Jumping is always boring.
Always. It doesn’t matter how cute your puppy is or how much you missed them when you were on vacation. Jumping is always boring for you puppy. Always. Your puppy NEVER gets pet for jumping. Your puppy is jumping on you because he wants attention. If you give him what he wants you are encouraging this behavior. The more times he gets attention while jumping (even negative attention!) the more likely he is to jump on you. We know ignoring your puppy takes a lot of human self control, but if you are serious about your puppy not jumping, please put in the effort.
Negative attention is still attention.
Pushing your puppy off and telling him “no” is still giving your puppy attention. You might intend for it to discourage the puppy, but any sort of attention will reinforce the behavior and make jumping more likely to occur. Puppies push and shove each other in play all the time. Pushing and shoving your puppy is starting a fun game and teaching your puppy to jump.
Teach your puppy to “Say Please”. Ask him, or better yet wait for him to sit before he gets things he wants, such as going out the door, eating food or getting a favorite chew toy. Our goal is to teach the puppy that he gets what he wants by sitting!
Crazy Calm Game
Crazy Calm game is one of our favorite games at Puppy Day School! Start with a puppy that knows how to “Say Please”. Act exciting for 2-3 seconds, and then stop, smile, wait for the puppy to offer a sit and reinforce that! At first the goal is to only be exciting enough that the puppy notices, but not so excited that he jumps all over you. If the puppy jumps on you at any point freeze and ignore the puppy for 2-3 seconds and then try again. As your puppy gets better at the game you can make it harder. Run around, jump, pat your legs! Our goal is to convince the puppy that people who are acting exciting is a cue to sit!
Slow treat is a great way to remind puppies that sitting is fun and jumping is boring! Have your puppy sit. Slowly move a treat slowly towards his face. If he jumps, the treat goes away. If he stays sitting, he gets the treat. As your puppy gets better at this game you can move the treat even slower. This is a great game to play if your puppy is super excited to see someone and you want to remind him to keep his feet on the ground before he gets to interact.
Set your puppy up for success. If guests are coming over, put your puppy on a leash so they don’t have the opportunity to practice jumping. If someone asks to pet your puppy make it very clear that they can only pet the puppy if he is sitting, not wildly flailing at them.
Manage the humans
You have a CUTE puppy. Everyone wants to say hi and love on your puppy! In order to keep your cute puppy from learning to jump, while allowing the humans to love on the puppy, have them sit on the floor and encourage the her to come up to them. This way, your puppy has a clear cue when giving effusive greetings is allowed and even encouraged.
Teach an alternate behavior
What DO you want your puppy to do? Do you want your puppy to sit or lie on a mat? Decide what behavior you would like to see instead of jumping and then reinforce it often. Anytime you notice that your puppy decides to sit instead of jump make a big deal about it. We want them to learn that sitting makes all the good things happen.