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Personal protection puppy training
My 50-pound, 8-month-old pup jumps on us when we come in (and flat out loses it when guests come over). When you're training a dog to do (or not do) anything, understanding why it would want to do it is the key to getting it right. It's not that punishing your dog when it misbehaves is bad, it's that doing so without setting proper expectations is pointless. Once your dog has appropriate expectations, punishment may sometimes be in order, but you don't want to just teach it what not to do, you want to teach it what to do instead. First, you'll want to teach your dog a desired alternative behavior to jumping (usually sit). With your dog leashed or tethered, have someone approach, stopping a few feet away and telling the dog to sit. It's probably not going to be resolved in one sitting (or even in one week unless you're really vigilant), so don't lose hope.


Teaching your dog not to jump is one of the most important lessons — and most people can do it at home.
In the wild, puppies would lick their parents' faces when they returned with food, and because humans are much taller (usually), they'd have to jump to do the same to us. Consider this: With the option of jumping for attention gone, it may turn to growling, barking or even playful nipping. If you're training your dog not to jump — whether you use treats, a toy or a clicker — you can't do it half the time. Reward your dog for what Parker calls "four on the floor." It starts by simple positive reinforcement of the desired behavior.
If it does sit, you can have the person approach and give it lots of love and praise (and a treat), but if at any time during the encounter it jumps, the person again just turns around and walks away. So if you don't want your dog to jump on guests, you can't let it when it suits you (like when you want to pet it without bending over) — and you certainly can't teach it to do it.


If it remains seated when you come in or when a guest arrives, reward it with a treat (or click if that's what you're doing) and a hearty "good girl!" You can even set up situations in which your dog would typically misbehave. In these cases, it's usually a behavior that's been reinforced over time and now the dog knows that's how to get what it wants. Essentially, until they start getting in your face, they get no attention, so they've worked out a way to rectify that.



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