Describes why dogs jump up at their owners and why it is not encouraged for some dog breeds. Explains measures to handle dogs jumping up and what not to do.
How to Deal with A Jumping Dog by Feldun Woelfen
It is not unusual to see dogs jumping up to greet their owners. However, it can become a problem for medium and large breed dogs. This article describes reasons why dogs jump up to humans and why this should not be encouraged. Next, steps to correct this behavior are recommended. Finally, it informs what not to do when your dog jumps up to you.
Reasons Why Do Dogs Jump Up to Humans
Generally, dogs jump on humans for the reasons below.
As puppies, they have been used to jumping on humans. And no one thinks it is ever going to become a problem. Instead, everyone remarks how cute the puppy's action is when they hold on to our knees. It is natural for us to reward the puppy with affection, hugs or kisses. Some humans are also lazy to bend down to pat him. They like it when he jumps up so that they can easily rub this head. The puppy sees humans are happy when he jumps. Due to positive reinforcement, he thinks it is appropriate to continue to do so.
We are taller than dogs. You have seen how dogs sniff each other's faces when they meet. The dogs are trying to do the same thing to humans. It is just their form of greeting.
Sheer excitement. The dogs have not seen you for some time and jump for joy.
Not common, but this could be a sign of dominance. Dogs live in packs where there are social hierarchy and ranks. Dogs like to physically show their dominance over a lower ranking dog. One way they do that, is to put their paws over another dog's shoulder. Or in this case, a human's shoulder.
Why Dog Jumping Behavior Needs to Be Managed
There is nothing wrong when a small breed jumps on you. In fact, some people love seeing the dog's excitement when seeing his owners. However, medium and large breed dogs should not be encouraged to jump up on humans for the reasons below.
Someone can get hurt. Dogs perceive humans are able to withstand it when they jump on them. They don't realize they are scratching or bruising a person with their paws. Sometimes, they can knock an adult person down. Dogs pack a lot of power when they jump. More so, if they run to greet you first before jumping onto you.
You don’t want your clothes to get dirty. You definitely don’t want your clothes to have your dog’s handicraft on your clothes. Especially, when you are going to going to somewhere fancy.
To prevent injuries to your dog. This is strictly recommended for breeds that are prone to hip dysplasia. During rapid bone growth stages, discourage young puppies from standing on their hind legs. This is because it puts too much stress on the joints.
To stop your dog's dominance. This only applies if you think your dog is not jumping on you from excitement. Jumping on you when you arrive home is a sign of a pack leader. Some trainers also believe humans should control when to display your affection to dogs. They do not believe in giving affection whenever your dog wants it.
Steps to Take to Stop Your Dog Jumping Up to You and Others
While you do not have to do all the steps below, you would need to do at least one of them.
Issue the sit command. Obviously, this only works if your dog has been trained to obey this command. Otherwise, it is time to seriously train your dog to sit and stay.
Ignore your dog when he jumps at you. You can do this by turning you back away from him. Do not look at your dog. Whatever you do, do not pay any attention to him. Some trainers believe folding your arms can help too. Dogs are intelligent animals and can certainly pickup your body language. Your dog will calm down and soon all four paws will be on the ground.
Reward your dog when all four legs are firmly on the ground and he is calm. Use words like "Good boy" or pat him only when all legs are on the ground.
Get down to the dog’s level. Once the dog does not need to look up to your face, he will not jump up to you. Of course, the dog will still try to lick you when you are squatting. However, this may or may not be a problem for you.
If you want to prevent your dog from jumping up to your friends, delay your dog's greeting. Fasten your dog's leash and get him to a calm state before allowing him to meet your friend.
This is not easy to do! Establish yourself as the pack leader. You need to establish yourself as the pack leader all the time. Most owners can get their dogs to eat on command. But try giving commands when your dog's energy level is high.
What Not to Do When Your Dog Jumps Up to You
Do not attempt to do the below as it would only make the jumping worse or injure the dog.
Do not become excited when greeting your fur kid. Your dog can pick up your energy levels. The calmer you are, the calmer your dog will be.
Do not shout at your dog when it jumps on you or others. Shouting makes him more excited and can lead to further jumping.
Do not push your dog away, step on his toes or kick him. You will just end up hurting your dog.
Further Reading on Dog Jumping Up to You
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