One of the most frequent questions I am asked is how to stop a dog from jumping up. The thing to consider is that dogs are social animals and read our faces in order to gauge our emotions, in other words, it is normal for a dog to jump in order to see your face. So in order to prevent this behaviour from becoming hugely rewarding, your dog will need to be paid far more for keeping his paws on the floor.
Prevention is better than cure
So if you have a puppy make sure that everyone who greets your puppy comes down to their level, bend their knees and get right down, showing them the palms of their hands so that the pup can have a good sniff and see their face easily without resorting to jumping. Placing small pieces of food on the floor will also reinforce keeping their paws on the floor and help them learn there is no need to jump up to greet people.
If your pup or dog has begun to jump already,
Don’t panic it is one of the easiest things to fix. Once your dog knows some basic behaviours such as Sit, Down and what the clicker means you can easily teach your dog that keeping his paws on the floor will pay far more than jumping.
In the video below you will see a 30-second training session with Seve the 7-month-old Viszla puppy, I click before he lifts his paws come off the floor and every so often extend the time in between when I mark with a click. At the end of the video, I scatter a number of small pieces of liver cake on the floor to indicate that the training is over. After this, I always put the pouch and clicker away and say ‘All Finished’. Everyone has a spare 30 seconds a day to help train their dogs. Keeping training sessions short helps your dog be really successful, you can extend the time as their understanding of what is rewarded grows. Then build up the duration and distractions slowly, to proof the behaviour you will follow up by practising with lots of different people, in lots of different locations too.