What if we told you that you could reclaim your relationship with your dog through four simple steps? After working with hundreds of dogs and families, we understand that simplicity is the key in accomplishing the bond with your dog that you’ve always dreamed. While dogs and humans are both complex creatures, our needs are not all that different. Stability, safety, and companionship are just a few of the basic needs we share with our canine friends. The very first step to meeting these basic needs will help you understand how to stop your dog’s jumping and understand what he is asking for instead.
“Dog, stop jumping!” “Get OFF!” “DOWN!”
If these yelps sound familiar, you’re likely dealing with a dog who hasn’t developed appropriate house manners. You face these situations every time you come home from work, have guests over, or let your dog out of their crate. Jumping dogs are annoying, painful, and embarrassing. So you ask “how do I stop my dog from jumping?”
Why Dogs Jump
Dogs jump to get at something they want. Add excitement to that, and you have an energetic frenzy. The good news is that once you know what they want, you can teach them how to get it without unwanted behavior.
Take it from us- your dog just wants your attention.They’re so excited to greet you when you get home because they’ve missed you and want your affection. They greet your guests with exuberance because, guess what- MORE ATTENTION!
The good news is, when you teach your dog how to get the love he wants, he can stop jumping and get to the good stuff quicker by using his new skills.
How To Use Doorway Manners to Curb Jumping
Have you ever been in a situation where you had to go first but didn’t want to? Was this situation anxiety-inducing? Or perhaps you’ve been in a situation where you wanted badly to go first but couldn’t. Was it frustrating?
Dogs experience all of these same emotions! Being in charge and making decisions is stressful. Once you teach your dog the expectations and behaviors that will get him the attention he wants, these triggering situations will become much less stressful.
When you show your dog what he is supposed to do by calmly asking him to sit before entering a new space, you are showing him that you are in control, there is nothing to be excited and/or anxious about, and he will get attention quickly by being calm and sitting WITHOUT jumping.
Asking your dog to sit before entering any new space or crossing a threshold is a great foundation to obedience and eliminating the annoying behaviors you are tired of dealing with.
Why are door manners important for dogs?
When your dog sees you as the gatekeeper, he does not view the door as his possession to enter and exit as he pleases or something of which he is in charge. As a result, the door becomes a less stressful place for humans and dogs. Simply pausing, backing the dog up from the door, and allowing him to look at you for permission before exiting allows the dog to understand that he does not own the door, the things that come through it, or have the freedom to decide when he goes in and out.
Humans owning the door reduces the stress and excitement around people coming and going. Door ownership paired with giving attention to your dog only when he is calm is the ticket to keeping your arms and legs scratch free and enjoying your dog.
Using Crate Training to Reduce Jumping
Crates are a useful tool to help dogs of all ages understand that they must be calm before entering a new space. While crate training is a staple in any puppy training program, it can be used for any excited dog to help control movements in and out of spaces.
Wait until your dog is sitting quietly in the crate before letting him out. When you move to open the door, if your dog gets up, close the door and look away from your dog, wait for him to sit again and then try again. Repeat this until your dog realizes that sitting quietly is his ticket to exit. Getting control of the situation before he even has the opportunity to jump, will head it off at the pass.
The doorway and crate will always set off a chain reaction of what kind of experience you are going to have with your dog when you or guests come in and out of your home. If the situation starts out chaotic and out of control, you and your dog will be stressed and wondering “who is actually in charge here and how do I get the attention I want?” If it starts out calm, cool, and collected, you will have an easy and enjoyable time, with no jumping!
Curbing excited behaviors around the door and crate is the first fundamental step of gaining leadership over your dog. Mastering the door is only a piece of the puzzle, so keep be sure to read the next three steps! Keep in mind that all new things take practice and patience, and if you ever get stuck, we offer a wide variety of dog training classes in Louisville to support you in your journey.