Does Your Dog Jump On You? – Dallas Dog Trainer Blog
You ever see a dog greet its owner at the front door by excitedly jumping all over them? Or even a stranger, maybe strolling into the pet store and the dog says hello by jumping? With smaller dogs, they often get away with this behavior due to their size; bigger dogs are commonly scolded, as their size and weight could potentially make the jumping greeting dangerous.
Jumping, while may not be aggressive in nature for most dogs, is still a problematic behavior, no matter the size of your dog. It’s hard for some people to correct jumping because most jumping behavior is linked to excitability, and who doesn’t love their dog being thrilled when they come home from a long day at work or school? While your dog may jump on your because they’re happy to see you, allowing jumping is the owner slowly giving away their leadership piece-by-piece, and overall reinforcing bad manners.
While working with a dog trainer in Nashville, I had one client whose dog Bart was a major jumper. A bigger dog, his jumping occasionally left some scratches and bruises on his owner’s skin. It was very difficult to calm him when he reached this excitement level, and it was dragged out even once Bart’s owner settled into the home. At our initial consultation, Bart’s owner said that the jumping didn’t seem like a big deal at first, but now, “it’s like he knows he can get away with it, and therefore control me, rather than the other way around!”
Bart’s jumping led to him becoming more dominant over his owner, and his owner feeling less like a leader for his dog. Not all dogs will start dominating or become aggressive from jumping, but it can happen. Allowing one bad behavior leaves other bad options as possibilities for the dog. Another client of mine had a smaller dog that was a jumper. This dog, Polly, didn’t inflict any physical harm to the dog, but after awhile, Polly began acting out more — barking for attention, nipping at feet, and being demanding in general. These issues only popped up after Polly learned that jumping was an accepted behavior.
For those not wanting their dog to completely stop jumping, I always advise creating a command that okays jumping. Jumping should not be out of control, it can be something that is rewarding for both you and your dog, but something that is allowed by you. For both Bart and Polly’s cases, the owners learned to gently pat their chests and say “Up”, letting them know that this type of jumping was fine, unlike the hyperactive and dominant jumping the dogs would demonstrate when overly excited. They both understand that this is not appropriate behavior, and the controlled jumping still allows for an affectionate exchange between them and their owners.
Whether your dog is toy or giant breed, if they jump, we can help control it so that it is not a problem or leads to further issues. Call us at 800-649-7297 and we’ll talk about your dog’s jumping and how to resolve it with our in-home training programs!