Retraining Dogs With Bad Habits
There's no such thing as a bad dog well, at least that's a common saying amongst dog trainers. While it may be true, any trainer will also tell you that there are also dogs with very bad habits. Simply put, behavior is a way of acting and reacting. When a dog acts or reacts to a situation in a way that has a negative impact on her owner or others, the behavior is considered to be "bad." Yet, to the dog, it's just what she does. Eliminating a bad behavior requires retraining the dog, to get a new behavior, or habit.
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Dogs Jumping Up On People One of the most common bad dog behaviors is jumping up on people. A dog learns this habit as a puppy. Puppies jump at their mother to get her attention so she will feed them. Dog owners find it adorable that their puppy works so hard to get their attention as she jumps. The naive owners come down to the dog's level or pick the puppy up, not realizing they have just rewarded the dog for jumping and barking. Unfortunately, behavior that is cute in a puppy often becomes very annoying in an adult dog.
Large dogs that jump on people for attention easily knock down and accidentally injure children and older people. Small dogs may not injure people, but they sure can get their clothes dirty. In both cases, while you might not mind your dog jumping up on you, other people probably don't feel the same way. Training your dog to sit to be petted is the easiest way to break the jumping habit.
Break The Jumping Habit To help her develop the "sit for attention" habit, you must ignore her when she jumps on you. You should turn your back or just walk away. If your dog follows you, turn quickly and tell her to sit. If she sits, pet and praise her. You can reinforce this behavior by having her sit before you put her food bowl down. Every time she sits, she gets a reward of either attention or food. Every time she jumps she gets nothing.
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