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Prevent Jumping Up

When a puppy is with it's mother and siblings it will jump at them for various reasons including; to play; to gain the upper hand; and to lick around the mouth to get food from it's mother and to find out about their world and the other dogs in it.  When a dog greets another dog - to establish their position - they will naturally smell around the genital area (this is considered good manners in the dog world). 
 
 
When a puppy is jumping up at people it is generally to find out about their new world and the people in it, they do this by smelling and licking or biting us.  Most of the smells we emit are around the genital area and the mouth, so needless to say our puppy may need to jump up to smell these areas. 
 
 
A lot of people believe that a puppy jumping up at them is a sign of affection.  Many will find this behaviour cute and often pick the puppy up reinforcing this behaviour.   This tells the puppy that "if I jump up I get positive attention - so hey, every time I want attention all I have to do is jump up".  This may be OK when your puppy is small, but once they are fully grown - 'a Labrador with muddy feet' - it's not so much fun.
 
 
 
The way to prevent jumping up is simple - but often hard to carry out.
 
 
  • Never greet your puppy or dog the minute you arrive home - wait until they have settled, preferably sat or gone to lie down
  • If you have left your puppy alone for any reason, when you come back into the room, don't make a fuss of him/her until after they have settled.
  • If your puppy jumps up at you, turn and ignore your dog - never pick them up or praise them when they are jumping up
  • Teach your dog to 'go to it's bed', 'sit' or 'lie down' on command - then you can reward your dog for offering a behaviour you like
  • If the above doesn't work and your puppy continues to jump up - when they jump up, leave the room and shut the door so they can't see you or get to you - wait for the count of 15 -  then come back in - Say HI! in a calm voice and if they don't jump up say GOOD and Reward.  If they continue to jump up, go out the room and repeat until the jumping up ceases.
  • Don't give your dog mixed messages - be consistent - that means ALL the family.