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Three steps to break your dog’s jumping habit

Has your dog been jumping up against you or other people? You’re not the only one! A lot of dog owners experience this as unwanted behaviour, but luckily there is something you can do about it. Here’s how to break your dog’s jumping habit.

Why does your dog like to jump up against you?

In order to break this habit, it helps to understand what is causing it. The jumping behaviour is just how your dog has learned to greet you. Adult dogs that display this behaviour probably were not corrected as a pup. When a pup jumps up against someone, it is perceived as cute. But by the time the pup has matured and gained a lot of weight and height, the same behaviour has lost its charm.

Breaking your dog’s jumping habit

Step 1: When your dog jumps up against you, stand upright. Keep your hands in front of your chest. Do not move and do not speak to your dog. Look the other way. This is a way of ignoring its negative behaviour. If standing upright is not an option because you have a large dog, turn away as soon as it jumps up against you and ignore it.

Step 2: It is important to reward positive behaviour. Wait until your dog is back on all fours, bend down and say in a sweet voice: ‘Good dog!’ Give it a rewarding pet.

Step 3: When it jumps back up again, say ‘No’ in a low-pitched voice and repeat the previous steps.

It will take some time, but repeating these steps will eventually break your dog’s unwanted greeting habit. The same applies to this behaviour as to things like barkingbitingbegging and food aggression: unwanted behaviour is ignored and positive behaviour is rewarded.

Tips for breaking jumping habit

Consistency and patience are key in breaking this behaviour. Breaking unwanted habits is going to take time. Understand that succeeding today does not mean you will have the same success tomorrow. Be consistent and keep rewarding positive behaviour. If you are having difficulties, consider hiring a trainer or puppy training.

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