Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by splitz831, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. splitz831 New Member

    I have two boston terriers, and if you know any bostons you know they are jumpy little guys. These two are the jumpiest I've ever seen, I'm 5"9 and they can read my head. I generally don't mind the jumping as I know it is just in their nature to be jumpy but they jump at guests and I can't seem to break them of the habit. They often accidently slam into people's noses as they bend down to pet them because they jump up. They are always craving attention, the second you even look at them for too long they think it's time to play and start jumping up to get to your face. The vet says it's a Boston thing, they like to be near your face because they feel closer to you, but I don't think mine nor my guests noses can take much more assult. They will calm down for my husband and I when we ask but not if there is a guest.

    Does any one have an suggestions on how to stop this behaviour. I'm extra worried now because we just got a Bernese Mountain dog who loves to mimic his sisters and I'm thinking I don't want a hundrend pound dog to become a jumper!


  2. l_l_a New Member

    A good way is to turn your back on the dog and fold your arms and ignore the dogs until they stop jumping. No talking to them, no eye contact, don't even look at them. Just stay like that until they calm down and stop jumping, then pet them when they have all four feet on the ground. If they start jumping again, repeat. They are jumping for attention, if you scold or push them down, that is still attention. By turning around you are removing all attention from them, until they are doing what you want. By folding your arms, your posture sends further signals that you are not interacting.

    this does not work in one sitting. You will have to repeat this many, many times because dogs learn by repetition. And you will have to be consistent each time. if you give in and pet or talk to them sometimes when they are still jumping, it sends them mixed messages. but if you are consistent then pretty soon they will get it and will be jumping less and less and then not any more.

    If they jump on other people, then you should either tell those people to do the same thing (if you have been consistent with your dog, then they will soon recognize the turned-back from other people and stop jumping sooner), or else you can practice a good sit-stay so you can tell the dogs to sit and that gives them something to do instead of jump when they are greeting people. Perhaps tell your guests to not bend directly over the dogs (as they can get smacked in the face if the dog chooses to jump up at that exact moment and this is before the guest has a chance to turn their back) rather to kneel down and extend a hand outward and forward to the dogs to pet them.
  3. splitz831 New Member

    thanks. I'll give that a try. We do tend to talk to them while they are jumping, normally to say stop or down which don't work.

    The problem with most guests is that they think they are cute, lol, and they like how excited they are by them, but since most of our guests are close friends I think I can convince most of them to do it.
  4. gravelhighway New Member

    I am also having the same problem with my 3-month-old Lab, Rosco. The problem is when my boyfriend comes home. Rosco's jumping is pretty bad, but he has the habit of hitting my boyfriend in the.. you know. Rosco is SO fast and will just spring out of NOWHERE, so it's difficult to avoid him.

    I've tried leaving him in the crate for awhile when my boyfriend gets home, but Rosco throws a fit and does not stop (he barked for 2 hours straight one night, which I cannot have because of my neighbors).
  5. stormi Well-Known Member

    I agree with the advice l l a gave. Ignoring unwanted jumping and paying attention to the dog when calmer usually works. Definitely try that first.

    However, with my border collie that approach didnt work. The behaviour was too engrained when I got her I suppose. I found two things really helped. First was to keep her on a collar and relatively long lead. I stood on the lead so it was a length where she could sit, but not jump. I didnt pull on her, she 'checked' herself. This meant she couldnt jump and hurt people, and also that she could get attention for keeping 'off'.

    Secondly I taught her 'sit'. It's still a work in progress with her, but I strengthened her sit (lots of reinforcement and increasing distraction). Now, if she is jumping up at people I can tell her to 'sit' and she will 'sit' for a short while for them to smooth her. If she moves they stop paying her attention and I recommand 'sit'. Like I said a work in progress as she does get overexcited easily, but most times she is very good, and for some regular visitors she goes over to them and sits waiting for their attention!

    I know some people find taking hold of the dogs paws and placing them back on the ground, then smoothing the dog helps. Also, some say 'off' and blow into the dogs face on the 'ffff'. Most dogs dont like it, and so get 'off' then they can be praised.

    Hope you find a method that works for you and your dog
  6. hockey390 New Member

    I also agree with the ignoring. With persistence it will eventually pay off. Just keep at it and MAKE SURE you do it all the time, not just part of the time. Doing it part of the time will ruin any progress you make. This is how I worked on biting, or not accepting treats properly in the beginning. You need them to associate the two things, cause and effect. In the mind of a dog:
    IF I jump up, THEN they don't pay attention to me.
    IF I stay off (even if I get really excited), THEN they will praise me!

    As for you Stormi, I would suggest working on your sit stay commands in an environment that is gradually distracting. The dog must learn to focus on you, as the alpha roll. What I mean by increasing the distraction is start small.. Once you get the 'sit-stay' down pat, you could maybe have the TV on in the room while training. Then with someone in the room (such as someone else making food in the kitchen while you are in there training). Then a public park, then wherever you chose. My favorite place to work on the sit stay is in the large pet store here in town. I take a 30 ft. retractable leash and head to the food isle. I have Emma sit and 'wait' while I walk away. People walk by, there are other dogs around, she is in an odd place, there is FOOD.. Many good distractions to help work on it.

    Sorry for going away from topic everyone.
  7. sammy1 New Member

    There are alot of things you can do for jumping. The suggestion of keeping thier leads on and stepping on them is the one I use most often. Alot of the times we make coming home or having guests over such a big event for our dogs that they have trouble controlling themselves. One thing I do is not pay any attention to my dogs for 10 minutes when I do get home. I really want to say hi to alll my guys but there is usually some unwanted behavior in there, with ignoring them, there is no chance of accidentally reinforcing some of the unwanted stuff. I have my guests do the same thing. It takes a while, but you should see some results. You can also teach an incompatable behavior like go to your place, which is a down-stay until released in a specified area. If you want to get creative, teach your dogs to spin when new people come over. They can't jump when they are spinning and it can burn off a little of that excited energy.
  8. fickla Experienced Member

    I agree with everyone's suggestions on turning your back, rewarding for not jumping, and possibly ignoring them when you first get home.

    You can also try teaching them to jump on command. For a lot of dogs, jumping is intrinsically reinforcing so just ignoring/turning your back on the jumping doesn't work as well. So if you teach them to jump on command, you can reward them sometimes with that! Dogs also learn things in pairs really well, so it's easier to teach "off" if you have a "hup" command.
  9. splitz831 New Member

    Well I've tried bits and peices of everyone's advice, but sadly jasper and his sisters are still jumping when guests walk in the door and when my husband comes in. They've learned not to do it with me, so I guess that is a step in the right direction. It's recently been suggested that I get a can with rocks or something heavy in it to shake when they jump up. Hopefully they'll associate the scary sound with jumping. I'm not sure if this will work but at 65lbs and still growing I've got to get it figured out soon....especially if I want more kids Jasper has really good aim with my husband...lol
  10. sarhaspups New Member

    I agree with everyones suggestions. My advise would to start putting your dog in a down or sit for everything good in his life... sit/down for his meal time, before throwing a ball, before going out of a door way, before leaving the car... everything. Then you can incorporate the sit or down behavior with doing it for greeting people. My thought on this is that every time you ask your dog to sit/ down you are automatically rewarding him positively with something fun immediately and getting petted is fun and rewarding for a dog. So, you can start having him sit/down before getting any petting from anyone and when he does down he gets pets and love.... the sit/down will come automatic because he knows he get attention when he sits/downs. Make sense. I have trouble discribing things so you can understand what i'm talking about.
    Let me know if you don't understand. :)
  11. maggies mom Well-Known Member

    I also agree with everyone's suggestions. My sheltie likes to jump to greet people too and I put her in a stay and have the guest come over to "Say Hello" and it seems to work very well. It took several times for her to learn to be calm. The trick is to get her in the sit-stay command BEFORE your guest enters the household.

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