Dogs that jump up and put their front paws on people crave attention. They will continue jumping as long as their owners react—whether the response is good or bad. Not great when company is about to arrive! Here’s what to do…
If your pet acts up—barks, runs around wildly, jumps up on your guests—when company comes, circumvent that behavior by calming the dog right before your guests are due to arrive.
Acupressure will get your pet into a relaxed state—just press the tips of both of his ears between your thumbs and index fingers, then gently pulse the spots for 45 seconds and speak calmly, reminding the dog that it’s time to be on best behavior.
For the long term: To get your dog completely out of the habit of leaping on people, whenever the dog does it (to you or someone else), simply walk away without making eye contact or saying a word. Later, when the dog is calm, start to teach it to sit when you cross your arms across your chest. Many dogs tune out verbal commands when they get excited, but most still notice body language. To teach your dog to respond to a crossed-arm sit command, start by combining the verbal “sit” command with crossed arms. Provide treats when the dog responds. Then eliminate the verbal command and use the crossed-arm signal alone, still rewarding with treats.
Once your dog masters the crossed-arm sit command, instruct houseguests to use it, too. Otherwise they might accidentally give the dog attention when it jumps up, undermining the training.
Thanks to professional dog trainer Victoria Schade, author of Bonding with Your Dog: A Trainer’s Secrets for Building a Better Relationship, for help with this tip.
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