Thursday, March 17, 2016

My dog won't stop jumping on people! Help! (Part II)

This is a 3-part blog series. This is Part II of III.
If you missed Part I it is recommended that you go back and read it first.  You can find Part I here.
In Part I we discussed why dogs jump on people.  Now that we've discussed that we can move onto the beginning stages to get your dog to choose to do a more appropriate behavior when greeting people, rather than jumping.

I will first say that I do suggest you hire a dog training professional to help you with this, as I do with pretty much all behaviors, because they will be able to help you through the entire process. With that said, this is the internet and we all want the answers for free, quickly and right now! I understand this but I am going to stress this again -- a trainer will be able to help you and your dog and his/her specific jumping problems (or any others that s/he may have) better than reading a blog.  Ok now that is out of the way I'll give you some basic tips that you can implement yourself. For free. On the internet. Enjoy! (If you get confused please contact a trainer near you.)

1) Stop reinforcing the jumping ... and even more importantly, stop everyone else who comes in contact with your dog from reinforcing the jumping. This is the most difficult part of getting rid of jumping because you have to really be advocating for your dog's training and not allow others to reinforce the jumping. It will be the #1 reason your dog will continue to jump on others, even if/when he stops jumping on those in the home.

2) Set a plan and type it out. Share with all the world to see. Somewhat piggybacking off of the first one, but this is important. Consistency across the board. Come up with a plan of what you will be doing so that everyone in the family can see it and understand what their role is with the dog. Go over it. Discuss it. Show everyone how to do it.

3) Set the dog up to succeed. Example: If you know that your dog jumps on every guest that enters your home then don't allow your dog to be free and able to go to the door to do this when someone comes to your door until you are ready to move to this part of the training protocol. Put the dog away.  I don't care where. In a crate. In the backyard. In a bedroom. In the laundry room. Wherever the dog can be that prevents it from being able to go to the door and practice the dog's poor behaviors. This only occurs until the dog's training is advanced to the level of having friends come over to be part of this portion of the training.

4) Train the dog when guests aren't around. This somewhat goes along with #3 because it will set your dog up to be trained from a very low distraction stage to an increasingly higher distraction stage.  This is vital to training your dog in any area. You cannot expect your dog to start learning not to jump on guests during Thanksgiving holidays when you have 7 family members coming in and out of the home. It's all about slowly working your way up to the major distractions by succeeding in all the lower distractions first.

Now that your first goals are set you can get some tips on what to do that involves the dog and teaching him/her what you want him/her to do instead of jumping.
In Part III of this blog series we will layout a few different techniques you can use to get your dog to stop jumping on people.  So head on over there and read the tips in Part III.
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Stacy Greer of Stacy's Dog Training has trained dogs professionally in the Dallas/Ft Worth Texas metroplex for 16 years.

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