There is nothing more difficult than having welcomed guests over only to have your Labrador greet them with a raucous hello. Or worse still, imagine coming home from grocery shopping to nearly be trampled by your exuberant retriever. While jumping is a natural behavior in many dogs, and in some instances can be an indication of affection, it's a behavior a well-trained dog should not be exhibiting. To train your dog to stop jumping, and in turn make your home a more inviting place, follow these simple guidelines:
1. ) Identify why your dog is jumping. Is it used as a form of aggression toward guests or a friendly greeting for family members? Figure out where your dog-jumping behavior is at its worse and plan your training around this situation.
2. ) When you or your guest enter the house, if your dog attempts to jump up in its usual manner, calmly turn to the side and ignore the dog. This prevents the dog from being able to gain a firm grip and also removes the positive reinforcement the dog receives from exhibiting this behavior (your attention and the dog's own feeling of dominance). This step may be awkward or difficult the first few times around but the key here is to situate yourself in a way that makes the dog's jumping pointless.
3. ) When your dog has refrained from jumping and calmed down a bit, turn back to your dog and warmly praise it. Also reward it with a small food reward. This scenario needs to be repeated several times in order to stick. Once the behavior is extinguished, and the dog no longer jumps up when you enter your home, continue to praise your dog for its new behavior pattern.
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