Do you have an excitable canine companion on your hands who just loves to jump up and say hello to everyone? If so, figuring out how to stop a dog from jumping up is likely high on your priority list!
Keeping all four of your dog's paws on the ground probably feels pretty challenging right now, but the good news is putting a stop to this behavior once and for all is easier than you might think.
In a video shared to Instagram, which you can view below, expert trainer and behaviorist Julianna DeWillems uses a real life training example to show how you can prevent jumping up in real time.
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In the clip, DeWillems can be seen working with an exuberant adolescent Golden Retriever who she knew would very likely try to jump on her the minute she walked through the door.
So, how did she choose to handle it?
"When I knocked, I had a fistful of high-value, tiny training treats in my hand already because, as predicted, the moment the door opens he is super excited that I'm there.
"I put the handful of treats right to his nose so he knows what I have and then I immediately toss the treats into a scatter on the ground," DeWillems explains.
You'll notice in the video that there's a lot of treats in the scatter and this is because DeWillems wants the dog to have his nose to the ground for a good amount of time while she gets another handful of treats ready.
She tosses more treats for him to find and 20 seconds into the greeting, the dogs paws have not left the ground yet. "This is impressive for a dog of his age and excitement," she says.
The dog does jump once during the 40 second interaction, but DeWillems explains that this is because she was late delivering her treats.
"The frequency of the desirable behaviors heavily outweighed the frequency of the one undesirable behavior, which means they’re the behaviors that were most reinforced," she says.
"Behaviors that get reinforced get repeated, so with this approach we can expect to see these behaviors more often in the future. With continued thoughtful timing, we could also expect to see less jumping as the desirable behaviors replace the jumping."
DeWillems says it's also important to note that you won't need to deliver this amount of dog treats forever.
"As these behaviors strengthen and become a habit, we would not need to continue to support with the same frequency or size of treat scatter. We could back off with intervention over time as the desirable behaviors get stronger with practice."
Putting a stop to your dog jumping up takes time, patience, and consistency. If you feel your pup would benefit from some extra support, we recommend reaching out to a professional trainer.
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Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.