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Jumping Dogs

Los Angeles behavior specialist Cinimon Clark offers this tip. Recruit a guinea pig person whose job is to simply ignore the dog. No eye contact, no touching and no voice. The dog jumps and jumps. When the dog realizes no one is paying any attention to him, he will try another way to get what he wants. (This may take a few minutes or quite a while depending on how many years this dog was allowed to perform this behavior.) This is what mammals do; after all, how many times do you try to open a locked door if the key doesn't work?

The dog will start trying other things to elicit a response, such as whining, circling and barking. Once the dog learns these don't work either, he usually tries the "sit" behavior as they know this has worked for them in the past. As soon as the dog sits, Jackpot!!! Give the dog treats, love, attention, kisses.

If the owner isn't fast enough to praise when the dog settles on the ground, the method will not seem to work. It does work, but the owner needs to learn how to ignore as well as praise in the dog's time frame. Which means really, really fast!

The next time this scenario presents itself, will this dog jump? Not likely. The dog has truly "learned how to learn." He knows that jumping does not work anymore. Dogs use only what works for them.

Karen Malone adds a tip from her vet that has been useful in curing her foster dog, Maggie, of jumping. When Karen comes home, she ignores Maggie who has been crated. Karen lets the other dogs outside, then spends 10 minutes in the room where Maggie is crated, ignoring her the entire time. Maggie starts calming down. After the 10 minutes is up, Karen lets Maggie out of the crate, without speaking or touching Maggie and no eye contact. Still ignoring her and after a few minutes of Maggie being uncrated, Karen says "Maggie sit" (still no eye contact or touching), and then pets Maggie after she has sat.


For more of Robin's Dog Tips, see the index at:  www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/dog_tips.php

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Last Updated: May 02, 2018 (LET) PawSupport