Redirecting Unwanted Greetings
If your dog loves retrieving games with toys or balls, take one with you to the park. For the first ten lessons, make sure the dog does not have access to any of his retrieve toys at home. Lock them all away for awhile, and only take one out with you during his walk. As soon as you see that your dog is about to pay unwanted attention to a passerby, call him and throw his ball or toy. This is a good distraction method for dogs that like retrieving. Timing is vital, so attract your dog’s attention before he jumps on someone, not afterwards.
If your dog is difficult to control, tell him to sit when he brings the ball back, and at once connect his leash. Then briskly walk off, away from his target person. Show him the ball as you go, exciting him a little. After about 50 yards, unclip his leash and throw the ball again for him to retrieve. This also teaches the dog that having the leash clipped on him does not necessarily mean the end of his walk. He cannot predict your actions, therefore you stay in charge.
Water And Sound Deterrents
This method is best suited for dogs that have long-established jumping up problems, very big dogs that can hurt people by jumping up, and dogs that need to be retrained quickly because children or old people are involved. You will need a water pistol or a dog repellent sound alarm. To back up this method, it is important to deal with the root cause of the behavioral problem by following the Intelligent Leadership programs.
Have the device handy wherever the problem occurs. For example, if the dog jumps up when you return home, have the water pistol by the door. As you come in and see him about to jump up, command “No” and squirt water in his face. Repeat this as many times as it takes to stop the dog. Eventually he will come to associate jumping up with an unpleasant squirt of water, and this will discourage his bad habit. It’s important for all family members to take part if your dog is to learn.
Smell And Taste Deterrents
Bitter apple and other safe non-toxic dog repellent scents are also useful to dissuade dogs from jumping up on us. This you can find especially helpful with children or the elderly. Of course, children also need training not to confuse the dog and not to teach him to jump up in the first place. It’s often hard for a child to understand why some canine actions are undesirable, and patience is needed all around.
If the dog jumps up on the child when you are nearby, spray the air around the dog. The dog discovers that instead of the reward of being fondled or even pushed away, he has the unpleasant experience of reaching toward a target that stinks to high heaven. This interrupts his learned behavior pattern. Most dogs learn quickly that jumping up is no longer enjoyable, as long as the humans involved act consistently.
Collar, Leash, And Hook
Though dog owners accept the need to use a leash and collar in the outside world, they rarely think of using it in the house. But most dogs are highly conditioned to the use of a collar and leash, which has pleasant associations for them. Your dog will normally be happy to allow you to connect his leash and will follow you.
This powerful conditioning can be used to control dogs jumping up at visitors to the home. Ensure that the dog is wearing his collar beforehand. Hang the leash on an easily accessible hook on a wall or near the front door. When the visitor arrives, as the dog starts jumping around excitedly, clip his leash on, then choose one of the next steps, depending on your level of control.
- Tell the dog to sit well away from the door. If he jumps up at the visitor, snap the leash and command “No”. Now make him heel as you escort the visitor into your house. If the dog has calmed down, drop the leash on the floor, but leave it attached in case you need to exercise further control. After about fifteen minutes, if all is well, disconnect the leash. Make sure the visitor does not over-fuss the dog.
- If the dog is uncontrollable, attach the leash to a designated hook on the wall for about fifteen minutes. only release him if he calms down, and ask the visitor to ignore him initially.
Once a dog has been conditioned to training discs, these can also be used to discourage jumping up. The hook method is also a very good training routine for dogs that dominate the house and visitors’ arrivals.
Whatever method you choose, remember that your dog is the product of his upbringing, and of your understanding of his basic natural instincts. Obedience training, when carried out properly, is the solution for most behavioral problems. A dog that lies down or sits on command simply cannot jump up at the same time.
Different methods work for different dogs, so try experimenting. For example, use the leash and collar and combine it with the use of training disc if necessary. Asking another person to help is equally useful at times, giving the owner a high chance of succeeding in a controlled environment. Wherever possible, try to predict your dog’s likely actions and be prepared.
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