Dog jumping and how to stop it

Many people ask me, "how do I stop my dog from jumping?" There are several ways to accomplish this.  You will hear me say, over and over again, there is more than one way to train a dog. One could start off by ignoring the behavior, but most likely that won't work.  It might for some, but the majority of dogs will just jump more.  Most dogs aren't jumping to make you mad, but more for attention and they are often looking for the direction that they are not receiving.

Another option to try is to use a little squirt bottle or can of air(MADE FOR DOGS).  I have to put that in CAPS because I know someone might think to go to the local store and grab the can of air for computers/electronics.  In the end, you have to do what is right for your comfort level. Any time a dog goes to jump, you would initiate whatever method of correction you plan to utilize.  For example, when the dog jumps, you squirt the bottle or ignore the behavior.  You want to do this as soon as your dog's paws leave the ground.  I've seen people scream at the dog and act like they are hurt.  Sure, this scares the heck out of the dog, but why would we do that?  Could you replicate this in public if you had to? 

So, you ask, what would you really do Benny?

If it were me ,and I had a jumping dog I'd probably start by teaching them to sit.  It's important to give them something else to do when you tell them not to jump.  This is "the direction" that I'm talking about.  Dogs love it, so why not, interact with them a little. They absolutely love interaction and direction.  After my dog has a nice solid sit, I then make sure to reinforce all kinds of good stuff that happens when they keep their butt on the ground. It is only then do I begin teaching the dog corrections.

Ah yes! I said corrections!

Can you imagine living in a world where you had zero consequences for your actions?  I'm not saying to yank their head off and I'm not saying correct with an e-collar. What I could suggest is a couple leash pops(a light pop of the leash) any time they jump. This, followed by a nice solid sit, will teach a dog that they have choices in life especially after the dog gets rewarded for sitting.  Most dogs, in the end, will choose a nice tasty treat or pat on the head over a pop of the leash. Even when it's a light one, at that, because they have a choice! Now imagine adding a distraction and your dog didn't know they had a choice.  If all they knew is positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement, but they didn't know anything about positive punishment or negative punishment.  For most dogs, that distraction would mean so much more than the treat or whatever it is you're going to reward them with.  This is why I teach dogs that there are rewards and consequences for their actions.  We live in a society where we can't tell humans that they're doing something wrong and that has trickled down to our pets.  It is ok to correct your dog, I promise.  In the end, you'll have a dog that's confident and not walking around expecting a cookie at ever corner. Although, if they are doing what they are supposed to, you better have their paycheck.  You want yours on a job well done and so do they :)

Lastly, I'm not teaching the dog to live in fear of a correction, but rather teaching them that they have the confidence to make a choice.

How early should I begin training my dog?

The most common question I get asked down here in San Antonio, TX is how early should I begin training my dog or when should I take it to you for dog training?  This in itself is a question loaded with various answers.  The first thing I say is PLEASE do not wait until you bring it to me for it to start learning "stuff".  At that point you'll probably have a dog that is just looking for answers or direction but is getting into all sorts of trouble instead because it lacks answers.  After all that's really what it's about when it comes to dogs.  We bring them into our homes and sometimes just expect them to know what to do.  Your dog needs direction.  From the very moment I get an 8 week old puppy I skip the food bowl and head straight to hand feeding them.  This does a lot of things for a dog but most importantly I spend the 5 minutes requiring them to just look at me and then I feed(4-5 kibbles) when they'd normally have their head buried in a bowl.    I do this over and over so that my dog wants to make eye contact and knows how to sit politely.  I also will mark the eye contact with a clicker.  I'm using the dogs free will at this point to shape this behavior.  This helps later in life when he really wants something like a toy that I have but now understands these basic rules to this game.  I also by doing this reinforce that jumping gets you nowhere and its easier to teach this when they are small and not a 5 month old 40+ pound dog in some cases.  From here I can use this skill when hooking the leash up(sitting politely) or before going out the door I have them sit politely.  I may even keep some of their morning meal back for training scenarios throughout the day.  This combined with gentle little light pops of the leash will greatly improve your dogs understanding of right from wrong.  It is not the end all but it's what I've done for years and seems to have great success.  Just remember there are so many ways to train a dog.  Those that are willing to learn as many as they can will have the greatest success!

-Benny

Hello Waterford Township I'm just a dog trainer but....

I have to say or would like to think that I have common sense and that’s something you're clearly lacking.  Government and commonsense are words that probably have never gone well together in a sentence.  It almost makes you want to burst out laughing when you see it.  The fact of the matter is you have no commonsense otherwise you would see that not all pit bulls are created equal.  Much like humans they too have different personalities.  Why is it when I group people together I’m all of a sudden considered a bigot because of my opinion but when you ban a whole breed of loving dogs its ok?  Are you scared?  Have you personally had a traumatic experience with a pit bull?  Or do you just believe all the crap that people spread about them on the Internet? I’m guessing that you are just believing false rumors.  Maybe we should change their name to something more happy like one of those  designer breeds where people are just combining breeds because it seems cute. 

It is true that the pit bull is used for some dirty nasty illegal activities but you better best believe that they did not come out into the world looking to chew up some dog or human.  I could easily take any dog and make them into the worst nightmare imaginable or the best friend that any dog truly wants to be.  You see we humans screw these dogs up by improper breeding, training, etc.  Saying that all pit bulls are bad is like saying that all police officers are racist because they happen to shoot someone who's not white or that all Latinos hate Donald Trump because the news plasters Latinos protesting Donald Trump.  Or even better yet all guns are bad because a couple of individuals use them in a wrong way.  Where's the commonsense?  WORST OF ALL we as a society beg people to adopt dogs and someone did but somehow someway its still not good enough for you because it is a pit bull.  Would you rather have it euthanized?  Because that’s usually what happens.  Don’t get me wrong there are cases where dogs are too far gone because of what WE did to them and so euthanasia is the only option.  That’s another issue all together but clearly this dog did not fall into that category and was adopted, given a second chance at life.  I've seen a lot of dogs in my life, trained with many and I will be the first to say that I’ve seen more aggressive dogs of other breeds than the pit bull.  

The last thing I would like to say is when will we say too much is just too much.  Government has a place but it was never meant to overreach as far as it does no matter if it the Federal Government or all the way down to your local government.  Maybe some people are happy being played as puppets but I am not.