allergies. He should never be given raw meat or anything with feathers, which could result in accidental bites. Finally, make sure your pet feels safe during social situations. Never leave your pet alone with other animals or children younger than 12 years old.


2.    Get Their Attention With Food and Treats


The first step in training is to get your pet’s attention. Some owners use verbal commands, while others prefer using physical cues like a treat or toy. Whichever method you choose, make sure you consistently give your pet the right command each time. Once you’ve got his attention, wait until he begins to show signs of interest in the desired action. Then, immediately reward him with food or a toy.


Even though it seems counterintuitive, it’s actually best to withhold rewards until your pet stops doing whatever it was doing wrong. This way, your pet associates stopping the bad behavior with receiving a reward rather than just seeing the behavior end.


One common mistake owners make is to offer rewards after they’ve stopped the unwanted behavior. By giving rewards too soon, your pet might feel confused. Instead, wait until your dog completes the task successfully without help before rewarding him. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 10 percent of U.S. households own a household pet, and most of those pets are dogs.


3.    Petiquette 101


Although your dog loves having fun with you and your friends, sometimes it’s hard to tell where the line between playfulness and annoyance lies. Pets often confuse people by behaving aggressively toward strangers, only to become friendly when they see familiar faces. Even seemingly tame pets can cause problems when they act unpredictably.


To ensure that your pet maintains its composure, follow basic guidelines called petiquette. According to the AKC, petiquette includes knowing which areas are appropriate for your pet to interact with humans, following safety precautions, and understanding common signals your pet sends through body language and vocalization.


For example, never allow your pet to jump on anyone, including your kids. Also, keep your dog on a leash whenever he’s outside, and don’t allow him to run freely among your guests. Dogs that aren’t leashed are often blamed for biting people or running into them.


Lastly, always respond appropriately to your pet’s actions. Don’t become impatient if your dog growls at a guest, bark incessantly, or displays other aggressive tendencies. Rather, calmly ask your pet to calm down before trying to remove him from the situation. By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your next party or outing with confidence that your pet won’t annoy your visitors.


4.    Know When to Call in Reinforcements


As helpful as training sessions can be, your pup may be smarter than you are. He may notice that you’re getting frustrated and decide to avoid certain situations altogether. To prevent this problem, enlist the help of a professional trainer or obedience class.


Obedience classes are great options for both novice and experienced trainers. They provide opportunities for interaction between students and instructors. Students can practice various skills, and instructors can evaluate their progress. Many schools also offer one-on-one coaching sessions. Professional trainers typically charge per hour instead of per session. However, the cost varies greatly depending on the experience of the trainer and location.


Professional trainers also come prepared with tools like treats, toys, and clickers to reinforce correct actions. Clickers are small handheld devices that emit high-frequency noises. When used properly, clickers can increase your pet’s motivation level to perform tasks. Treats are also useful tools for reinforcing training. Keep in mind that although they can help motivate your pet, treats should never replace real-life consequences for misbehaviors.


When choosing a trainer, look for a person with lots of experience working with dogs, preferably someone who specializes in animal training. Look for a facility with clean bathrooms, comfortable seating, and ample space for your pet.


Training sessions can last anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours, so make sure you pick one close enough to drive to comfortably accommodate your schedule. Finally, don’t forget to brush up on your skills! Obedience training courses are usually taught by certified professionals, but you can still improve your knowledge by reading books and watching videos online.


So now you know how to train your dog, but what happens when your pet decides it wants to go back to its natural state? We’ll discuss that next. Dogs can also develop separation anxiety disorder, which causes severe distress when left alone. Anxious pups may whine, pace, chew themselves, dig holes, bark, scratch, and hide.


Treatment involves treating the underlying issues causing anxiety, such as fear, boredom, and loneliness. Depending on your pet’s age, temperament, and health, your vet may prescribe medication, therapy, or behavioral modification techniques like desensitizing exercises. Other options include massage therapy, acupuncture, herbal remedies, supplements, and chiropractic care.


5.    Reinforce Positive Behavior


Once your pet has mastered a skill, it’s time to start encouraging the good stuff. Praise your pet when it performs the desired behavior, and give him a special treat afterward. This teaches your pet that positive interactions lead to tasty rewards.

Positive reinforcement training is particularly effective with fearful or anxious pets. For example, if your dog is afraid of thunderstorms, you can desensitize him to loud noises by exposing him gradually to louder thunderstorms.


Start by taking him outside during a light rainstorm, then bring him inside the house. Each day, prolong exposure to thunderstorms and decrease the amount of lightning and rumbling. After a few days, your pet will no longer be frightened by storms. Your goal is to establish consistent patterns of positive reinforcement so your pet learns that performing the right actions leads to pleasant results. As long as you continue to reinforce your pet’s positive behavior, it should eventually become automatic.


Of course, if your dog continues to behave incorrectly despite your efforts, you may need to seek the services of a professional trainer. Now that you’ve learned how to train your dog, you can relax and enjoy having Fido around. Just remember to keep your pet’s manners under control at all times.


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