This is a very sweet and endearing story. A friend went to bring the family dog in from the back yard, only to find that it was quite happy to remain outside to frolic with a little white Maltese puppy that had dug under their fence to play.
The little Maltese had always been super sweet, so there was no worry about the two dogs playing nicely together. In fact, all the neighborhood dogs are allowed to play as often as possible so they won’t all bark at each other, but that’s a topic for a different day.
We wanted to share this little story not to talk about digging, but because after a little white dog digs a hole under a fence, it tends to be extremely muddy.
Right on queue, as sure as the sun rises was the reminder just how quickly a puppy that hasn’t been trained yet to not jump up on people, can quickly soil a brand new pair of pants.
And that’s what happened. As soon as our friend went outside to see just how this Maltese had escaped into the yard, it ran and very excitedly started to jump up and claw its muddy paws all over summer white pants.
But instead of getting mad, our friend decided to turn the situation into a teaching moment for the little guy. A dog lesson… a nice and helpful lesson.
Taking a few minutes to quickly run inside to change into a pair of beat-up jeans, so not to cause any further damage to the pants he was wearing… Chet ran back outside to teach this Maltese a little lesson in not jumping up on people.
Now we know some folks will tell you to swat the dog every time it jumps up, or knee it in the chest, or pull up on it’s arms as a way to cause discomfort, and get the dog to stop jumping up.
But that’s FAR from the best way to teach a dog to stop jumping up…..
You see, a dog jumps up because it’s excited, and it wants your attention. So, we just have to make sure that we give the dog what it wants (attention) after it has asked for it in an appropriate way.
And we need to do this in a way that makes sure we completely stop giving attention to the dog when it does jump up.
The combination of giving the dog zero attention when it jumps up, and lavishing it with praise when it sits patiently at your feet, is the easiest way to do this.
This method took no less than 3 minutes to teach the neighbor’s little escape artist. Chet used a form of dog psychology to educate. He simply reached down in an excited manner so the dog got over-excited and wanted to play, and Chet continued to play with the dog until it’s over-excited exuberance led to the dog jumping up on his leg.
At the exact instant the dog jumped up, Chet quickly stood up, removed eye contact with the dog and remained as still as a stump, showing no emotion.
When the dog got bored waiting for Chet to resume playing he immediately got right back to playing excitedly with the puppy.
It didn’t take long at all for the dog to realize that the second his muddy little paws touched the pant legs the play session was over, and in 5 minutes the behavior was fixed.
So if you’ve got a dog that has a problem jumping up on you, try out this technique, and please leave a comment letting us know how it worked for you. Chet is a compassionate, true professional and we urge you to take a look at the training program he has available by CLICKING HERE.
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