There are two main reasons why dogs jump up; because they want your attention or they are excited. Sometimes it can be a combination of both, like when you get home from work they are excited to see you and want you to pat them.
Both of these reasons have similarities in the way they started and in the way we address them, but there are subtle differences too. So I'm going to cover them separately.
Jumping up for attention is usually a learned behaviour. By that I mean that we have inadvertently taught our dogs that if they want our attention they can jump up at us to get it. I say inadvertently because most people wouldn't set out to do this on purpose and don't even realise they are doing it.
Most often this starts when the dog is a puppy and only becomes a problem when they start to get bigger or more demanding. Here are some reasons why this starts in puppies:
Ok so now that we understand what caused the jumping up, how do we fix it? The good news is the fix is actually pretty simple. The hard part is remembering to do it and being consistent.
You have to IGNORE your dog when they jump up at you. Do NOT touch your dog, push your dog away, say "No" or "Uh-uh" and definitely don't laugh, pat them or make eye contact with your dog. You are REMOVING or NOT GIVING your attention to them when they demand it.
To help you to ignore your dog, you can do the following:
This one is a bit more tricky to manage as we are dealing with a dogs emotions and reactions and there is often little thinking involved from the dog.
Why do dogs get excited?
Another option is to disrupt the behaviour before it even starts. My favourite way of doing this is by using a clicker. In situations where you know your dog is going to be excited and will likely jump on you get the clicker and treats ready. As your dog runs towards you click, and throw the treat on the floor where the dog can see it. Your dog will be distracted by the click and treat and will stop to collect it. Click and treat another couple of times to get your dogs attention and focus then ask for a sit. Click and treat that too. With practice your dog will slow down, expecting the click and treat and will start going straight into a sit waiting for the reward!
As a dog owner, dog trainer and pet sitter I have learnt many different tips and tricks over the years and I thought this would be a great way to share them with you. Enjoy!