Why Your Dog Doesn't Listen To You... And How You Can Fix It
In this video, Kaelin talks about the most common mistakes dog owners make, why dogs don’t listen to their owners, and how you can fix it!
In this video, Kaelin talks about the most common mistakes dog owners make, why dogs don’t listen to their owners, and how you can fix it!
In this video, Kaelin helps Bruno the rescue dog overcome his reactivity after just one training session of deep desensitization work!
In this video, Kaelin helps a new puppy parent get started with basic obedience training for the first time!
In this video, Kaelin talks about how she solved Louie’s separation anxiety and helps him take the next steps to becoming an obedient pup!
In this video, Robbie & Ginger meet my pup Grizzly face to face for the first time after months of not being able to see any dog without barking!
Here are some notes on training reactivity with two dogs so you can get to the point in the end of the video where your dogs are able to meet another face to to face.
Reacting Inside the House
• Whenever your dogs react to someone or something walking by, call their names positively to come to you
• Tell them “YES” when they come and then have them sit right away
• Give them as many treats as needed to maintain their focus on you and distract them from the trigger object
• This changes their instinctual response of reacting when they see someone or another dog outside to not reacting and going to you instead.
• This also teaches them that it is a positive thing when someone or something goes by the house
Preventing Reactivity on Walks
• Preventing your dogs from reacting at people or other dogs is the best way to work through the reactivity
• When you see one or both of your dogs zoning in on someone or another dog, get his/their focus by calling his/their name(s).
• Distance yourself enough from the trigger object so that the dogs are focused on you
• Distract the dogs from the trigger object by making them work - sit, lay down, wait, shake, etc
• Give lots of treats while the person or dog walk by to associate the situation with positivity and tell them “YES” for maintaining focus on you
• If your dogs do start to react, start running in the other direction of the trigger object and say “Come on (insert your dog's name), let’s go!
• Make it positive!
• Get them to a distance that is far enough so that they can calm down
• Regain their focus and calm them down by making them work
• Don’t resume the walk until they both have calmed down and are fully focused on you
*Remember that working towards a dog/person who is stationary will be GREAT practice for the dogs!
Is your pup possessive about toys?
Does your dog growl when you or another dog approaches his food bowl?
Does he snap at you when you even step near him when he has a bone?
Or show his teeth when you approach the couch?
All of these situations listed above are common examples of resource guarding.
What Is Resource Guarding?
Simply put, it is when a dog controls access to food, objects, people and locations that are important to him through defensive body language or overtly aggressive behavior.
A resource guarder will not tolerate competition and will guard the resource to maintain priority access.
Resource guarding is actually a relatively common canine behavior and is influenced by a number of environmental and situational stimuli, including a dog’s natural instinct to survive.
Guarding resources is usually a manifestation of the dog’s deep-rooted insecurity and inability to cope well in a social situation, even with people and other dogs he knows.
An insecure dog can see anyone as a potential threat to a resource, whether that resource is food, toys, space, a mate or access to a particular person. The threat of losing the resource, and the good feeling that the resource provides, makes a dog more angry and irritable.
This is where things may get tricky, as there are two main types of resource guarders: those that guard from humans, and those who guard from other dogs.
Typically, dogs that guard resources from people (often their owners) possess more deep-rooted issues that are more complex and difficult to overcome than when this behavior occurs toward another dog.
For that reason, if your dog is guarding resources from you or another person, I'd highly recommend consulting with a behaviorist who can walk you through this delicate process.
With that being said, there is a lot one can do to prevent or treat resource guarding between dogs.
Preventing Resource Guarding
While prevention isn’t helpful once the problem has begun, don’t miss the chance to prevent resource guarding before it rears its jealous head.
Say you have a new dog, Bobby, and a resident alpha dog, Nolan. You can teach Nolan that a treat to Bobby leads to a treat to Nolan. And vice versa.
It’s quite easy to do:
When you pop a treat in one dog’s mouth, immediately give the other dog a treat as well. Then reverse the order.
I’m doing this right now with my foster dog Riley. Every night after dinner all the dogs get a treat. I’ll walk into the dog room and the dogs will cluster around.
First, I’ll say “What do good dogs do?” They all know that they are supposed to sit when I say that.
Then I’ll say the name of one dog, perhaps Juneau and let her get some treats. Grizzly knows to wait his turn, but if Riley moves forward I merely move forward a step to block her. I also say “UH UH” to her, too.
When she backs off, I’ll then say her name to allow her some treats, then quickly say Grizzly’s name and let him do the same. Then back to Juneau and all around about 3 or 4 times so that all the dogs learn that being patient and polite pays off!
However, I would never suggest doing this if you already have tension between your dogs. This is prevention, not a treatment. Think of this exercise as either the first step to prevent trouble when none yet exists, or the end game if you already have problems.
Another caveat: Pay attention to the level of arousal.
If the dogs begin to get excited and pushy, ask them to sit and calm down. You want the dog to learn that being polite and patient gets the treat, not pushy and demanding.
What Do I Do if My Dog Is Already Guarding Resources?
1. Until you are able to work with a dog trainer/behaviorist, manage the situations that the resource guarding is occurring in.
2. Determine what situations the resource guarding is happening and be VERY specific. Is it over food? Any food or a certain kind? Inside, outside, on the bed? Try to find the root and be as specific as possible.
3. Prevent these situations from happening! Every instance that the food guarding does happen, it is a step backwards in working through the root cause.
Feed the dogs in separate rooms, give treats in separate rooms, do whatever to can to prevent it while you work through the deep-rooted issue with your behaviorist.
4. Teach impulse control! This is an indirect way of handling the problem, but it definitely helps with the process.
Dogs who resource guard are often dogs who cannot handle not getting what they want when they want it. Teaching self control is extremely beneficial for all dogs, especially ones who resource guard.
Commands such as...
'Wait', 'Lay Down', 'Stay', and 'Leave It', are all great exercises to teach and practice self control.
Your trainer should work with your dogs through a more direct process of desensitization and counter conditioning to treat the resource guarding.
The ultimate goal of this process is to take the trigger that is producing an unpleasant response in your dog’s mind (and thus, making him feel the need to react and be aggressive), and replace it with positivity so that he feels confident and that the situation is positive, instead of negative.
This is a process that takes time and control to really work through, so do not feel discouraged if your dog’s resource guarding is not solved after one session!
Below is an example of how I would work with a dog resource guarding his food bowl:
• Begin by changing the situation and provide a new food bowl in a different location for your dog to eat.
• Vary meal times so that your dog never has the chance to become tense when his body clock tells him it is time to eat.
• Utilize the 'empty bowl method'. Pick up your dog’s bowl and make it look like you are filling it with his food. Place the empty food bowl on the ground in front of him. Wait for him to check it out, see there is nothing there, and look up at you. As soon as he looks at you, praise him and add a bit of food into his bowl.
• After your dog has finished eating the food, wait for him to look at you again and add more food into his bowl.
• Repeat this until all the food has been eaten. Walk away from his bowl and then back and add a little more. This shows your dog that your approach and presence at his food bowl means he is going to get more food and you are a positive part of his feeding experience.
• Feed your dog in this way for a week, and as he becomes more relaxed with your presence close to his bowl, gradually add larger handfuls of food until you get to the point where you can put down a full food bowl and he can eat with you standing right next to him.
• The next level is to practice walking by an empty bowl and throwing a piece of high value food such as chicken into it. Every time you approach your dog’s empty bowl, your dog will see your approach as something good.
• The last stage of this treatment is to throw a desirable treat into your dog’s bowl as he is in the process of eating. By this time, he should be much more relaxed with your presence and able to accept you being close to him as he eats.
Should I Punish My Dog for Resource Guarding?
If you’ve read enough of my blogs, you know that I support only positive reinforcement training methods.
While there will always be those that object to positivity in every situation, I truly believe it is the only way to truly win over your dog and have a quality relationship with them; one where they want to listen to you and obey your commands.
With that being said, some people still misunderstand why their dogs guard and why there is social competition, therefore, many owners of resource guarders often get angry and confrontational with their dogs.
Confrontation, however, only increases competition and causes the dog to guard the contested resource even more. Using physical punishment on a resource guarding dog is the exact opposite of what you need to do.
Instead, make sure you understand your dog’s situation and work to instill more confidence in him, so that he feels less threatened by your presence.
When working to rehabilitate a dog that aggressively guards his resources, he should not be forced into submission or physically punished!
It is much more effective to use counter conditioning to alter a dog’s behavior... without your dog ever realizing that you are doing so! That, my peeps, is the epitome of masterful dog training!!
Does your dog cry, bark, howl, or simply just go crazy and be destructive around the house when left alone?
These behaviors listed above could be signs of your dog having separation anxiety. If this is your dog, then don’t worry—you are definitely not alone!
It just so happens that I have been getting a lot of questions about how to deal with a dog who has separation anxiety lately.
A lot of owners think that their dog has separation anxiety, when in actuality, the behaviors the dog is exhibiting are learned behaviors, and does not truly have separation anxiety. Rather, the dog has learned that if he acts badly, he will get attention.
Therefore, he will bark in the crate, destroy items, whine, etc. just to get the attention that he wants. It is very easy for me, as a behaviorist, to determine if the dog has true separation anxiety, or if the dog is just exhibiting these behaviors for attention.
If your dog truly has separation anxiety, he experiences emotional stress when you leave.
However, owners sometimes mistake their dog’s barking (for attention or to get what he wants), as separation anxiety, when it actually is not.
It is very important to understand the difference between real separation anxiety and learned behaviors because there is a different course of action to take if you are needing to correct your pup’s learned behaviors.
With that in mind, even if your dog shows NO signs of having separation anxiety, this blog will still be incredibly helpful for you to ensure that you are doing everything you can to not feed into any behavior in your dog, that could develop into separation anxiety.
Working through true separation anxiety in dogs is definitely something that takes time but it certainly is possible for a dog to get over his separation anxiety.
What causes separation anxiety in dogs?
In my experience working with dogs, I have found that every case of separation anxiety is unique.
There is typically not one, concrete answer as to what causes the separation anxiety in each individual dog because there are a number of factors that go into the development of separation anxiety, and they vary between every dog.
Factors such as...
What happened to the dog in his past?
How long is he left alone each day?
Was he crate trained properly, so that he associates the crate with positivity?
How does the owner respond to his unwanted behaviors?
Some dogs are inherently more attached to their owners as puppies, and are therefore more prone to developing separation anxiety, while other dogs end up developing it later on in life.
Working through separation anxiety is a process that is unique and different for each dog, depending on the circumstances and behaviors of the dog.
Fully overcoming separation anxiety in your dog will most likely take the help of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist, but I will give some general advice that can help with the process if you want to try on your own!
Here are 3 frustrating mistakes that dog owners make that can contribute to separation anxiety (or behaviors that may seem like it!):
1. Rewarding Unwanted Behaviors
The most common reason why dogs develop learned behaviors (mistaken as separation anxiety) is typically because of owners who incorrectly reward unwanted behaviors.
In fact, owners often feed into these behaviors in their dogs without even knowing it.
When your dog is crying or whining, do you ever ask him: “Ohhh Rover, what’s the matter?”
When your dog is barking just for attention, do you ever give in and give him the attention he is looking for?
I can almost guarantee that just about every dog owner has been guilty of responding to these behaviors in this way at least a couple times.
What’s wrong with this?
Well, when you respond to these kind of unwanted behaviors, you are telling your dog: “When you whine or bark, you will get my attention.”
When you give them this attention that they’re so desperately asking for (in the form of unwanted behavior), your dog is going to think: “When I whine or continuously bark at mom/dad, I get my way!”
Therefore, your dog will continue this behavior of whining and/or barking because your response to these behaviors is the reward.
I’m going to repeat this point because one really can’t stress it enough… your response to these unwanted behaviors is essentially rewarding your dog for misbehaving, which will only cause it to occur more frequently.
After fully grasping that crucial point, let me offer a suggestion.
Instead of rewarding your dog for exhibiting these unwanted behaviors, reward your dog for wanted behaviors. Well, duh!!!
This sounds very simple, but is SO overlooked by most dog owners!! When your dog is simply sitting calmly next to you and behaving, THIS is when he should be rewarded.
Yes—reward your dog for doing absolutely nothing at all! Positive reinforcement is all about rewarding your dog for the behaviors you want repeated.
Of course, we all want our dogs to sit calmly next to us and have their focus on us all the time. Well, then you must TELL them and REWARD them when they are doing exactly this!
When you reward your dog for being calm and quiet, he will think: “When I am calm and quiet and focused on mom/dad, I get rewarded”, and will continue to practice this behavior. It is as simple as that!
2. Overdoing Hellos And Goodbyes
Another extremely common way that owners feed into their dog’s separation anxiety is by making goodbyes and hellos a big deal.
When you get home, do you ever greet your dog very excitedly saying something like: “HI ROVER! OH HI ROVER! I MISSED YOU SO MUCH!!!!”
I know that you are probably just as excited to see your dog after a long day at work as he is to see you, but making it a huge deal when you are reunited IMMENSELY contributes to a dog’s separation anxiety.
When you make arrivals and departures a grand event, this often creates emotional stress for your dog while you are away.
Therefore, if you want to teach your dog to remain calm and keep his cool, you will have to practice calmness at both of these times.
Acting as though hellos and goodbyes are not a big deal is one of the most important things you can do to work through your dog’s separation anxiety.
Of course, you can still calmly say “hi” to your dog and give him love when you get home, but wait until he is calm and sitting before you do so.
3. Leaving Your Dog Alone In A Poorly Conditioned Environment
Another very important aspect of working through a dog’s separation anxiety is thinking about where you leave your dog when you are gone, and how you introduce that place to your dog.
Do you leave your dog in the crate every day when you are gone for 8 hours at a time?
For many people, the answer is probably yes (which is completely fine, by the way).
What really makes the difference is your answer to my next question:
Is this the only time that you leave your dog in the crate?
Or even more important: the other times that you place your dog in his crate, is it to let him relax, or to punish him?
If you were put in a small room every day for 8 hours at a time, what would you think about the room? Probably like a prison! However, imagine that you were forced to stay in this tiny room every time you made a mistake.. How much more would this make you dread that room?
Now, let’s say that you were put in that same room every day for 8 hours at a time; but instead of your other exposure to that room being for punishment, it was your place to eat delicious meals.
This is the power of operant conditioning, that is, how certain stimuli and specifically, positive reinforcement, can positively impact the emotional state of your dog when he is left alone for long periods of time.
So what can I do?
By this point, you should grasp the point that how you associate certain spaces (such as their crate) with them while you’re present will greatly impact how they feel when you’re gone.
If the only time that your dog is in his crate is when you leave him in there for 8+ hours, or even worse, when you punish him as well, he is going to associate the crate with nothing but suffering and being abandoned for long periods of time.
You obviously want your dog to like being in the crate and not associate it with the negativity of being alone.
Therefore, if the crate is the big issue, you will need to go back to the basics of crate training, but for now, I will touch on the basics of associating the crate with positivity.
NOTE: If your dog is left in an enclosed space instead of the crate, use the same approach that I am describing, just substitute the enclosed space in for crate.
How do you associate the crate with positivity?
1. Feed your dog his meals in the crate
Food equals positivity in a dog’s mind (and in ours too, let’s be honest), so associate the crate with meal time and this will help your dog enjoy his crate.
2. Give your dog chewing items in the crate
Antlers, bully sticks, and frozen kongs make great chewing items that dogs love!
Chewing items are a very positive way for dogs to exert their natural need to chew, so chewing items in the crate are an excellent way to keep your dog distracted, and his emotions at bay.
3. Give your dog treats when he is in the crate
Treats are an obvious positive! So be sure to reward your dog when he is in the crate with treats, treats, treats.
4. Give your dog these items of positivity EVERY time he is in the crate!
On top of these quick tips, it is very important that you make your dog understand that the crate does not always equal being alone for long periods.
To prevent this type of anxiety, allow your dog to have breaks inside the crate WHEN YOU ARE HOME in addition to the times that you are gone.
Have your dog spend some time in the crate while you are home so that he isn’t automatically associating the crate with being left alone.
How in the world does putting my dog in the crate for short periods of time help his anxiety?
It makes your dog realize that just because he is going into his crate and you are leaving, does not mean that you will be gone for 8 hours every time.
For instance, if you start by putting him in the crate for very short periods, such as when you are just going to get the mail, it will slowly condition him to grow comfortable with spending time in the crate.
As he starts to get used to the crate and being left alone for short periods, you can slowly increase the amount of time he is in the crate—when you are running errands, shopping, etc.
Obviously you will still have to go to work and leave him for long periods as well.
However, the idea is that he won’t get himself worked up prior to you leaving and think that you will gone forever, every single time he has to go in the crate.
As one final reminder, separation anxiety is a tricky subject that isn’t nearly as easy to change as say jumping on people or even destructive chewing.
It’s a long process that some owners need to work on over the entire span of their dog’s life!
Don’t let that discourage you though, as I’ve equipped you with the best of the best, the knowledge and techniques that I use every day with my own clients.
If you ever feel lost along the way, I offer E-Training sessions via skype/facetime, where we can dig into the nitty gritty details of what you’re experiencing with your dog, and work on correcting these behaviors.
Or, if you have a couple quick questions, feel free to schedule a free 20 minute consultation directly in my schedule here, I’d love to help you out!
Either way, whether or not you need extra help, I know that I’ve given you a TON of tools today, so take the time to re-read this blog as needed, and take notes on some of the tactics that you want to apply with your own dog. Good luck!
Puppies love and need to chew. As a new puppy owner, you have probably found this out the hard way—finding your favorite pair of shoes destroyed or realizing that your pup has been making it 'snow' after gnawing the stuffing out of the couch.
So first of all, why do puppies feel the need to chew on everything?
While you might think that your puppy has set out to make your life a living hell, they actually have better reasons to chew than to simply add to your daily drama. There are a few key reasons for puppy chewing habits:
- Puppies, like human babies, chew when they are teething; therefore, the chewing of objects soothes their gums.
- Also, like babies, puppies put objects in their mouths to figure out what the object is, and what to do with it.
- Finally, puppies may also chew when they are bored or have a lot of energy.
Because of the reasons listed above, dogs actually have a need for chewing, just as they have for sleeping, eating, etc.
Your dog needs to and is going to chew. However, no matter your dog's age (although you may think otherwise at this point), the good news is that you CAN control what your pup chews on and does not chew on.
To do this, you simply have to teach your puppy what is appropriate to chew on and what is not appropriate to chew on.
While puppy chewing is extremely important, if not corrected in the puppy stages, this natural tendency can turn into a truly detrimental behavioral problem when not properly monitored.
How does one go about stopping destructive chewing? Here’s your plan of action:
1. Be sure that you have appropriate chewing objects available for your pup.
We have established that dogs have a need to chew and are going to chew no matter what.
With that in mind, you need to provide them with chewing items that are appropriate for them to chew on.
There are a lot of different types of acceptable chewing items for dogs.
Chewing items are essential for puppies, as dogs actually have a need for chewing, just as they have for eating, exercising, etc.
Also, chewing objects benefit the health of your puppy’s teeth and gums and can provide your puppy with healthy minerals.
Here are the chewing items that I recommend:
Antlers are one of the most amazing chewing object for dogs. They are full of vitamins and minerals, they are natural, and they last FOREVER (‘Forever’ in dog language, meaning a few months).
Why are they so great?
For one, they are much safer than any other chewing item because they are a lot less likely to break off into pieces or splinter.
In addition, antlers will keep your pup busy for a long time, while providing him with health benefits. Antlers are a little bit more pricey, but I promise you they are worth it.
Bully sticks are another great chewing object to have at your disposal. They don’t last nearly as long as antlers, but last quite a bit longer than other chewing treats.
They have a very strong odor which makes dogs love them. They will only last a day or two, but will keep your puppy busy for a little while.
They are also natural and also full of vitamins and minerals for your pup.
Kongs are a great chewing object for puppies!
You can fill them with food and all kinds of goodies your dog will love! I like to fill my pup’s with peanut butter and mix in some of his food and then freeze it for a couple hours before giving it to him.
The frozen treat will last much longer, and the coolness feels great on your pup’s gums and teeth!
However, there are also some marketed chewing items that I advise you to stay far away from:
Despite common belief, bones are very dangerous for dogs.
Bones, especially cooked, can splinter very easily, which can cause an irreparable amount of damage to your puppy.
The splintered bones can get lodged in your puppy’s esophagus or severely injure the stomach.
A puppy who has splintered bones in your his body will most likely need surgery to remove them. Not fun!
You will find rawhide chewing objects at any corporate pet store, like PetSmart or Petco.
It is the most commonly marketed chewing item, but do not let the abundance of it and the low price tag fool you!
What a vast majority of puppy and dog owners DON’T know is that it's very easy for a puppy to bite off a large piece of rawhide and swallow it whole.
This is dangerous because rawhide isn’t digestible for a puppy and can cause gastrointestinal problems or blockage; which means surgery for your puppy and a ridiculously high vet bill coming your way.
There is certainly a risk with anything that your puppy chews, so I suggest closely monitoring your puppy with his chewing items.
Be cautious of the items you are giving your puppy to chew on.
As a general rule of thumb, never give your dog anything that is made outside of the USA. Toxic chemicals have consistently been found on chewing objects for dogs made outside of the United States.
Foreign bones and other items can be deadly to your puppy if he consumes something that is toxic or artificially created.
This plays into the U.S. made distinction, which is important to take into consideration because other countries don’t have nearly as strict regulations as the U.S. when making dog and other animal products.
2. Be very strict with what is appropriate to chew on and what is not.
Do not EVER let your puppy chew on an inappropriate object—not even once... this will only confuse your pup!
Your puppy is just learning right from wrong, so you need to make sure that you are teaching him right from wrong in every area of his life, including what is right to chew on and what is not.
If you are repeatedly telling your puppy to not chew on an inappropriate object, at some point you may think that it is easier to just give up and allow your puppy to chew on the object.
Do not do this!
If you allow your puppy to chew on an inappropriate object, even once, all the progress you had made to that point in teaching him right from wrong chewing objects will be thrown out the window.
Raising a puppy is simply a series of repetitive routines!
It will get annoying having to repeat things a million times, but that is part of raising and training a puppy.
Therefore, you need to be consistent and strict with what is appropriate to chew on and what is not.
Even if it seems as though your puppy will never learn to stop chewing on inappropriate objects, he WILL learn in time as long as you are consistent and patient in consistently guiding him to appropriate chewing behaviors.
3. Redirect your puppy to an appropriate object to chew on.
This is hands down the most important step!
If your puppy does try to chew on an inappropriate object, tell your puppy “NO” and REDIRECT HIM TO THE APPROPRIATE CHEWING OBJECT.
If you don’t redirect your puppy’s attention to an acceptable item, he will continue to find new objects to chew on to satisfy his urge.
Just simply telling your puppy “No” will not teach him anything, which I find to be a mistake in SO many dog owners.
For example, let's say your puppy is chewing on your shoes, you tell him “No”, take the shoes away, and that is it.
Why would your puppy, who has a need to chew, want to stop chewing on your shoes in that situation?
The reality is that he wouldn’t, and he will continue to do it again and again when you approach the situation like this.
Therefore, instead of just telling your puppy “No”, you must REDIRECT him to an appropriate chewing item that will satisfy his need to chew.
Redirection is key to stopping destructive chewing and it is a step that most dog owners never take.
So… yes, you WILL have to be persistent and consistently redirect your puppy to appropriate objects.
But, the more consistent and persistent you are, the faster your puppy will learn and stop those inappropriate chewing habits!
For more detailed information on how to correct destructive behaviors like chewing, plus 19 other inappropriate behavioral problems, check out “The Puppy Training Handbook” Program!
Does your dog love to jump up on you and/or other people?
If the answer is yes—don’t worry—you are definitely NOT alone.
And for those of you who are thinking: “Yes Fluffy just loves me so much and is so excited when I get home that she jumps up on me to give me a hug”...
..Did you know that jumping up on people is actually a behavioral issue that you should not encourage?
In fact, this behavior is one of the most common behavioral issues we see with the clients that we work with who want to have a well-behaved dog.
Owners often have a lot of trouble with getting dogs (of all ages) to stop jumping up on them and other people. Often, I get asked..
"Is there anything really wrong with this?"
Like I referenced earlier, some puppy owners tell me that they don’t mind that their puppy jumps up on them. If this is you, you need to think about this:
It may not seem like that big of a deal now and you may even think it is cute, but will you mind when your 80 pound dog is jumping on you? Chances are good that you will care when your dog knocks you down to the ground and causes you to have an injury.
Or, if your puppy will only grow to be a smaller adult dog, do you want your dog jumping up on every person who walks through your door or every person who greets your dog?
Also, chances are good that you will have your dog out in public at some point (unless you are a hermit that lives a reclusive life in the depths of the jungle).
There ARE people in this world that don’t like dogs (they are absolutely insane, I know), and definitely don’t want a dog jumping up on them.
Why does my dog like to jump on people?
Aside from excitement, dogs may also jump up on people to assert dominance as the pack leader.
Whenever you come home, your dog wants to make sure you know that he is the pack leader.
The same goes when guests come over—your dog wants them to know the home is his territory, and he is the dominant one.
Being dominant over you or any human is NOT a trait you want your dog to possess.
A dog who believes he is dominant over his owner is bound to have many, many issues and can also become aggressive with the owner very easily.
So what’s the solution?
The most important thing that you can do when trying to correct this behavior is to NEVER allow your dog to jump up on ANYONE, EVER.
Often times we see people allow their dog to jump up on them sometimes, and then other times scold them for it.
Maybe one day you get home from work and are so excited to see your dog that you don’t mind him jumping up and “hugging you,” but the next day you are not in the mood for his jumping and scold him for it.
This does absolutely nothing but confuse your pup.
You MUST be consistent with what you deem as an appropriate behavior, and what is not appropriate, and strictly enforce it with your dog.
The other common issue is owners telling us that they don’t care if their pup jumps up on them, but they don’t want their dog jumping on other people.
This is too confusing for dogs to understand!
They don’t comprehend that they are able to jump on one person, but not others. What dogs do comprehend is that they are not allowed to do something or that they are not allowed to do something altogether.
"So what should I do when my puppy jumps up on me?"
If your puppy attempts to jump up on you:
What should I do when my puppy jumps up on guests or strangers?
When you have house guests, I suggest putting your puppy on a leash if you know that he is going to want to jump up on them.
Inform your guests that you don’t allow him to jump up and instruct them to turn their body and tell him “OFF” if he does.
Often times, dogs jump up on people out of excitement when their owner is just getting home.
If this is the case with your pup, the steps above may not be enough to calm your pup down and get him to stop jumping up on you.
To find out what else you can do to get your overly excited puppy to stop jumping up on people so you can feel comfortable about bringing them in public, check out the “Solving Behavioral Problems” section in “The Puppy Training Handbook” for an incredibly detailed solution to this problem!