Skippy the bush kangaroo: Have you got a dog that jumps up??

Dec 08, 2023

Hello Eveyone

My aim Is to help as many people as possible understand why their dog is behaving the way it is and then give some simple steps to help rectify the problem.

If you are experiencing problems with your puppy/dog, please read through this and stay tuned for further training blogs. I truly believe you will find at least one thing that you can apply and help with your problem/problems

One thing I just want you to remember is theres no magic pill when it comes to dog training. It requires consistency over time, alot of repetition and most importantly patience. I definitely struggled with patience in the early days.

Here are a few questions to consider with regards to problematic behaviour and be honest.

Does my dog/puppy really understand what I am asking them to do or are they confused?

Have I practiced it over and over again in many many situations and environments or did I just do it for a little while in not very distracting environments? Im talking several months too not several weeks.

Do I from time to time ask my dog to do something and not follow through with what Im asking? Ask them to sit several times, they dont do it and thats the end of it? Call them in from garden or recall whilst out and again get ignored?

Have I always used a treat in my hand to get my dog/puppy to do something. The moment the treat is gone, they wont do what Im asking?

Have I put my dog/puppy in situations that I consider maybe too distracting and then got frustrated that they wont listen to me e.g guests coming over, taking the puppy on the school run where it comes into contact with lots of children/people, having my dog/puppy out at meal times, letting my dog/puppy off lead when I havent got a proper recall and allowing it to run over to other dogs/people/chase wildlife.

Have I been humanising my dog/puppys behaviour in the hope it will stop. Shouting at my dog/puppy when its barking, reacting to my dog/puppy for jumping up ie saying no/stop/off/get down or pushing it down/away or turning your back on it.

These are common things I see happening over and over and I will be totally honest I have also done some of these things.

And so we begin色..

A lot of what I discuss is for puppies but there is also information included for adult dogs and what to do if you are experiencing problems. The sooner we start implementing this training from when we get our puppies the more effective it is going to be.

If you can take away one thing with regards to most of the problematic behaviours you may be experiencing its that you need to start ignoring the problematic behaviour, preventing it from occurring and then rewarding the behaviour you want. Now you may think is that really one if your pearls of wisdom that is going help me?

(It wont work for seperation anxiety or resource guarding)

Well, Yes!!!! It is. The best example i like to use is jumping up. I was literally only dealing with this on Sunday with a client who is experiencing this problem, amongst other things.

When I turned up I was greeted, like in most cases by a labradoodle that was imitating a kangaroo. So here is the first problem. If you have a dog that greets everyone like this, then STOP letting it do it.

Every single time your dog does this to someone it is a) getting rewarded for doing it and b) thinks this behaviour is totally acceptable, because its getting rewarded for doing it.

Now youre probably thinking, how is my dog getting rewarded for doing this? Its getting rewarded because I can almost guarantee that either you or your guests coming into the house will Be giving the dog something. When i refer to giving them something, I mean either touching them in one way or another or you are reacting, saying stop it, no, off etc or pushing them away or trying to get them off said guests.

This is humanising dog behaviour by treating it, how we would a human. They are NOT humans they are dogs.

In our minds we are telling the dog to stop it and dont do that, so should that not be enough for the dog to stop. No it wont.

I will Never ever greet a dog or interact with a dog that is jumping up at me, its gets ignored. Then when its four paws are on the floor or its butt hits the ground i will either give it a treat or praise it. Because thats the behaviour I want more of.

Any BEHAVIOUR(jumping up) a dog finds rewarding will CONTINUE in frequency. The jumping up will if it hasnt already get worse.

If you just take a look at your dog when all this is going on, quite frankly its loving every minute of it.

When I say ignore the dog. I literally mean ignore the dog, stand there with your arms folded and give it zero, every single time it does this. Say nothing, do nothing!

But we just cant help ourselves, we feel that we must do something. So we shout sit, a million times and the dog continues with its Skippy the bush kangaroo impression . Then all weve done yet again is reward our dog for this behaviour and so the cycle goes on and on. The same applies to Counter surfing, jumping up to the table, literally every time your dogs paws leave the floor and you react, its having the opposite affect. It will Only get worse.

Also the mere fact that we are asking our dog to do something sit, we then expect them to do it. When it doesnt we are kind of all out of ideas and get more and more frustrated with every command of sit we give thereafter.

Plus a dog would rather have any attention than no attention. That refers to when maybe youve got a little too frustrated and gone a bit too far or shouted a bit too loud. It happens.

Heres something else I want to the throw in the mix and again be honest. When youve been sat down on the sofa, at a table, come through the front door and missed your dog or just because you felt like it, encouraged your dog up to you and then made a massive fuss of them. Yes/no?? Now hang on a minute isnt that the behaviour that annoys you?!?!? So why are you making a fuss of your dog when it does it at different times of the day in a different setting??? You cant have it both ways. Thats why dogs are confused because they dont know right from wrong because us humans muddy those waters. Dogs are very black & white in how they learn. So consider how we got To this situation in the first place.

Its not about blame, its just seeing things from your dogs point of view. You are where you are and you have to change these things to turn the tide. It applies to everyone in the family. There is no point the grown ups doing it whilst the kids are still encouraging all the wrong behaviours, inconsistency and confusion again.

It isnt going to be easy to now get a different behaviour that we have unintentionally trained into our dog, but it is achievable I can assure you. It just requires time, consistency & patience. Something us humans struggle with a lot!!!

As mentioned before you have to stop it going on, if that means having your dog on a lead, having it in a crate, pen or behind a baby gate then that is what has to be done. There is no point doing it some of the time, for a few weeks or when it suits. You MUST go all in!!!!

Please dont get offended when I say this but if you had implemented these things from the get go, you wouldnt be where you are now. Its your dog and if you dont want to put it in a crate, pen or have it on a lead, then dont do it. But no this, your dog will continue with all this behaviour. I can assure you, it will only get worse and even harder to reverse the longer you allow it to go on for.

Exercises to help with jumping up:

Exercise 1

Ignore your dog when you return home. You need to get away from worrying about the fact they are still doing the jumping. It doesnt matter!!!! Provided you dont react to it. Then when the right behaviour is offered(sitting or all paws on floor) you reward them with praise or a treat. The most important part is Be patient, I guarantee I would get your dog to sit without saying a single word to it or touching it.

Exercise 2

Practice having your dog under control on a short lead, next to you. I am right handed so I hold the lead in my right hand, have my dog to the left of me and use my left hand to hold the lead about 2 ft from the dogs collar. The dog must be by your side, not out in front of you. Then get family members to approach and dont give the dog the opportunity to jump up all over them. Keep them by your side under control. If they start lunging and being silly, say nothing and get the family member to simply back away. Then when the dog is calm again, they can approach. It doesnt matter how long it takes(patience) the dog must learn in order to meet people it must be calm and either sitting(my preferred option) or all four paws on floor. You MUST stop your dog meeting people by jumping all over them. Its bad manners!!!

If you have children a stair gate is a very good physical barrier to use or if they are a puppy in a pen use the pen. The kids can stand the other side, wait for the right behaviour and then put a treat through it to give to the dog. Dont start leaning over the top of gate or pen because its just going to encourage the dog to jump again. Keep their paws on the floor.

Plus if the kids are very young the dog cant physically access them and cause the kids to scream, move arms & legs around and get the dog more excited.

Exercise 3

Walk around with a handful of your dogs food(if dry) or some treats.

No doubt this will cause your dog to try and jump Up and get the food from you.

Keep the food up high and say nothing, do nothing. Not sit, nothing at all!!!!

They have to realise the only way they are getting any food is by putting its butt on the ground or keeping all paws on the floor.

Patience is key again. Remember the fact they are doing the jumping doesnt matter(we must get our head around this) we DO NOT have to do anything other than WAIT. When the dog stops jumping(and it will) you reward them. Then walk away and repeat over and over. Do this every day for 2 weeks along with the other things and I assure you there will be a change in your dogs behaviour. Just remember in those excited moments they will revert back to the jumping so just try to keep things as calm As possible.

You just have to remain consistent and make sure you dont revert back to your old habits of reacting and rewarding the wrong behaviour.

There are no quick fixes in dog training. As Ive banged on in this email and I will say one more time. It requires hard work, consistency over time and patience. Your dog can be fixed and IF you implement what Ive suggested you will get the twists you want.

I am not into flowering things up, as you have seen. If thats not for you then thats absolutely fine.

I am also not into going to tell people do this one thing and it will resolve all your problems. This kind of training doesnt exist.

If it sounds too good to be true then trust me, it is!!!

I really hope youve found this helpful and if so please keep an eye out for more help. All I am trying to do is help as many people as possible have the dog that they desire.

Have a great day and Happy training!!!

Paul 塔塔