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How should I teach the off command (jumping up on people) when I am the only one around? There is no one to practice on but me. It's a big problem when we encounter a stranger on the street, as well as those she is familiar with. She is just an 'every day is a party!' dog. She's pretty good getting off of things like furniture and such, it's just people. Training her to jump on me, then off, doesn't seem to have much effect on her. Should I just keep on it until she finally (after about 2yrs) gets it? Is there a way to use food treats to help her understand.....maybe I could spray myself with bitter apple. :) It could be worse.........at least it's a friendly aggression.
Instead of saying "off" should I give her another command like sit or down?
 

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How have you taught off? (Or sit and down, for that matter.)

Remember that off has no inherent meaning to your dog. You could yell 'cucumber!" every time she went to jump on someone and it'd mean just as much to her. Do you want her to STOP jumping on command, or just not to jump at all?

Find a friend and meet up at the park. Have your dog on leash. Walk up to friend. Whenever her front feet leave the ground, have your friend pivot away from your dog. Use the leash to keep her from following. When she puts her feet back down (and this may take a minute or two the first time), have him turn back and pet her. If at any point her feet leave the ground, he should turn away really fast. Don't grab the collar and attempt ot pull her off or down when she jumps- just have him turn away from her. She'll learn very quickly that if she's got feet on the ground is the only way she gets any attention. Once she's able to NOT jump for a minute or two at a time with your friend, find a new volunteer, and start over. She'll go back to jumping initially, but repeat the step of pivoting away and then returning when she's being good. Each session should take no more than 15 minutes. After 4-5 repeats of this with new people, you'll notice that sessions are getting WAY shorter - she may still try to jump initially but if it doesn't work, she's quicker to settle down. Continue practicing and very soon she won't try at all, because staying down on the ground works better.
 

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When it's just me (90% of the time), I turn away and say down. That works. Some times it takes 2-3 times depending on how excited she is. When she is really excited she just can't contain herself. By the time she pulls herself together it seems like she's only run out of adrenalin, not really responding automatically to the off command. I use the word 'down' only when I want her to lay down. That one was easy cuz I won't throw the ball until she is in the down position. :) She sits and stays well depending on distractions. She will come to a very nice heel right next to me before we set out on a walk. She's pretty much okay at home unless my other dog is involved. He's a good example for her but he's just too much fun to play with. My main trouble is the sudden jumping on me and other people. Because of my living situation, I rarely have anyone to practice on except the general public. I'm not a shut-in, just not out much to practice with distractions (people). We don't have a dog park here and there is pretty much no public area to have her meet others. I'm looking into a nearby doggy daycare which will help with her social skills but not the jumping problem. She's a very smart dog, just tooooo friendly sometimes. If I could get her to have a different reaction to an excitable moment that would be wonderful. Instead of saying off, should I start saying sit since she's much better at that (most of the time). Then calmly praise, praise, praise.
 

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I'm in a similar situation with Tucker. What I've been doing is to tether him to something, then walk up to him. As soon as he starts jumping up, and take a step or two back and ignore him. When he's sitting (I don't ask for this, but let him offer it instead), I'll walk towards him. We only have to do this about three times before he *gets* that sitting gets him pets and loving, whereas jumping gets him nothing. Try this and let us know how you fare.
 
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