Saturday, 23 June 2012

Jumping Up to Say Hello

When dogs say hello to each other, they do so face to face (the nose-to-butt thing is another topic for another day). Face to face is the accepted etiquette between dogs, so they lovingly offer the same niceties to you. But when your otherwise well-behaved dog doesn't seem to understand that such a greeting isn't good manners in the human world, how do you correct the behavior? As with most every facet of dog behavior training, it isn't always so much about teaching them what not to do as teaching them what you want them to do instead.
In the case of jumping up to say hello when you or your visitors enter your home, don't knee your dog in the chest or devise other methods that induce pain in hopes that it will deter the behavior. It won't work. All this serves to do is to hurt the dog while failing to demonstrate the alternative behavior that you're seeking from him. He won't have a clue what you want him to do.
One technique to redirect this particular dog behavior is training the dog to sit when anyone is coming through the door and wait in the sit position to be greeted in the sit position. When introducing this technique, it may require several attempts on your part to walk through the door without the dog jumping up on you, instead teaching him to assume the sit position before you will enter. As the dog learns that he is expected to sit as you come in, praise him and greet him while he is sitting to reinforce that this is exactly what you want him to do. If he starts to jump up, ignore him, which is dogspeak for "I will not greet you or be greeted in that manner." Go back to the sit drill and praise him every time he does it properly. Your confident pack leadership and positive reinforcement is the most effective and dog-intuitive method of dog behavior training there is.
As a rule, people who aren't familiar with dog behavior training based on pack leadership will overcomplicate training. We think things through the human thought process, when in reality, the dog thought process is much more simple and straightforward. Sometimes, too, our natural enthusiasm can send a dog mixed signals. For example...
If your dog jumps up to greet you when you come home, and you reciprocate by being very animated and enthusiastic with him while he is jumping up on you, then your dog will be thoroughly confused when your little five-year-old niece comes over and the dog greets her in the same way, only to find himself "in trouble" for knocking her to the floor. It's much easier for the dog to simply learn that he is expected to sit when someone comes through the door rather than pick and choose who he can and cannot jump on. That's a lot to ask of a dog, really.
But if you protest and say, "But I love my dog and I enjoy that time we share!" That's great! Just make a small, but critical, adjustment: Don't do it at the front door the second you walk in.
Consulting with a dog behavior training professional to learn the fundamentals of pack leadership can cover a multitude of errors that most dog owners make out of love and devotion to their dog. Once you understand the basics, you can fine-tune your signals so that they are always crystal clear: You are the pack leader, and your dog is your underling. Believe it or not, your dog will find security in this role and will reward you with loyalty, obedience, trust, and outstanding dog behavior.
Bark Busters trainers, who have trained more than 500,000 dogs worldwide, are renowned authorities in correcting dog behavior and teaching dog behavior training and techniques using all-natural, dog-friendly methods. Bark Busters training is the only service of its kind that offers guaranteed lifetime support. With hundreds of offices in 40 states and 10 countries, Bark Busters is continuing its mission to enhance the human-canine relationship and reduce the possibility of maltreatment and abandonment. Bark Busters dog behavioral training services are known as the "Best of the Best" in their category. No other training company or dog trainer has received such a distinction. For more details, call 1-877-500-BARK or visit

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