Stopping a dog from jumping up requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. Here's a step-by-step approach to curb this behavior:
Anticipate situations where your dog is likely to jump up, such as when you arrive home, and be prepared to manage the situation. Keep a leash on your dog when you expect guests. This way, you can prevent the jump from happening by stepping on the leash or controlling the dog.
Teach an Incompatible Behavior:
"Sit" is a popular choice because a sitting dog isn't jumping. Every time your dog is likely to jump, ask for a "sit" and reward when they comply. Use treats, praise, or toys as rewards. Make sure the reward is something the dog genuinely values.
Ignore the Jumping:
Dogs often jump up to get attention. If you give them any attention (even negative attention like pushing them down or saying "no"), you're reinforcing the behavior. Turn your back and avoid eye contact. Do not speak or touch the dog. Wait for them to have all four paws on the ground or sit, then reward that behavior.
Use Positive Interruptions:
When your dog starts to jump, use a word or sound that you've conditioned as a positive interrupter (like "eh-eh", "oops", or a clicker) and then redirect to the desired behavior (e.g., "sit").
Teach "Off" Command:
If your dog is already in the act of jumping, use an "off" command. It's important to be consistent with the command you choose. Reward the dog when they move off and have all four paws on the ground.
Manage the Environment:
Use barriers like baby gates or playpens to prevent unwanted jumping during high-excitement times, such as when guests arrive. Gradually reintroduce the dog to these situations while training.
Practice with Helpers:
Enlist friends or family to help you practice. Have them approach your dog, and if the dog starts to jump, the person should turn their back. Only reward or allow greeting when the dog has all four paws on the ground or sits.
Your energy affects your dog. If you get excited or anxious, it can hype up your dog. Staying calm and collected will help your dog stay calm as well.
Consistency is Key:
Pheromones, specifically UnRuffled Pets® products, have been used to help reduce stress and anxiety in dogs. They can be an effective adjunct to behavior modification plans.
Here's how you can incorporate the use of pheromones into the aforementioned recommendations to stop a dog from jumping up:
UnRuffled Pets® Pheromone Products:
The pheromone products come in various forms: diffusers, sprays, collars, and wipes. Depending on the specific situation and the dog's individual needs, you can choose the most suitable form.
If your dog tends to jump up on guests or when you arrive home, plug in an UnRuffled Pets® diffuser near the entrance or the area where greetings typically occur a few hours before the anticipated arrival time. This can help create a calming environment.
Spray on Bedding or Toys:
If you're using the spray form, apply it to your dog's bedding or favorite resting area. This can make it a more appealing spot for them, encouraging them to go there instead of jumping up.
The UnRuffled Pets® collar can be worn by your dog continuously, providing a constant source of calming pheromones, which might reduce overall excitement levels and impulsive behaviors like jumping.
In Combination with Training:
Before training sessions, you can apply the UnRuffled Pets® spray to a bandana and tie it around the dog's neck or spray it in the training area to create a more relaxed atmosphere, potentially making the dog more receptive to training.
If using barriers like baby gates to manage the environment, consider wiping down the barriers with UnRuffled Pets® wipes to create a calming boundary.
Introducing to Guests:
If your dog jumps up on new people, you can provide your guests with UnRuffled Pets® wipes* to apply to their hands. This may help in making introductions smoother and encourage your dog to approach in a calmer manner.
*Note you can make your own wipes by spraying paper towels.
Reinforce Positive Behavior:
Along with treats and praise, you can occasionally use the UnRuffled Pets® spray or wipe as a positive reinforcement tool, associating the calming sensation of the pheromone with the desired behavior.
Regularly replenish pheromone sources, such as replacing the diffuser refill or ensuring the collar is still effective. The consistent presence of the pheromone can aid in keeping the dog's behavior more balanced.
Consult a Veterinarian or Behaviorist:
If considering pheromones for behavioral modification, it's beneficial to consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist. They can provide guidance on the best way to use these products in conjunction with a training plan.
Remember that while pheromones can be a valuable tool, they're often most effective when used as part of a comprehensive approach, combining training, environmental management, and other behavioral strategies.
Everyone in the household and visitors should follow the same rules and approach to prevent confusion for the dog.