How to Teach Your Dog Not to Jump on Guests
You just gotta love dogs. You really do. You know that they really cannot hide what they feel about you. Your pet might put on a good show trying to hide his or her emotions with its face, but you only need to take one look at its tail and you would see what it truly feels. Dogs just can’t help it. They are a bundle of energy and oftentimes they do more than just wag their tail. They stand on their hind legs and want to give you a hug. This is very cute when you have a tiny Pomeranian, a Chihuahua or a Yorkshire Terrier.
However, if you have a Great Dane, St. Bernard or a Rottweiler, this can be a serious problem. By the way, if you are curious what your dog breed is or you want to know it’s ancestors, there is a tool to check it. Dog DNA test can accurately analyze your dog breed, possible health problems, and personality traits.
If you’re thinking you’re having a tough time getting your dog to sit back down, can you imagine the terror on your guests’ face if your big dog suddenly lunges at them looking for a hug? While a lot of people may be good sports, it can be a serious issue for both your dog and your guests. You just simply don’t know how dog-friendly your guests are. Some people are frightened to death of dogs. You really can’t assume people would give you a pass if your dog jumps at them.
To avoid any embarrassment in the future, learn how to teach your dog to not jump on guests by following these tips:
Give Your Dog Treats for Staying on All Fours
The next time you come home, and your dog barks and wags its tail but remains fully seated on the floor, don’t just pat its head. Don’t just tell your canine companion “Good boy” or “Good girl”. Instead, fish into your pockets and take out some dog treats and say “Good boy” or “Good girl” while it’s eating the treats.
Soon enough, it will develop a positive association between staying on all fours and the treats you give it. For this to work, you have to be consistent. Every time your dog stays on good behavior, reward it. Reward generously and reward frequently.
Spray a Small Amount of Water on Your Pet’s Face When They Jump on You
Unfortunately, not all dogs respond well to rewards. Some dogs just can’t help it and need to jump on you. In these situations, it might make more sense to apply a little reinforcement. You want to punish your dog for unwanted behavior. Instead of rolling up a newspaper or picking up something to hit your dog with, do something with a much lower impact but still sends the same message.
Believe it or not spraying a small amount of water using a water spray bottle at your pet’s face will let them know that they engaged in unwanted behavior. The key here, just like with positive reinforcement, is consistency. The moment they realize that they can safely predict they will get sprayed in the face if they jump on you is the moment they would start reducing that behavior.
Start Training at the Pup Stage
Pet owners who have a problem with dogs that jump on guests often try to fix the problem when it’s too late. For some reason, your dog has developed the bad habit of jumping on guests. It did not happen overnight. It probably took some time to develop, but now that it’s fully grown, it would take a lot more effort on your part to break your pet’s habit. Unfortunately, you only have yourself to blame for letting things get to such a late stage.
If you notice that your pet is jumping on you while it’s still a puppy or a juvenile dog, get on its case. Start training it while it’s young. Whether you give it treats or whether you spray a small amount of water on it, get the message across that you need it to behave a certain way. Start them out young and you would have fewer problems down the road.
Withhold Praise When Your Pet Gets Excited
If your pet engages in any unwanted behavior, and we’re not just talking about jumping on guests, try withholding praise. As you probably already know, your dog lives for you. In fact, it’s proven that many dogs would lay down their lives for their human companions. That’s how much they love you.
Accordingly, if you withhold praise or emotions from them, part of them would cry out. Part of them would know instantly there is something missing. They would know immediately that there’s something wrong.
You’d be surprised as to how powerful withholding praise is. If you normally rub your part on the head and gently massage its head while saying “Good boy” or “Good girl”, the moment you withhold praise, they would sit up and pay attention. Eventually, they would develop a negative association between them jumping on guests or on you and the fact that you are withholding praise and emotion.
Heap Praise and Caresses When Your Dog Remains Calm
The opposite is also true if your dog engages in behavior that you like, don’t hold back. Praise it and look at it straight in the eye while gently caressing its head and tell your pet “Good boy” or “Good Girl”. Again, you’re trying to create a positive association here.
Some pets are easier to train with negative associations. Thankfully, the majority of dogs can be trained with positive associations. Whatever works, do it.
Modify Your Pet’s Behavior with Your Vocal Tone
Make no mistake about it your dog is keenly aware of your emotional state. They know pretty much how you’re feeling based on the tone of your voice. If your pet engages in negative behavior, feel free to change the tone of your voice. Maybe you can lower your voice or you can raise your voice.
Whatever the case may be, be consistent. You’d be surprised as to how many otherwise experienced dog owners yell at their pets pretty much consistently. They use the same tone of voice whether they’re praising or disciplining their pet. It doesn’t come as a surprise that their pets are confused.
You have to be very mindful of your vocal tone when you’re trying to modify your pet’s behavior. Stick to a certain tonal range when telling your pet to behave or to cut it out. This way your pet would know instantly that you are upset.
Keep the tips above in mind if you’re trying to teach your dog to not jump on guests. Contrary to the old saying that you can’t teach old dogs new tricks, all it takes is a bit of consistency on your part. If you are persistent, your dog will eventually learn. Don’t give up. Focus on how much your dog loves you and how much you love your canine companion, and you should be okay.