Why Puppies Jump On People

Puppies that jump up on people are probably trying to get to the person's hands or face for fun. The problem with this behavior though is that people many times reinforce this habit. Obviously when a teensy little puppy jumps on us out automatic reaction is "that is so cute", and the only thing we are doing is activating this impulse. Although it may feel and be absolutely adorable to have a little cute puppy jump up on us, remember that later on when that teensy little squirt grows into a fifty pound dog, it won't be so much fun anymore. Some people get irritated when a puppy jumps up on them and the response people have many times reinforces it. Even things like "no, stop it!" can reinforce the puppy to continue. Here's why: when a puppy is quiet and does not jump up on people, many times it is completely ignored, whereas when it jumps up on a person it gets attention and the person touches it and talks to it – which only reinforces this naughty behavior.

The way to avoid this from happening is to train the puppy from the moment it arrives into your home. Remember that puppies react and behave in ways that work for them or that are to their advantage. So train him to sit before you feed him, and later on train him to sit to greet visitors.

Ok, so obviously you're probably thinking, "Now how am I suppose to teach my dog to sit?" There is a simple way to do this; remember though that as with everything consistency is a must. To teach your puppy to sit hold a puppy treat right at the puppy's nose and then move the treat towards its back and up in a small arc so that your hand (with the treat in it) is directly over the puppy's collar. This will cause the puppy to lift his head and drop place his hind on the floor. When the puppy sits, start to praise him and give him the puppy treat. Continue doing this during several training sessions. As soon as the puppy's response becomes more predictable, tell the puppy to "sit" before placing your hand with the puppy treat in it. It should normally take the puppy a couple days to do this for the treat. Then you will be able to do this without having anything in your hand by simply signaling your hand and saying "sit".

After your puppy has learned to respond and is reliable at the sit command signal, you can then practice greetings. Do this by walking through the door and use the hand signal first and say "sit" firmly while at the same time greeting the little pooch. If your puppy becomes excited it will probably jump up, if he does though make sure to not push him, knee him or touch him. Instead immediately turn away from him, in other words, give him your back and ignore him completely and walk out of the door. Wait for a few seconds and then try doing the exercise again, and again. Repeat as many times as necessary. The puppy will eventually understand that what you want is for him to sit, and when he does he gets praised for it, however, when he jumps, you ignore him completely and he loses you. This training session should not only be done by the owner but by everyone that associates with the puppy, such as the children in the house, the neighbors, friends etc, the more the better and consistency is key to helping the puppy learn.

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