We have all had this happen to us from time to time. The Jumping up and down “game” is not one to be encouraged and is often overlooked as a form of dominance that our beloved pooch is expressing.
I find it particularly annoying as do other people. It’s a behavior we simply do not want to encourage and here’s why.
Indeed if you have ever come home to have your dog behave like this, it can often be acknowledged by us humans as the “dog is pleased to see me”.
This is only partly true.
If you have ever had a dog jump up at you with muddy paws or knock groceries out of your hands, it can be a very frustrating experience and extremely scary if you are a child.
I recall one of my Greyhounds, Oggy once jumping up to get to eye level with a friend’s daughter and accidentally knocking off her glasses and when she cried, he seemed to think that he had done a good thing.
He hadn’t and I was embarrassed and poor old Gina was momentarily scared of him, but thankfully that passed.
The point is that the dog is jumping up for a different reason. It’s again to do with dominance.
And once again, it goes back to the pack mentality of when the dog was a pup and jumping up and clambering over their siblings is all about forcibly showing who is boss, or as we now know, Alpha.
Well, we know WE have to be alpha so how are we going to stop our dog from jumping up?
From what we have already learned through previous articles on here, the body language of dogs is of paramount importance. Jumping up IS body language. Our dog is using their physicality to transmit a message to us, or other dogs that THEY are running the show.
This is why when two dogs meet for the first time, sometimes the jumping turns into a full-blown fight. They are trying to establish who is “TOP DOG” by jumping on each other.
As we already know by now, we HAVE TO BE ALPHA otherwise all of our time with our dog is going to be pretty negative, frustrating and ultimately, scary.
Remembering that bad behavior that goes unchecked only gets worse and if our dog is allowed to behave however they think fit, the omens are not good. Not good at all.
So, thankfully, we can sort this out with our trusted system of ignoring and instilling a new directive of behavior toward our dog.
We as Alpha now have to form some sort of psychological advantage over the dog.
Wolf pups from an early age indulge in a world of play and rough play at that. Tumbling, wrestling, mouthing, etc, each other to get that pecking order established. They are used to physical resistance too from the other dog puppies will “play” the same way and they accept this as the norm.
Therefore we can not physically interact in the jumping and by merely forcibly saying “No” or “Get Down”, at this stage is pretty much pointless.
We have to change the way the dog thinks and getting them to stop doing the jumping because it gets no result is what we have to establish.
What to do?
Ok. So our dog is a jumper and a good jumper at that. They don’t give in either so her is what you do.
We as ALPHA have to show our dog that WE are in control and we do this by OUR body language.
Humans use body language all the time and we do it subconsciously around 55% of the time. Sometimes a lot more, especially in a violent situation.
If you have ever seen two boxers sizing each other up before a fight, then you get the idea.
But hold on, Wait…I am not saying fight with your dog!
What I am saying is, you need to be ALPHA and you need to use your body language to curtail your dogs behavior.
In this case like the others we have discussed in previous articles like How to Stop an Aggressive Dog, it’s about ignoring the behavior.
We have to send the message that jumping up is having no effect.
My Dog Is Jumping Up All the Time…what Do I Do?
Firstly, when this happens….back away from the dog. Say nothing and avoid eye contact.
The message you are saying is “I am not interested in this” You must NOT engage in the behavior in any way. Completely ignore your dog, I know this is hard, but you must do this.
Of course, your dog will continue to jump, so you just keep repeating YOUR behavior.
Continue with what you are doing and continue to IGNORE your dog.
They may well then resort to barking at you. This is common too. You see, the first behavior, the jumping hasn’t worked. They CAN’T get your attention and that is what they want, so they move on to the barking.
Again, ignore it.
Now I know, it’s easier said than done and sometimes the jumping can be extremely physical and the “in your face” actions of some dogs can be extreme, but you simply have to act like they are not there.
This really messes with a dog’s brain and often, the dog can be so confused by this that they then either move away from you or even go into a different room to regroup and think about what has happened.
They will then usually come back and start again and if this happens, then you continue with exactly the same response as before.
It’s very important to remember that our beloved dogs only have a few tools in their arsenal. Jumping is one, Barking is another and lastly, biting, which we have already looked at in How to Stop Your Dog from Biting.
These are generally the attention-seeking traits of dominance, so when one behavior doesn’t work, the dog will move onto the next.
Biting is different and it would be very unlikely to happen in this scenario of ignoring jumping and barking. Dogs generally bite when they feel threatened and although this ignoring is confusing for our dog, they are still in a positive mindset, so as I say, biting is very unlikely.
You may have to go through the ignoring routine several times before your dog gets the message, but with consistency and self-belief in what you are doing, then in time, they will get that message.
It’s important when your dog has finally got the message that being calm is good, you can then call them and interact with them in your terms and treat them accordingly.
This again says to our dog’s brain that the “Alpha gives me attention when I am calm”.
As I have already said, this with all of the other training tips takes three things:
1. Consistency……………you have to be consistent. Do it EVERY day and EVERY time it happens.
2. Repetition………………Do not deviate from what you are doing. Do it the same way each time.
3. Time……….You have to give it time..it may take a week or 2 months..but you must stick with the program.
If anything, you are actually helping your dog by re-training their brains.
Dogs jumping up at their owners or other people are expressing anxiety and redirecting them to like this, calms them and makes them less worried about the world they are living in and that has to be a good thing for our beloved pooches.