Jumping on Owners and Guests
It’s annoying, it hurts, and it’s just plain bad manners…but it can be fixed! Almost all behaviors can be fixed through three main ways- reinforcement, punishment, or ignoring.
If you want to reinforce your dog, practice this drill. Put yourself on the other side of a door from the dog. Have some high value treats with you (behind your back, or else they try to jump to get it) or in your pocket. As soon as you step through the door, immediately ask your dog to sit and quickly feed if they are successful. Do this drill for many repetitions, day after day. If your dog isn’t crated at home, carry some treats with you so that when you get home and the dog is extra excited, you can practice it with that high level of arousal they have at that moment. If you’re skilled enough at hiding your treats, practice standing up from the couch, “sit,” treat. With enough practice (and good treats, nothing stingy!) this should become a habit for them.
If you want to go with the correction route, I have two suggestions. One, have a short 1-2 foot leash on them at all times (yes, in the house.) Every time they jump, give that leash a tug in the downward direction. The second option, you can do what is the normal reaction- raise your leg and give a little pop of the knee. Of course, nothing that will hurt them but just a nudge to say “hey, I don’t want to be jumped on!”
Finding Motivation to Train Behaviors
I would recommend more high-value treats! Also, get a few so that you can mix it up. Or, have them work for their meal. Personally, though, I’ve found for my dog, even if she eats her meals from a dish if I use the right treats (freeze-dried raw minows, no joke) she’s game to train. I’ll post the links to some below. Also, try to train behaviors they find reinforcing! So work towards what drives their breed- sniffing/foraging, mouth/bite work, high energy/agility, etc.
My Dog Never Listens to Me
Have you ever really liked a song on the radio, but then they start to overplay it? At first, you enjoy it and sing along…but then it gets annoying and you start to ignore it or change the station. It’s the same for dogs with our verbal cues (sit, down, heel etc.) When you repeat your cue over and over and over and…over…it just becomes white noise. It completely loses its meaning. Usually, these instances happen when there’s high arousal, so practice with that. Invite a friend over to help you and just have patience. It is SO important to be cautious of your body language and mannerisms during this because if you smile, laugh, or repeat the command all you’re ultimately doing is rewarding them for not doing what you asked. Now some similar advice applies here that you can either reinforce them, correct them, or ignore them. If you want more information on that, you can contact me. Ultimately, if you’re frustrated that your dog never listens to you, it’s because you’ve taught them they don’t have to, and often when they do, they get nothing in return for it- so go back to square one.
Like anything else, it’s important to find the root of the problem. Make sure you’re giving your dog proper outlets for their energy, and stay consistent in their training- it won’t happen overnight!
Happy Training ♥
Cut up into small bites and store in a Tupperware.
Many flavors to choose from.
Raw is so great for them!
Natural, and a good variety of flavors.