Jumping up – real help needed (again)

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    Soooo most of you know of Rafe’s history.  When he was a wee puppy he went to stay with my parents, and came back jumping up on people.  My Dad thought it was a great idea to let him chew his ears etc.

    Since then he didn’t jump up on me, but would jump up on male strangers.  Now he’s being even less discriminatory – he jumps at everyone, myself included, despite me telling him off when he does.

    I’m a bit at my wits end – I live and work at my employer’s residence, and he’s just given me the ultimatum that if it isn’t stopped the dog will have to go.

    Bit panicked and totally peed off as his son is another culprit for letting him jump up on him.

    Rafe weighs in at a hefty 43kg, and when he jumps at people he’s big enough to get on most grown men’s shoulders.

    It’s dangerous.  If he knocks down a child (and he makes no exceptions for children) he could seriously injure them.

    I’ve not been giving this the priority it deserves because I had other issues to focus on with him.  But now I have a very short time to produce perfect results.

    Am planning on having a word with my dad (culprit no 1) and my boyfriend (culprit no 2).  Have told boss to speak with his son (culprit no 3).  But am getting hugely worked up and upset about it all.  Am mad at boyfriend for taking it all lightly – catch him dancing with Rafe in the hallway and then telling me my dog’s badly behaved when he jumps up at him later on.

    WHAT DO I DO???

    Feels like the bl***y world’s against me.

    And more importantly, feel like I’ve failed my dog.  I know it isn’t his fault, but I don’t really know what to do.  Given the choice between a nice meaty steak and getting to jump up on someone, he’d choose the jumping every time.  The only thing I can think of that he likes more is chasing a ball – but what about when I’m not around, or if I’m not concentrating??  Feel like I need a big deterrent too. 

    Please please help!  :help:


    There are two issues here, jumping up and general control/recall.

    The first question to ask is HOW can he access strangers in order to jump on them?

    Can he not be on a lead, tied up, in a crate, in a car, behind a gate  etc in other words is the first port of call environmnental management in order to prevent the behaviour happening at all.  Won’t teach the dog anything but it WILL prevent damage.

    Secondly is his jumping up just centred around greeting or does the dog run off and jump at people?

    If the latter then this is a recall issue; good recall means the dog cannot access person and cannot jump up on them.

    What steps have you taken to teach the dog that 4 paws on the ground = reinforcement, 2 = nothing?

    What sort of work are you doing and how is the dog accessing people?


    the above links may help


    i have had exactly the same problem with stan, all the men that meet him seem to find it funny in asking him to jump up :-\ so everytime someone did i had a mega (i mean huge) go at them and they soon stopped it. when stan went to jump up i would hold a hand over his head infront of me and go “na-ah” then “good” and continue with what i was doing. i also taught him to sit but with his front paws off the floor (kind of a half jump up) on cue then just stopped giving the cue. he has since learnt that four paws on floor means big play ;D

    obviously this wont work with all dogs but it might help 🙂 good luck with it :-*


    Thanks kerrie – will try to “man up” to strangers who let him jump up.

    Thanks Sweetypye – will check out links in a mo.

    Jumping up is based on greeting.  V difficult to control environmentally as I’m not always with him in boss’s house.  So when boss has visitors I can’t be there to physically hold him back.

    Majority of time I can be with him.

    He doesn’t run off to jump on strangers – recall not perfect but pretty good.  The only time he jumps up at people (I say only time, but it’s pretty frequent) is when they acknowledge him – a look is enough of a “come on” to him for him to then leap on them.  If I have hold of him on a lead and people come up to him he has the physical strength to drag me – altho we working on that with heel work.  But unless I have hold of his collar I can’t prevent him from jumping up when people are close.

    He mostly spends the day playing with boss’s two (non-jumpy) dogs in his large garden, but will jump up on anyone who comes to visit.  Am loathe to put him in his cage all day to try to prevent it on the odd occasion – and he’d just be insane if left inside all day.  Like you say, won’t teach him not to jump up, and I need to get that.

    Work I am doing – nothing.  Sounds rediculous but got so stressed out trying to tell everyone who he tried to jump up on to push him down – they all say “oh I don’t mind” and it’s really hard (I know, excuses) to say that I do.

    So instead of fighting with my boyfriend, my parents, my boss’s son constantly, I just gave up.  Apparently this solves nothing.

    Did a little 4-paws work, and his jumping up on me is not so bad – I know his triggers, and I know how to keep him down around me, but I have NO control of him on other people whatsoever.  He has learned that if he tries, even if mummy says no, the other people will let him some of the time – and that’s enough for him.

    So that’s the work – he has no reinforcement for jumping up on me, but on everyone else around me, huge reinforcement as they pet him.  I can deal with him, but just struggle to tell other people to stop it.  And it feels as if there’s noone on my side to help me.  The support I should be getting from boyfriend isn’t there, and although my mum tries her best to help out with him, my dad still makes light of it.


    Sounds rediculous but got so stressed out trying to tell everyone who he tried to jump up on to push him down

    If you carry on doing this you will only INCREASE the dog’s desire to jump.  ANY attention ESPECIALLY body contact encourages jumping up.

    Try to see it from a dog’s point of view, they body slam, jump up to initiate play, so by pushing the dog down you are in fact accepting this invitation; what you should be saying to people is move away, avoid any voice or eye contact and certainly do not use body contact.

    You cannot afford to give up because you are just letting the dog know it is fine.

    It is very difficult when you have to battle against conflicting actions of others however, so I feel your pain


    Just read through those links – will be taking them with me wherever I go.

    Have a feeling that Rafe would be one of those that just tries harder if I  turned my back to him, but perhaps the one where the signal is to hold out a hand for a click and a lick may be better.

    Just as an extra note of panic – would he eventually not even need the hand?  How long am I looking at for him to “get it”?  

    And one other thing – he is sooooo quick at getting up there – what do I do to get his focus on training before he leaps straight up?

    Claire met him – my fault – I turned my back to get my boots on and he was in the car, on top of her.  He’s soooo fast.

    Never thought of pushing him down as being rewarding before – ta.  Just going to have to go about it another way tho – coz if they turned around he’d be able to knock them flying.  Pushing him down seemed to be the only way of doing it – but will stop that straight away.

    Going to make the boyfriend help me over the wknd, so will try anything to get it right.


    While I’m at it – will this help to stop him from trying to lick everyone we meet?  It’s not just 4-paws that I want, I want him to let people approach him, rather than just forcing himself and his affection upon everyone.


    Timescales are difficult.

    Remember every time you allow a dog to rehearse a strategy/behaviour, he gets better at it.

    You could attach a light line to your dog and practise meeting and greeting people with the line under your foot; that way the pressure of the lead is DOWNWARDS and he cannot lift his head or take his front feet off the floor.  Speed is then not an issue

    When the dog can do this 9/10 and gets what he wants eg attention then you can start practising without the dog on the lead this way.

    If you teach a behaviour that is incompatible with jumping up he is not going to do it.

    However, you MUST expect what is called an “extinction burst”; this is when the dog jumps up EVEN MORE than before because he cannot understand why his previous strategy no longer works; this is usually when people start saying “I tried that and it did not work” you did not try it long enough.

    It DOES work, but you must expect it to take some time and you must be relentless and consistent and not allow the dog to be rewarded with attention at ANY time when he does not have 4 paws on the floor.


    Sounds as though you need to develop his self control; it appears that he has none!


    The above exercise may also help; dogs must be helped to realise that the “me, me, pick me” approach is not acceptable.

    I have a very OTT GSD who, if allowed, would flatten everyone he met; I spent a great deal of time when he was very young developing his self control………….




    OK – step 1: you need to completely stop him greeting in this way, remove ALL opportunity.

    step 2 – freeshape 4-paws and snoozy

    step 3 – leash him around people until his recall and best place to be are very good indeed

    also – get him of the bl**dy food – free it might be but blowing his brains and making your problems 10X worse it definately is !!

    Claire. x

    if i havent managed to find your number by the time you read this then call me – i’ve got a new phone and it hasnt moved your number -grrrrrr !!  i can come over later to help if u like ?


    i know im probly going to get told off for saying this but…everytime stan jumped on someone and they did the whole “its ok i dont mind” [email protected], it used to pee me of so much that i would just walk up to them grab stan and pul him away then tell them “he jumps on me and knocks me flying” then leash and walk away.

    definatly stck with whatever aproach you do though ;D


    not at all kerrie – i didnt mind rafe jumping on me but it doesnt help Jus so i do try and remember not to let him – he is cute tho !! 🙂


    Thank you all soooo much.  Have chatted to Boyf who has also read the links sweetypye sent and said he’ll help me.

    Claire – will give you a call in a min!  Too late to do anything tonight, but perhaps sometime next week?

    Kerrie – will do my best to be assertive!!  At the end of the day it’s not for me, it’s for Rafe so I’ve got to!  ;D

    Sweetypye – you’ve hit the nail on the head.  It is ALL about him ALL the time.  Will do the exercises on that link and will start them this evening.  Also will defo do the line under foot thing when greeting. 

    Have also calmed down a bit since earlier so starting to believe it may be possible to sort out after all!  Dogs, eh, who’d have ’em?!


    that top link is basically describing free-shaping 4paws cue at the start – you probably will have to take a couple of steps away from him at the same time as turning as he is so persistant and so long legged !

    have a good weekend – am off uni next week so will be around to help, till then – get him back used to crate, stop re-inforcing that he has something to worry about by going in there and crate him when you’re out 🙂

    job done while you have time to work on cues and not feel under pressure 🙂

    claire x

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