When we talk about how to stop jumping dogs, or stopping any unwanted behavior, we have to
find a consequence that the dog finds intolerable. This doesn’t mean painful! This just
means something that causes the dog to make a decision to avoid a behavior because of the
consequences. It can be something that causes a dog to startle – like the pet convincer or
bonker. Or, it can be something uncomfortable like a prong or ecollar correction. It just
depends on the dog, as far as which works best.
There are many thoughts on how to stop a jumping dog. I was once told to turn away from a
jumping dog, ignore him, then give him a treat when he sits. Unfortunately, training a dog to do an alternate behavior doesn’t train a dog NOT to do the known behavior. And tolerating a dog jumping on myself, an elderly relative, or a small child over and over while waiting for him to sit, is not acceptable, especially when you can stop a jumping dog right now.
When stopping any unwanted behavior like jumping dogs – set up the situation to allow your
dog to make the mistake you are expecting. If the behavior happens when you are not
expecting it, you generally aren’t prepared to properly deal with it. This can be so
So, to stop jumping dogs, there are a couple of ways to deal with this, depending on what
tools you are using.
Four Ways to Stop Jumping Dogs
Using leash and prong: have a friend or family member come over and allow the dog to
approach on a loose leash (very important not to hold the dog back with the leash). If the
dog jumps, use a leash pop to correct the dog’s behavior. If the dog doesn’t jump, have the
person pet the dog. Then, walk away with the dog. Re-approach and try again. You will see
your dog start to hold himself accountable by keeping all 4 feet on the floor! If you find
the dog consistently jumps, you may need to use stronger leash corrections or try another
method to stop your jumping dog.
Using ecollar: Allow the dog to approach your friend or family member. If the dog jumps,
use an ecollar correction on the jumping dog. This ecollar correction does not necessarily
need to be very high, depending on the dog. If the dog doesn’t jump, have the person pet
the dog. Then, walk away with the dog. Re-approach and try again. After a couple of tries,
if you find it’s not causing your dog to regulate his own behavior, use higher levels until
you find the results you are looking for.
Using bonker: Again, with a friend or family member to help, allow the dog to approach, and
when your dog jumps, bonk at the dog. Give the dog a minute and reapproach. For more information on bonkers, check out this video.
Using pet convincer: You need to be close by, so with your friend or family there, when the
dog jumps on the person, trigger a brief spray from the pet convincer behind the dog’s
head. It can take a couple of reps, but dogs learn pretty quickly and will modify their
behavior to avoid such a consequence in the future. For details on the Pet Convincer, see my Facebook post.
If the dog jumps only on you, use the ecollar, bonker, or pet convincer yourself to correct
your jumping dog.
Now once you have stopped your dog from jumping, it’s the proper time to reward him! When your dog does not jump on people, then as your dog approaches people (or you) and makes the decision to sit (or you ask him to sit), then definitely reward with a treat!