Suppose, you are walking with your dog in a nearby park on a bright morning. Suddenly, you meet your high-school friend. You proceed to greet him, but your adorable pal aggressively jumps on that man. How embarrassing such a situation could be ?
Or think of a moment you are sitting in your home and a guest comes over. You open the door to welcome him. But your dog welcomes him with a terrible jump. Will that be a good manner to deal with a new guest? The unanimous answer is simply, no.
This problem of a dog’s jumping up on strangers is often faced by dog owners at least once in a lifetime. When you have a three months old cute puppy you may enjoy this behavior. The stranger may like it too. But when your dog is an adult one, it is less likely to be charming for both the owner and the stranger. So this sort of behavior needs to be checked before it’s too late. This article can help you to cope with this problem.
But why do Dogs Jump up?
First and foremost question you have to ask is that: What is the motive behind this misbehavior? Is it a grave issue to be concerned with? Fortunately, in most of the cases, it is not a serious behavioral problem like separation anxiety. Dogs usually greet each other by nose to nose contact, by licking others ears, or by closing in their faces. So when a dog meets an outsider, he wants to greet him in the same way. But as the stranger’s face far beyond his reach he jumps up to overcome this distance barrier. Most researchers believe this to be the main cause of jumping up on strangers. And there can be other motives too (like the fear of that unknown man), yet rare to be found.
And when the problem is found the next thing you need to know is how to change this behavior into a more convenient and gentle one to avoid any embarrassment. As social politeness is important to teach your pet, let us explore some unraveled strategies to manage the unwanted predicament. Here are some steps that you should follow to train your dog not to jump up on outsiders.
1. Making the Aura
Firstly, you need to create the environment where your dog usually starts jumping. Ask your friends to cooperate in this case. Invite him to your house or you can also take your puppy to a friendly morning walk. Before your friend becomes close to the dog, tell him to avoid eye contact with the dog. Dogs usually get excited and stimulated to get the attention of the visitors. So the visitor here should not give him enough attention. The dog’s stimulation probably will fade away partially (if not completely) after seeing this avoidance. In this step, however, you need to tell your friend to do what you have told beforehand, maybe by calling him a few minutes earlier. Or if you meet a complete stranger tell him not to greet the dog immediately when he is a few meters away. You need other’s slight collaboration here.
2. Get Hold of Him
Next you need to assert your control over your dog, be it a little puppy or an adult. This control means your dog willingly will try to greet the visitor with howl and jump, but you prevent him from doing so. You should use a leash, preferably a softer one, to control his movement. Whenever he wishes to jump, pull the leash gently, with a force that can hinder the jump. And don’t be harsh to pull. It can hurt the neck of your adorable pet. And if he still tries to spring forward tell him to stop with a stern voice.
3. Using “Sit Command”
Here comes the most important as well as complicated part to execute. Instead of jumping you should accustom your dog to sit whenever a stranger arrives. You can choose other friendly gestures also according to your wish. But this sit command is widely practiced and broadly recommended by dog owners for being effective.
To execute it, you need to train the pup to listen to your words. When you’ve followed the 2 steps above, then you can implement this one. After getting hold of him, tell him to sit down. You may tell that with a strong voice, no problem. If the dog obliges, offer some delicacy. If he doesn’t, keep back the delicacy to make him understand his fault. You can also throw that food stuff on the ground if he is accustomed to getting food from your hand. It will divert his attention and compels him to think twice. Then try again with sit command. It may happen that your dog does not acclimatize at the beginning. But your relentless urges and commands will force him to oblige by the passage of time. So keep trying. And if the canine still doesn’t follow you, you should ask help from a professional trainer.
4. Rewarding and Practicing
After doing these, if the dog denies coercing with your command, snatch the rewarding food from him. If he obliges then give him rewards. Don’t forget to have some delicacy with you. And make sure that the dog likes the food. This rewarding procedure may sound easy; but without practicing a couple of times there is a little possibility of success. We all know that practice is the key to success. So be patient and consistent. At some point, the dog will respond to your sit command, much to the desire of yours. And instead of springing up, he will sit calmly to get the rewards. Interestingly, it will turn to be a game of reward then.
5. Familiarizing with Strangers
The thing often overlooked by the owners is that they keep their canines inside a narrow space where they are unable to move freely or to exercise their limb’s liberty. It gets the dog replete with boredom and irritation. So when they see any unknown man or go outside for a short time, they get excited to a certain extent.
Therefore what you need to do is to create space where your adorable pup can meet strangers. As a caring owner, when you are going to a morning or afternoon walk, take him with you too. Meet strangers and talk with them. And meanwhile teach him to sit with a tranquil heart. When a guest comes over your house, give him some food to deliver it to the dog. In this way, your dog will familiarise with strangers and no longer be over-excited to jump without any necessity.
6. Kneeling Down to Greet
The next important thing is that when your dog has yielded to your words; tell your friend or the stranger to greet him by getting down to the level of the dog. If the visitor becomes closer to the dog’s mouth the dog has no necessity to jump then. He will simply wait for the greeting to receive and his jumping stimulation will fade away.
But first, you should acclimatize with this sort of greeting. When you are coming home from your work, you can greet the pet with the same reaction. Get down reaching the dog’s mouth with command to sit. Once he is accustomed to this strategy, he will passively respond to the appearance of any stranger further. And instead of jumping up he will wait and sit there for the visitor’s reaction.
However, these are the best part of training that you can give your dog to avoid embarrassing situations with strangers. But there are two techniques that have the least possibility to have any desired effect on your puppy. Though many unworthy fellow may tell you to follow them, you are highly recommended to avoid these steps as they are not appropriate and effective enough to implement. And many researchers are even against these methods. These methods are as follows:
1. Knee to Chest Movement
Many people who have less knowledge of a dog’s psychology may advice you to take this step. But this is not a good procedure to follow due to its underlying risk. In this process you tell the strangers to raise their knees to hinder the leaps of the dog. The dog then cannot reach the tummy of the man as his knees prevent the dog’s chest from reaching him. But there are serious problems lurking beneath this simple process.
Firstly, if the canine is a cute, small puppy, the stranger’s knee can hurt him in his face thus bruising unnecessarily. And if the dog is an adult one of more than 70 pounds, he may end up hurting the knee of the stranger. Secondly, raising one leg can imbalance the man and he may fall down by the hit. Thirdly, the dog may get the stimulation to jump again by the hindrance. So this strategy is fraught with setbacks, therefore better to avoid.
2. Using Toys
This process tells you to carry a toy and throw it in the air just before the greeting of the stranger. Your beloved companion will fetch the toy and his attention will be totally diverted from the unknown man to the toy and therefore there is a possibility that he won’t jump. But here lies some difficulties. As you go out you are compelled to carry a toy with you every time. This can prove to be a nuisance since you may not always remember the toy. Moreover, as you start the toy game, the dog surely will respond with higher excitement. And with this enthusiastic fervor if the dog jumps (much to the awe of yours) without paying heed to your words or any obstacles, there can be injuries on both sides. So the technique has a greater probability to be backfired.
6 DON’TS :
Apart from those mentioned above, there are few more important things to avoid :
- Don’t beat your dog if he jumps seeing a stranger. It is a quite normal behavior for them to jump. A normal behavior is unlikely to be changed by beating or any sort of severe punishment.
- Don’t force him to oblige your command instantaneously. Give him enough time to habituate with the new way of greeting. Practicing a few times is a must to get the desired posture from the dog.
- Don’t forget to reward his obedient manner. Rewards usually reinforce a canine’s compliance. (The same is true for human children). The more a pet gets rewards the more he will oblige your command. But don’t punish physically. Any severe punishment makes it difficult for the dog to obey you.
- Don’t let your young puppy jump up on strangers. Puppy’s jump may look enjoyable for both you and your friend, but this can inculcate the misdemeanor even after he grows up.
- Don’t use a crate when you have a visitor at your home. The pet should get in touch with unknown people as much as possible. And confinement in a cage interrupts social growth.
- Don’t let any of your family members encourage or even endure that jumping nuisance. If they allow and encourage the dog to do it, it may hamper your training session greatly.
We all love our dogs and their puppyish manner unconditionally. But strangers may find this leaping forward terrifying. So there is no other choice but to check any unsuitable behavior in public places. Hence it is very much significant to teach your dog the art of being calm and quiet instead of howling and jumping. This proper code of conduct needs a lot many practices and repeated training to be habituated with.
Even after following these strategies, if you fail to prevent your dog from jumping up, then you need help from a qualified, professional dog trainer. He can teach your dog the best possible manner within a short span of time. However, in case of intolerable and extreme jumping, a dog trainer can help a little since it may stem from compulsive behavioral issues. Then a certified doctor can deal with this psychological problem.
To conclude, I would like to advise you to be friendly with your dog as much as you can. Friends have enough control and influence over each other. So if you are friendly enough, the dog may be downright obedient to you. And a pouch full of lovely foods can assert complete control of your pet. So always keep a supply of them as treats. And don’t be harsh with your faithful companion. Harshness only worsens any good situation. So take care of your puppy and his social behavior.