Okay, so as far as singing goes maybe I will keep my day job 🙂
Jumping is never a fun thing to deal with, especially when you have company over. Many times, I am sure you get polar opposites from guests. One will say, “No, really it’s okay” as they pat and encourage the jump, while others are scared to death of your “toothed creature.”
Either way, jumping is not polite in the human world. So let’s prep before the festivities begin!
Training Exercise: Seems simple, but this will help.
“Sit” is your friend. We tell our dog “no,” “get down,” and “stop,” but do we teach him EXACTLY what we want him to do? It’s about time we do. Let’s be fair and let’s be clear. It’s important for a solid two weeks that you really reinforce the behavior of sit. Think of treats as money going into the bank account of behavior right now.
Formal sessions: Take a handful of treats. Stand and wait for a sit, and as soon as your dog sits, treat (throw treat to floor). I want the dog looking at the floor for treats, not your hands.
I am not cueing my dog to “sit” during these training sessions. In other words, I am not telling him anything. I don’t want to constantly have to tell my dog to put his bottom on the floor with my words. I want to establish this as a common behavior for him to offer when he sees people. Dogs’ train of thought (as if we could know, but go along with the dog trainer’s analogy here), ”Oh look! Human! I need to sit.” I think sometimes we over-cue our dogs by constantly telling them what to do when sometimes they are able to have the expectation of what to do without being told. This should be the case with not jumping.
Everyday life: Reinforce your dog for a sit (or down) with praise or food as you are going about everyday life. Bottom line, when you turn around and see your dog in a sit or down, smile and acknowledge, “Wow! I really like it when you sit.” Remember use your lower-toned “good voice.”
Leave a jar of treats outside your front door with a note. It’s human nature. You give the human a treat and the human will ask the dog to “sit.” Seriously, don’t believe me? Try it.
For this joyous season, plan ahead. With treat in hand, as guests enter your house they will naturally cue your dog to “sit” which will help with the initial greeting.
Do your best to set your dog up for success and be aware of what he can/can’t handle. If he is jumping a lot, he may need a break from the holiday cheer so put him in a room of his own (check out my Holiday Zen Tips). Or maybe you can see that he needs a little help with settling down so tether him to you while you converse with friends and family.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! ❤
P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for updates of my blogs to get the other 11 holiday training tips! And you know, I’m sure you don’t want to miss out on my singing. 😉
Blog written by Michelle Huntting
Building the bridge of communication between dog and pet guardian.