Puppies are both adorable and mischievous, melting hearts and garnering admiration from millions of people all over the world. There is something about puppies that makes us turn a blind eye to their naughty behavior and allow them to get away with a myriad of things such as jumping up to greet us. Jumping may be a cute gesture when your dog is still a puppy, but imagine being ambushed by an adult Great Dane and getting knocked over by him. If your puppy carries this terrible habit with him to adulthood, then be prepared to have a chronic problem on your hands. Nipping this behavior in the bud is the best thing you can do for your pup, and in order to do it effectively, you will need to pair consistency with training.
Play the Greeting Game
Puppies love greeting us at the door when we come home, and this greeting is often accompanied by excitement and jumping. Sometimes, our young and restless pooch jumps on us when he feels anxious and we, in turn, feel obliged to pick him up in order to soothe him. This endless cycle of jumping and soothing will not benefit your puppy in the long run. Luckily, puppies are fast learners and are easy to train, so you can break the cycle by using a combination of training and doggie treats when needed.
When you come home from work and your puppy jumps on you, simply turn around and exit the house. Wait outside for a minute or two before re-entering and greet your puppy as calmly as possible. Greetings should not turn into a great spectacle and your pooch needs to know this. The second your puppy jumps up again, ignore him and leave the house. You may have to enter and exit your house repeatedly until your puppy finally stops jumping. Reward him by staying in the house or petting him, and do not hesitate to give him some treats as an added bonus. If your puppy is getting pampered and doted on by other members of your family, then you all need to be on the same page when it comes to the no-jumping rule.
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Ask a Friend to Give You a Training Hand
Puppies have an excellent sense of smell and they use it to explore the world around them. Their curiosity often drives them to jump on strangers and sniff their faces. However, the last thing you need is for your puppy to grow into an adult dog whose favorite pastime is to jump on people and invade their personal space. To prevent this from happening, ask a friend to give you a hand while training your pooch but make sure this friend is someone your puppy likes to greet.
Order your puppy to sit and have your friend walk over to greet you both. This person needs to turn around and walk away the second your puppy breaks the rules. Calmly order your pooch to sit once more and ask your friend to greet you both a second time. Repetition is key here, so practice the same thing over and over again until your puppy resists the temptation of greeting your friend. Finally, have this person give your pooch a tasty treat as a reward.
You can easily prevent your puppy from jumping by engaging them in another activity that will surely distract him from this undesirable habit. Sprinkling a handful of treats on the floor when your guests arrive will surely grab his attention and keep him busy for quite some time. The high dose of excitement that comes from seeing your friends will be channeled into sniffing out and eating those scrumptious treats.
Another great way to stop your puppy from jumping is by sending him chasing after one of his balls down the hallway. Fetching the ball is a great alternative to jumping and a way to get him moving as well. The magic of rewarding your puppy for staying on all fours with praise or dog treats will make your smart pooch connect the dots and discover that not jumping equals petting and delicious snacks.
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Kneel Down to Greet Your Puppy
If your puppy wants to greet you properly, then why not lower yourself to his level? This will give him easy access to your face while remaining on the ground. All you have to do is kneel down and then lean forward at the waist or you can simply sit down on a bean bag and offer your hand to your pooch. Doing so will direct his attention to your hand and allow you to pet him while he remains on all fours.
Try the Arm-Cross Sit
If your puppy gets too carried away when he sees you and verbal cues just stop working altogether, you can use body language to stop him from jumping. Non-verbal cues such as crossing your arms will send a message to your puppy telling him to calm down and sit immediately. The first thing you need to do is teach your puppy how to sit before taking him on a short stroll around the house. Every now and then, stop in your tracks and cross your arms then wait for him to sit down. If they do, reward them with a dog treat and use a marker word such as “yes” to seal the deal.
Practice this step around the house several times and make sure to focus on the area next to your front door. Next, attach a leash to your puppy and then secure it to any sturdy piece of furniture next to the door. Have a friend come over and then invite him in before walking over to your puppy. Cross your arms and encourage your friend to do the same. The second your puppy sits down, mark his good behavior and reward him with a treat.
What Not to Do
Never reward your pooch for jumping and ask everyone in your family not to give in to his puppy-dog eyes. This will throw a monkey wrench in the works and force you to start his training from scratch. Punishment is also not recommended because jumping is a submissive gesture that will only get worse if you scold or punish your puppy. At the end of the day, you need to teach your pooch how to behave while building a foundation of love and trust between the two of you.