Everyone wants a well mannered dog, but how many of you really want to put in the time to get the dog you want?
A little knowledge goes a long way. That includes what your dog knows. So it just stands to reason that if you know why your dog does what he does –it’s much easier to use his dog logic to your advantage. You can create that well-mannered dog you’ve always wanted. So listen up.
Control your personal space
Your dog uses your personal space as just one way to control who’s in charge. And it happens before you know it – almost over night!
Dogs instinctively take, not give up, things of value. In your dog’s world, personal space is a valuable resource that defines his space and yours.
In your dog’s mind, if you cannot control your personal space, then he leads – you follow. That mindset begins to dictate his thinking about listening which affects manners. See how the pattern develops?
An amazing difference
Teach your dog not to invade your personal space – unless invited. Then require a sit before inviting him into your personal space. Do this every day and you will see an amazing difference in your dog.
Here’s how to do it
Obviously if you trained your dog to sit instead of jump, you’ve solved your jumping problem. This does require a fair amount of time training – and around distractions like house guests. Where are you going to get visitors, every day for training?
What do you do during the jumpy, out of control period before your dog learns to sit? This is the frustrating part of the training I’m talking about. It is the nuts and bolts of training and control. Quite honestly this is where most owners quit or are not consistent. This is how I want to help you. This is where you need it the most.
Most jumpy, out-of-control dogs have never had boundaries set – you know, jumping on you when you get home or jumping on you when you sit on the sofa.
What are you waiting for? Begin now to set your boundaries. Do the following steps every day until you achieve success:
- Put a leash on your dog and as you sit down, put your foot on the leash with no slack and say, “Settle!”
- Then don’t look at, talk to or touch your dog. No eye contact.
- The more you do this exercise, the more frequently he will resolve to lay down by your feet on his own.
- Once he has learned to settle (lay by your feet) for 5-10 minutes, have him sit and invite him up onto the sofa.
- Now you are controlling your personal space and setting boundaries. This he understands.
- In the beginning balance time on the floor with time on the sofa with you.
The leash is the game changer
The leash is the game changer for beginning to have control to prevent jumping and getting into your personal space. Use it liberally. It will bring peace and calm to your household.
If your dog is on leash when you are home, simply step on the leash to prevent jumping (don’t look at, talk to or touch your dog) and when your dog settles into a sit, briefly pet and release him from his sit.
Repeat this exercise until you get longer and longer sits and eventually no jumping on approach.
Practice several times daily until you get the behavior you want.
If your dog is pretty much running the house then my Ground Rules for Great Dogs will help you get control back, easily and quickly.
I’m always curious about your input – it’s important to me. Do you deal with this situation in your house? Comment below with your frustration about this.
Remember: “Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”
Jim Burwell, Houston dog trainer for 25+ years, serving over 9000 clients, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad. Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog.