Sunday, December 11, 2011

Got a dog-related question that needs answered?

Dear Piper,
My 6 month old Boxer mix puppy, Ely, constantly jumps on people. We tell him “NO!” and push him off, but he doesn’t seem to be learning to stay off. What can we do to make him greet people appropriately?
Tired of jumping dogs in Indiana

Dear Tired,
Jumping dogs is a constant problem for puppy owners. Although we don‟t realize it, but we are actually rewarding jumping dogs when we push them off. Dogs jump because they are excited and want attention. By pushing them off, we are doing exactly what we want them to do. Touching them! We need to train them that they get more attention when they keep “four on the floor”. Begin training by having a person hold Ely‟s leash (ignoring him) or if no person is available, tie Ely‟s leash to a door. Walk up to Ely and if he keeps “four on the floor” reward him immediately with a treat. If he doesn‟t, immediately turn and walk away. Repeat using different people. You will see Ely learning the rules of the game very quickly. When people are coming to your house, hand out treats before they enter and have Ely on a leash. If he keeps “four on the floor” let the people reward him. If not, have them turn and walk away immediately. Over time, Ely will learn not to jump.

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