Let’s face it, a crazy dog jumping on people does nothing for your social life. Whether it be a couple of friends coming round for a coffee or a full blown evening meal for your partner’s work colleagues, no matter how much effort you put into creating a warm welcome, nothing can compete with the over-enthusiastic welcome of a highly excited, slobbering hound launching itself at your guests’ chests at high speed as soon as you open the front door.
Dogs jumping on people is a common problem and can cause a lot of stress in an otherwise calm household. But to effectively tackle the problem, you first need to understand exactly why your dog is jumping on people.
As pack animals, dogs are highly social and jumping up is actually their way of saying ‘hello’. The behaviour starts as a puppy and takes the form of a request for food. In the wild, wolf cubs greet the returning adults by licking their lips as a way of encouraging them to regurgitate food. So the purpose a puppy jumps up at humans is to reach our faces, instinctively for the same reason. And although (hopefully) none of us ever regurgitates food for our puppies, we do usually give them a positive response for their behaviour. Puppies are so cute and it makes us feel good that they are so pleased to see us, so it’s only natural to bend down to them and give them lots of fuss and attention.
And herein lies the problem. By giving a positive response to our puppy’s jumping up, we are inadvertently rewarding them for their behaviour – and so they continue to do it all the more. Unfortunately, while it may seem cute for a puppy to jump all over us, as your dog matures into a hefty adult, it becomes rather less of a pleasurable experience. Even if you have a toy breed, it can still be a big nuisance to have the little thing scrabbling up yours (and your visitors’) legs every time you walk through the door.
But there’s an even more serious consequence of our unwitting response to our dog jumping on people.
Who’s ‘Top Dog’ In Your House?
The real issue that arises from allowing – and unwittingly encouraging – your puppy to jump up and greet people is that you are giving the puppy a very clear message that we respond to his wishes – ie, that he is allowed to dominate us and our visitors. And, unfortunately, as the puppy matures into an adult, and his need to establish his status in the family ‘pack’ becomes more acute, this message is so clearly imprinted in his brain that he figures out that he must be the pack leader. Worse still, as pack leader he now has a duty to protect his home territory and other pack members so you may find that what was once a friendly welcome takes on a rather more aggressive stance.
Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg; dogs which assume the role of pack leader exhibit all sorts of dominant behaviour issues because, quite frankly, they have no need to listen to you or respect your wishes.
To discover the easiest way to stop your dog from jumping on people – and to find out more about how to become your dog’s pack leader – visit www.thedogtrainingclub.com.
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