Some people say there is nothing more lovely than your dog jumping up at you enthusiastically when you return home.
Well, for the owner of a Yorkshire Terrier, that may indeed be cute, but the unfortunate owner of a St Bernard, may not agree!
The Proper Way To Stop A Dog From Jumping At You
Ignoring your dog till they calm down is the best way to address a dog jumping up, so don’t talk to your dog, stroke them or even look at them when you first come back home. If they can see that throwing themselves at you isn’t going to get them the notice they desire, they should gradually become calmer.
Don’t call your dog to you and give them a fuss till they leave you alone. That might take 20 minutes to start with but will quickly decrease as they learn that being calm is what gets them a massive fuss and tons of attention.
Is A Dog Jumping Up Bad Dog Behaviour?
Passionate as the greeting might be we need to ask ourselves if jumping up is proper behavior or a sign of dog behavior problems? Remember, both dogs we mention are doing the same.
What if your dog jumps on other folks – like visitors, babies or your aging aunt? Is that acceptable behavior? Because, if we don’t mind them jumping up at us, are we able to truly expect them to understand that jumping up at other visitors isn’t okay?
Instead of tackling the problem, many dog lovers work around the issue and try and avoid the situation arising. Some owner will try and distract their dog to enable them to slide into the house without being spotted and get ready for the onslaught. Others sprint into the house before their dog can cover them in multiple paw prints after being in the garden. While others create a barricade with the bags they are carrying to stop the dog from reaching them.
In the short term, these could be valuable strategies, but over the long run they will not resolve the problem and stop them from jumping up at you.
The Real Reason Your Dog is Jumping At You
Some dogs essentially use jumping up occasions to put some momentum behind it, knocking their owners over in many cases. The cause of this may surprise you, but in a dog’s natural habitat, height is typically equated with might, so that the bigger you are (or can make yourself), the higher up the pecking order you are.
In natural habitats, they will do this each time the pack gets back together. So if your dog jumps up at you to make themselves higher than you, and perhaps you crouch down, getting down to their level to greet them, you are giving them the clear sign that they are above you in the pack structure which long-term can create all sorts of other dog behavior problems like dog separation anxiety.
What Has A Dog Jumping Up Got To Do With Separation Anxiety In Dogs?
The way we make a response to jumping up is vital to a dog because they are attempting to establish their place in the pack. The problem is that as we don’t get what a dog jumping up means, we do not give them the right reply.
It may lead many dogs to believe they are a pack leader and so accountable for their other pack members (and that means you and the remainder of the family), which can, in turn, end up in dog separation anxiety, and that is no laughing matter.
In fact, separation anxiety in dogs is an increasingly common problem that dog owners have to address on an everyday basis. For more details on this topic, you can read our next article – help with separation anxiety in dogs.