Your Questions: Dog Jumping on Strangers?

Hi Katarina,

I was hoping you could help me with a problem I am having with my dog. He is a one year old Labrador and thinks that everyone loves him. So much so, that he takes it upon himself to greet people at the park by jumping on them. This behaviour gets us in to trouble and I have been yelled at on more that one occasion. How do I stop him jumping on people when he is too far away to grab?

Thank you

Sonja

Hi Sonja, your dog sounds like a typical adolescent Labrador, they really do think everyone loves them. What’s not to love? Oh yeah, the jumping is a bit of an issue with these guys.

The key to stopping him jumping on people is a good recall. If you have him trained for a good recall you will be able to call him back before he has a chance to jump on anyone. Here are a few links to some of the articles I have written on recall……

http://doglifetraining.com/2011/03/breaking-down-the-recall/

http://doglifetraining.com/2010/11/go-free/

You must be proactive about this by keeping a look out for people coming your way. As relaxing as a walk is with our dogs, it is really important not to become shut off from what’s around you. This is particularly important for dogs that are prone to introducing themselves to people in this manner. Always be looking ahead and around you so that you can get your dog back to you before it’s too late.

This awareness is vital if you are in the process of building a recall. Your dog will not be conditioned to the recall so you will need to get their attention before they see someone they are likely to jump on.

Once a reliable recall is trained you should be able to call your dog back from most situations, including people they would like to jump on.

Sonja, I suspect you are also having the same issue when your dog is on lead. In that case, asking your dog to ‘sit’, and feeding him, as people are walking past, will stop the lunging out. It also means you will not need to rely on the lead or your strength to stop him. Eventually, you will be able to ask him to ‘sit’ and you can give him a treat after the person has walked past (as long as he has continued focusing on you).

Over time, the less your dog jumps on people the less likely he is to participate in this behaviour- he will forget that he even used to do this. So, the more proactive you can be, the quicker this will get resolved.

So, to recap…..

A good recall is imperative.

Be aware of your environment when you are walking.

Prepare for your walk by always having some fresh treats and/or a toy to encourage your dog to listen to you.

Good luck.

Katarina

Photo: pollsb.com

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