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Mon-Fri 8 to 5:30
Sat. by appointment only

31310 Woodhaven Trail
Cannon Falls, MN 55009

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651-258-4050 office
651-258-4051 fax
651-222-0885 Twin Cities


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Jumping Up On People And Furniture

Puppies and adult dogs jump up on people because they want to greet the person at face level in order to get their undivided attention. It is a common puppy problem that can be potentially harmful and should be immediately stopped. This behavior soon becomes a bad habit, especially for owners of young untrained energetic dogs. Every puppy should learn the “Off” command because it is an effective way to stop their behavior of jumping on people, furniture, beds, counter tops, doors, etc.

Reasons for this behavior from the canine perspective:

  • Canine Greeting- Dogs want to greet at face level. As puppies; they jump up and lick their mothers face to get attention. When they are excited to greet their family members, they assume they can do the same thing. It is accepted when they are little puppies and no longer cute as adult dogs.
  • Pack Position- As puppies; they test the hierarchal pack order by jumping up on the shoulders of littermates and other pack members. When they are placed in a family, they exhibit the same behaviors until they are taught which behaviors are accepted and which ones are not.
  • Tone of voice- When dogs are excited, they use a high pitched tone. Often when people are irritated, they also use a high pitched tone. If a high pitched tone is used, dogs respond excitedly and jump up to get closer to their family members.
  • Affection- New owners encourage the cute little puppies to jump on them and respond with gestures of affection. Positive reinforcement of this behavior develops a bad habit.
  • Playtime- Puppies roughhouse with their littermates by jumping on and over each other. Family members allow the cute puppies to jump on them during playtime and reward them with treats or toys. They also play “tug of war” which teaches the puppies to bite at them. Many cute behaviors that puppies exhibit are no longer cute when the dog is an adult. Especially if it is a large breed.

This annoying behavior is difficult to stop because:

  • The family does not know an effective humane way to interrupt the behavior
  • The family is inconsistent in responding to the behavior
  • The dog is not taught how to interact in social situations
  • The dog is overly rambunctious and lacks sufficient exercise
  • The owner and dog need basic obedience training classes

Teaching your dog to calmly greet people:

  • Never pet a dog that jumps up on you. It reinforces the negative behavior
  • If you are expecting guests, put your puppy or dog on a leash
  • As they begin to jump up on your guest, pull the leash down and sideways as you firmly command “Off”. Quickly walk towards them and firmly command “Sit” as you help to position them. Once sitting, immediately offer a food treat and praise them in a happy voice.
  • As they begin to jump, the guest should lightly bump them backwards (on the chest) as they command “Off”. The correction should never be painful.
  • Consistency is the key. They must be reprimanded every time they jump up and taught to “Sit” followed with praise. They learn the exact behavior that you expect!
  • The next step is, as soon as the dog’s front feet start to leave the ground to jump, give a firm command to “Sit”. If they “Sit” immediately praise them and give them a treat.
  • Then progress to firmly commanding your dog to “Sit” when a person enters the house or approaches them.
  • As they approach a person, calmly praise them if they keep their paws on the ground.
  • Consistency is the key between all family members!
  • Every time they exhibit a calm appropriate behavior----Praise them!

Teaching your dog to stay off the furniture:

  • Once the rules are established regarding what your dog is allowed to do, all family members must consistently follow the rules.
  • Desirable behavior should be encouraged and reinforced.
  • As the puppy approaches the couch, command them to “Sit” and reward them with a treat or toy before they try to jump up on the couch.
  • Encourage and reward your dog for sleeping on their own bed.
  • When you cannot supervise your dog, confine or crate them.

The key to obedience training and behavior modification is consistency and repetition!!!!



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