Dogs love to jump when they greet or play. This may have been cute when your dog was a puppy, but now that he is all grown up it is not so cute anymore. It is probably annoying and sometimes even embarrassing when you have guests over. So what can you do about it? You may be tempted to physically restrain your dog, yell at him, or possibly even use physical punishment. But these negative reinforcement methods are not the easiest – or the best methods to teach your dog not to jump.
Why Negative Reinforcement Methods May Not Work
Negative reinforcement methods include leash corrections, the knee-in-chest method, yelling, and/or physical punishment. While these methods have been proven to work, they do not work with all dogs. Some dogs may even resent such harsh training methods and such resentment may lead to other behavior issues such as overly submissive behavior or aggression. Not to mention that you may lose the joy of your dog wanting to greet you at the door when you come home.
Prevention with the No Jump Dog Harness
Better training methods use negative punishment and positive reinforcement. But before we explain these methods, let’s talk about prevention. Training may take some time so prevention is something you can use to teach your dog not to jump in the meantime. The best prevention method is the no jump dog harness. Personally, I have found the no jump dog harness complicated to put on, but it worked great on my dog Maya while I was working with her. Put the no jump dog harness on when you are able to keep an eye on your dog and in situations where your dog is inclined to jump. You may not want to leave the no jump dog harness on when you are not home or not able to watch your dog as your dog may try to chew it off. Praise your dog and play with your dog while they are wearing the no jump dog harness so that they learn to associate the harness with good things.
Negative Punishment and How it is Different from Negative Reinforcement
Negative punishment sounds like a bad term. But actually, it involves no physical force what-so-ever. Negative punishment simply means that you are taking away something the dog enjoys. How does that fit in with how you teach your dog not to jump? Well, think about the reason why your dog wants to jump. He wants your attention, right? So if he jumps on you, take away your attention. Give him a sharp “no” or “eh-eh”, then turn around and ignore him. If he tries to come back around to face you, turn away. Keep doing this until he stops trying to jump.
Combination of Negative Punishment and Positive Reinforcement
Use the negative punishment method of taking away your attention in combination with the positive reinforcement method when you teach your dog not to jump. Positive reinforcement is rewarding your dog when he does well. So when he is calm, give him the attention he wants and praise him lavishly. This method may take some time but it is the most effective and does not lead to further behavior problems. Teach other members of your family to do the same. And if your dog tries to jump on a friend or stranger who says, “That’s okay, I don’t mind,” tell them the method and help them understand that you are trying to teach your dog good manners.
To teach your dog not to jump may be a long process, especially for a young and exuberant dog, but it is very rewarding. No more wet or muddy paw prints on your clothes, no nearly getting knocked over, and no embarrassing moments with your dog jumping on other people.