How excited are you to be in your new environment? Pretty excited, right? Now take your excitement and quadruple it—that’s just about how your dog probably is feeling right now! Sometimes, your dog’s excitement manifests itself in the form of high energy or inappropriate behaviors, such as jumping. Dogs instinctively want to reach the face, but some dogs lack impulse control, so their behavior can quickly get out of hand. Rebecca Deaver, owner and operator of Dog Pawsitive, gives some helpful hints to keep your dog from jumping on you and your guests:
• Identify your homecoming routine, and pinpoint what your “trigger gesture” is that starts your dog’s jumping. Is it your voice, or maybe your hand gestures? Your level of excitement when entering a room could be triggering your dog’s behavior.
• Desensitize your “entering the door” routine by walking in and out often, and in succession. This will teach your pup that seeing you enter the room is really no big deal, and there’s no reason to get over-excited.
• Avoid pushing your dog away when he jumps on you. This is essentially rewarding him, as making contact with you is his intention.
• Target your dog’s intention, not their actual movement. This will give your dog a clearer idea of what you’re trying to teach them. The inclination to jump is what you’re trying to modify. The intention to respect your body is what you want to reward.
Teaching your pet to display calm and respectful behavior toward you and your guests will lead to a more positive experience overall for everyone involved. Remember to be patient with your pup, and reward their good habits!
Rebecca Deaver is the owner and operator of Dog Pawsitive in Millbrook. She is a certified dog trainer, dog behavior consultant, trick dog instructor, and AKC evaluator. Rebecca is an Association of Professional Dog Trainers certified C.L.A.S.S. instructor, and also serves as the founder and President of the Stolen Hearts Bully Rescue.