New Dog! How to stop jumping up?

Baroo2uMay 23, 2014

I've just adopted a Rez dog, 4 yr old Savana. She's smart, sweet, is kind & tolerant of my other two dogs...
Her foster mom's daughter taught her to "Hug" and "Jump" for treats. (After seeing the results, the FM has laid down the law with her kids.) Unfortunately, Savana now jumps on you and tries to put her paws on your shoulders if she sees food in your hand. Not just treats, mind you--a cup of hot tea, a plate of spaghetti & sauce--it's all the same to her!

She's pretty large & energetic and usually tramples my smaller dogs in her excitement and scratches my arms, not to mention the potential for injury to all from hot items and the increased cleaning bills!

So, how do I UNteach her this adorable (NOT!) trick? I can teach a dog to do nearly anything, but how do you unteach them? I've started by ignoring this behavior, which is hard when your arms are being scratched up. I've also trained her to sit using a new signal: the "hands up" gesture people usually use when a dog runs at them! So I've made some headway...but if she's excited she pretty much ignores commands. My positive reinforcement training background is kinda lame when it comes to correcting a bad behavior...

I'm also concerned about frightening her--she's very timid, and it took weeks for me to earn her trust.

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What about getting down to her level and teaching her "Down" and then giving her treats. You will get alot of great advice here. Congrats, she's a beauty!!!!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 3:46PM
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Try and make training fun!! Start with positive rewards.
Start with sit and stay, reward reward reward. if she jumps gently correct her but taking her paws off you and placing them on the ground as you say OFF, as soon as her paws hit the ground say OFF and reward her. Practice this at least 30 minutes a day, but the end of the week your dog should get it.
PS - Always end on a positive note. Good Luck

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 3:49PM
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I agree with Mazer, I think the way to cope with a lot of dog issues is to teach them to sit, it is so easy to do, it seems as if they understand in just a few minutes what you want with the sit command.
When they are sitting they can't be jumping.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 3:55PM
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Walk into the room with an unbreakable plate or container. When she jumps up, sweep your foot across her hind legs (standard judo move) and knock her over ... every time. And sharply say NO!

If she's a reasonably bright dog, she'll catch on that jumping up is not working any more.

If you can't handle the foot sweep, use your ferr hand to shove her away and sharply say "NO!".

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 8:10PM
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Prevention of unwanted behavior is more successful than correction in my experience.

That means you will have more success by stopping the jumping before it starts. That has the added benefit of not being loud/aggressive when correcting her. The Sit sign is a good start.

Set up a training sequence. Have her sit by you at a table/chair. Have a small treat(does not take much a bit of her favorite kibble works) handy.

Pick up a trigger(cup/sandwich/etc) and make the Sit sign at the same time. If she moves, put down the trigger and start over.

Keep it up for 10 minutes. Maybe a morning and afternoon session.

When she does not move, drink a sip or take a bite of the sandwich(faking is fine). Then reward her---bit of kibble and "Good Girl!".

It may take a bit of time, but maintaining the system means she learns new acceptable behavior instead of trying to correct old unwanted behavior.

You then need to wean her off the treat every time.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 12:04PM
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beautiful dog!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 7:19PM
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robo (z6a)

I work with rescue greyhounds and some of their trainers taught them the same trick. As you discovered, they're tall, their claws hurt, and prospective adopters generally don't love getting hugs from big dogs!

In the moment, a good way to fend off the hug is to turn sideways and bring your knee up, not to knee her or hurt her in any way, just to block the hug.

She may interpret pushes and 'nos' as playing, so blocking, ignoring and teaching alternate behaviours like you have been may be good ways to prevent the behaviour.

Here is a link that might be useful: Stop dogs and puppies from jumping up

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 7:27PM
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Beautiful girl you've got there!

I commend you for teaching her not to jump. Not only for yourself, but for others too because it's just bad manners and she could knock someone down. Of course you know all this.

I'm working on my terrier who jumps up, and people tend to tolerate it because he's little, but I totally disagree with that. He shouldn't be allowed bad manners just because he's little. We're making some progress.

Don't forget, lots and lost of praise when she does good, make her feel like she's the best dog in the world.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 12:10PM
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I've had good luck discouraging jumping by turning my back on the dog, arms folded across my chest - completely ignoring him. When all four feet are politely on the floor, THEN I praise like mad. No attention at all as long as you're jumping. I think it's much easier to teach what TO do than what not to do.

I had a 100-lb lab (not overweight, but tall), and I taught him "off". It meant a variety of things, but ultimately it meant "don't touch!". Off the couch, don't touch the treat in my fingers until I tell you to "take it", stay off the baby blanket on the floor when my twins were babies.

Good luck, and hang in there! I know you can make your lovely girl into a polite housedog.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 12:53PM
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Have been wondering about this situation. Any updates?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 11:05AM
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Savanna is improving--I've taught her "off" and "wait," 'tho she still forgets when excited. To avoid overenthusiastic greetings of visitors, She's learned to sit when seeing the typical human defensive posture (step backward, hands thrown up)--all my dogs learn this in case they encounter someone who's afraid of dogs. She's even learned to play carefully or resist the play overtures of her basenji brother under certain conditions to avoid trashing the house.

She's a very anxious dog, not surprising given her background. Physical contact is reassuring for her, so I've also taught her to target my hand so she'll have a "secret" bonding signal in places where she might become nervous.

I'm finding calm demeanor & quiet verbal corrections work best with her. She's very timid, so more aggressive corrections would frighten her since she's still not accustomed to humans--she was born & grew up without an owner, running loose on a reserve.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 3:49AM
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Thanks for the update! I love how committed you are to making Savanna a happy, responsible member of your household. I'm sure your soothing manner helps a lot.

You're so right about staying calm. If she's anxious, the last thing she needs is for you to get excited. Too bad we can't teach dogs deep breathing.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 11:25AM
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With 3 dogs staying calm is sometimes just wishful thinking--but the two basenjis have been great teachers of patience. Good thing, 'cuz Savanna makes them seem angelic by comparison: take a look at her handiwork, lol!

One question if any of you are experienced /w German Shepherd/Husky types--she has behaviours that are unfamiliar to me. She wants to lick my mouth, climb on top of me to play or chew (gently) at my hands. The face licking is submissive, I think--but then crawling on me to play is sibling behaviour, isn't it? Can anyone explain these seemingly contradictory behaviours? Basenjis just don't do this stuff...

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 6:37PM
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Oh dear. Is the sofa leather and not damaged? I'd say someone needs some toys, running, or more supervision! Be careful you don't clog your vacuum cleaner.

I cannot help with the dog behavior but hope he's not jumping up like he was.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 8:21PM
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Sometimes, neutering a dog causes reverse behavior traits. The lack of natural hormones allows the presence of the opposite natural hormones to become active.

Things like female dogs leg humping or male dogs squatting to pee type activities. The dog is actually confused(but not aware) by the situation.

The jumping on you is not sibling play behavior. It is very possibly a mild dominance action. The hand mouthing is a GSD type behavior, I have a GSD mix who does that to my wife(she allows it).

It sounds like you have a dog with that reverse situation. I don't know if vets have treatments for the condition or if it is too expensive. But, checking with your vet is advised.

The other two dogs may not provide the type of play/interaction Savannah needs---causing the pillow destruction---and other behaviors(her play behavior/etc). Getting her toys may help that.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 10:52AM
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Our current dog is a Cardigan Welsh Corgi that was a year and a half old when he came to us. He liked to gently mouth our hands - almost like sucking my thumb - which we thought was freaking adorable. Until he added a little pressure, and it hurt! We put a stop to it immediately.

GSD and huskys are working dogs, and need a lot of exercise - mental and physical. Puzzles and toys, and teaching tricks, may help to provide the mental activity Savanna needs. We taught our last Corgi to play hide and seek - we'd hide a toy or bone, and he would sniff around until he found it. We also fed him sometimes with a Buster cube, which he had to roll around to get the kibble to drop out. I don't know how that would work with other dogs in the house, though.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 11:15AM
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Interesting possibility, Handymac, she was spayed a few months ago. It seems to me that a lot of her jumping up is more about attention than stealing food etc. She's jumping up to get at my mouth to lick it, and she's generally desperate for physical contact.

She IS calming down as she settles in, 'tho...she doesn't follow me from room to room anymore, for example.

Oh, and she has lots (LOTS!) of toys. My B's love playing with her cuz her fur is so thick & she's so big they can climb all over her and chew on her & she thinks it's fun.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 1:30PM
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You have to start with a well excercised dog burn off her energy. The best advise is to web search Ceaser Milan I use his techniques but nothing works if you don't burn off the energy my dog is so better behaved since I commit an hour every day to walk her huge difference

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 4:22PM
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Puppies and dogs naturally jump up on people when they say hello or if they want to get our attention.
You can train to teach your dog to sit instead of jumping. When your dog starts to jump up, stand still, look straight ahead (not at your dog), and pull your hands and arms up to your chest. Calmly wait for your dog to stop jumping. When her front paws touch the floor, immediately look at her and calmly stroke her. If she gets excited and jumps up again, straighten back up and repeat the sequence.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 8:55PM
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