Five Ways to Stop Your Dog From JUMPING on People Fast!

November 28, 2011

Jumping on guests is one of the most common complaints I hear from dog owners (second only to pulling on the leash.) Jumping up on people, whether the door, the dinner table, or just about anywhere else, is a very common (and very frustrating) problem.

First, it needs to be stressed that dogs jump on people as a means of greeting them – they jump to get to our face, because face or mouth licking is an “appeasement gesture” made by one dog to another – and because it gets them attention. It has absolutely nothing to do with “dominance”, regardless of what some might say, and harsh corrections can easily change what is intended to be a friendly greeting (by the dog) into fearful or aggressive behavior.

That being said, here are five easy ways to stop your dog from jumping on people:

  1. Don’t react! Pushing the dog away and raising our voice is a natural response to having a dog jump on us, but it only makes matters worse by giving the dog attention for his behavior and adding anxiety and excitement to the situation. Your best bet is to just calm down – take a deep breath, turn your back, and wait for the dog to relax a bit, too.
  2. Ignore your dog’s jumping. I recommend this frequently, and so do most other trainers, but clients typically report that it “doesn’t work.” There’s a very good reason for it “not” working: most people don’t really ignore the behavior completely; instead, they make “exceptions” for certain people or specific situations, but all this does is make the behavior more persistent and difficult to get rid of.
  3. Teach a Rock Solid Sit! When trying to get rid of an annoying behavior, it’s extremely helpful to teach your dog something incompatible with that behavior. Your dog cannot jump while sitting, so make sure that sitting is your dog’s go-to behavior.
  4. Teach polite greeting behavior. For most dogs, staying seated while greeting someone is difficult, so if your dog has a hard time mastering that, try this one instead: teach your dog to touch the person’s hand. This gives your dog an opportunity to investigate and also gives your dog a “job” to do – something to focus on doing other than jumping!
  5. Manage, manage, manage. In the early stages of training, it is essential that you manage your dog’s behavior. Inform guests that they should ignore your dog’s jumping completely. Remember that every single time your dog jumps, she’s practicing bad behavior. If you think your dog or your guests may have difficulties, manage the situation by keeping her on a leash or (better yet) crating or otherwise confining her. You can either wait until your guests (and your dog) are settled to let her out (on a leash to prevent jumping), or you can keep her confined to prevent her from practicing all together!

Please keep in mind that you’ll probably need to use more than one of these techniques at a time, for example, you’ll probably need to manage your dog’s behavior and ignore jumping, or both ignore jumping and teaching your dog polite greetings.

Keep an eye out for more tips! Click here if you’re interested in personalized training!

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Welcome to the First Class Canines blog!

November 27, 2011

Who is First Class Canines?

My name is Ashley Porter, and I am a professional animal trainer and enrichment expert with nearly a decade of experience working with several species, including dogs, horses, cats, wolves, rats, and more recently, parrots.

I began working with animals at local shelters as a child, and began assisting with training the shelter dogs as a teenager. I persued a career in veterinary technology, earning an Associate of Science degree, however, my passion was behavior and I chose to move in a different direction after working for a veterinary clinic.

After several years of volunteering my time and expertise, I began training dogs professionally in the spring of 2006, assisting families in choosing a dog, preparing for the dog’s arrival, and teaching their new companion manners and appropriate behavior. In the fall of 2007, I chose to specialize in helping families who were experiencing severe behavior problems, including aggression, reactivity, and separation anxiety.

I am a member of several professional organizations, including the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), the Association of Animal Behavior Professionals (AABP), and the International Positive Dog Training Association (IPDTA). I have completed several hands-on courses in professional training, and have devoted a great deal of time learning both the art and science of successfully training both companion dogs and working dogs using humane, science-based methods.

Why professional training?

The number one cause of death in dogs in the United States is not a communicable disease, it is behavior problems. Persistent behavior issues (like house soiling, aggression, and separation anxiety) often result in the dog being given up or euthanized simply because owners reach the end of their rope – they don’t know what to do and cannot find reliable and trustworthy assistance from an educated professional.

I’m here to change that. Dogs aren’t just my passion, they’re my profession, and I’d like to help you help your dog to be all he or she can be. I plan to focus on topics important to dog owners, including diet and nutrition, enrichment, exercise, behavior, and training. I’m here to share my expertise, so you can look forward to tip lists, how-tos, and videos in the future!

Why “First Class Canines”?

I have high expectations for my animals – and for myself – and those expectations transfer to my clients and their pets, as well. “First Class” is defined as “the best, finest, or highest class, grade, or rank”,  and that is precisely what I strive to provide for my clients. While it is important to understand that “perfection” is an unreasonable expectation for any animal, and that all animals have learning limitations based on a variety of factors, I guarantee that you will receive only the best from First Class Canines. We truly strive to live up to our name!

What would you like to learn today?

In order for First Class Canines to help dog owners, it’s helpful for us to know a little about you. Tell us about your dogs! Share your experiences, challenges, and questions by leaving a comment, and let us know what you’d like to learn today!