Some people believe that small dogs, such as pugs, should be allowed to jump on people. After all, they are cute, cuddly, and adorable, so who really cares if they put their little feet up on someone's leg? Well, the truth is that many people do not appreciate any dog jumping up on them.
Therefore, it is important to train a dog not to jump. However, to understand how to train a dog to stop jumping, you have to understand why they jump in the first place.
Why Dogs Jump On Humans
If you watch two dogs greet each other, you will notice that they touch noses and then sniff each other's butts. This is normal canine behaviour. If you think about it, you never see a dog jump on another dog when they meet. Their ritual of sniffing each other is relatable to our human custom of shaking hands. However, when your dog meets a strange human, they cannot reach their nose or butt, so they jump.
Now, a little dog has a much greater distance to go than, say, a Great Dane. The parts of the body that they want to greet are both a long way away. This is why small dogs will jump and jump and jump. They are trying to get as close as possible to their target area, and since they are so persistent, they don't give up easily.
How to Train Your Dog To Stop Jumping
Even though they are just trying to be friendly, you cannot let your dog jump on people. Therefore, the best way to stop your dog from jumping is with redirection and consistency. Follow the following steps each time your dog goes to jump.
- While training your dog to stay down, always make sure that he or she is on a leash. This includes when guests are over at your house. Since a dog is so low to the ground, the leash will make it much easier for you to pull your dog back as they jump.
- As you pull your dog back, say a very sharp and low "no" or "off". Make sure you don't get angry or annoyed as your dog will not react well to erratic and uncontrolled energy. Instead, stay calm and in control during the command.
- Put your dog into a sit position by either giving the sit command or if they haven't completely learned the sit command yet, by pushing their bum down and saying 'sit'.
- Praise your dog while in a sit position. This will let them know that they are now behaving in a way that you want them to behave around people. If the person is willing, let them greet your dog on their level so that he or she can feel like they were able to meet the human.
Remember, you have to be very consistent and do the above four steps every time your dog jumps. While grandma may not mind your dog jumping on her, your dog will not understand the different rules between grandma and the grumpy stranger on the street. It's best to make one consistent rule: no dog jumping on any person is allowed.
Additional Considerations For Dog Jumping
First, not every dog is going to respond to the leash pulling and the command 'no'. They may ignore the tugs, no matter how hard you try to pull. If this happens, then you can squeeze their paws a little to get them down off someone. This is not supposed to be a hard squeeze meant to hurt them. Instead, this is a squeeze meant to make them uncomfortable and pull their feet off the person.
Second, as a reward for sitting, alternate between treats, pets from you, and getting to meet the person. If you always give them treats when they sit and stay, then they may end up getting back up and jumping if no treat is in sight.
In addition, if you always let the person greet them after they sit, then they may start expecting to meet the person after they have sat for a certain period. Unfortunately, someone with allergies or scared of dogs is not going to want to meet your dog at all, no matter how cute he or she is!
In the end, a dog jumping on strangers may seem cute to some people; however, there are many other people who do not want paws on them of any kind. This is why it is important to train your dog on proper human etiquette around all humans.
The biggest reason that the steps covered in this article won't work is inconsistency. If you do not practice the off command with every person who they meet, then they may not grasp the concept of not jumping.