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					                         Mother Knows Best Obedience School
                                                                    - Information Sheet -
                                                                  Prepared by Dorothy Avery

                            JUMPING – BARKING


Dogs jump on people as a form of greeting. They start doing this in an attempt to get
close to the person’s mouth. This is because one of the ways in which dogs greet each
other is by licking the lips and mouth of a returning pack member.

There are really two rewards for the dog who jumps. The first is that he is greeting you,
or attempting to, as he wants, by getting close to your mouth. The second reward, and
the one that keeps the dog jumping even though you’ve tried “everything” to get him to
stop, is that in the process of putting him back down on the floor, you pet and give him
lots of physical contact. Your tone may be angry, but your hands are petting and

If you have a puppy that doesn’t jump on you and you want to prevent him from starting,
crouch down to greet your puppy in a calm and unexcited manner so that he doesn’t
learn to get overexcited when you come home. From the beginning, teach your puppy
to sit for your greeting and stroke him briefly – about five seconds – in that position.

If you have a dog who is already jumping, you have to decide if you sincerely want to
stop the behaviour. Remember, you can’t allow him to jump on you and expect him to
know better than to jump on your mother–in-law, who doesn’t like him anyway. He can’t
tell the difference between people who don’t mind the jumping and those who do. He
can learn not to jump at all, or he will jump whenever it’s appropriate to him.

Having made up your mind that you don’t want your dog to jump on you or
anyone else anymore, you can put a stop to this behaviour.

To stop your dog from jumping on you:
   (1) When you come home, ignore your dog. Walk right past him, saying nothing
       to him even if he’s jumping on you.
   (2) When you are out of the entry entry area, you may greet your dog as follows:
       Tell him to “Sit” and while he is sitting, briefly and calmly pet and talk to him for 5
       seconds. Initially, you may have to place him in a sit, but do so quickly and with
       a minimum of touching. When you pet him, crouch down rather than standing
       erect over him.

                                           Mother Knows Best Obedience School
                                                          “Jumping - Barking”

   (3) After you have greeted him for five seconds, go on about your business and
       ignore him for a while longer.
   (4) Train your dog on a regular basis, paying special attention to the LONG DOWN

To stop your dog from jumping on other people:
(1)Before letting people in the door, tell your dog to “Sit” and have him remain in
position until you release him. Initially, you may have to put on his leash and collar to
enforce this command.

   (2) Have your visitors ignore the dog, walk to the room you will be in, and sit down.

   (3) Heel your dog into that room, and have him do a LONG DOWN by your chair for
       ten or fifteen minutes. If he is quiet, release him, but if he is not, keep him on a
       LONG DOWN until he is.

The cure for jumping requires practice and repetition. We recommend that you spend a
weekend setting up a training situation to teach your dog not to jump on people any
more. Plan it like day-long party. Ask your friends and relatives to come at scheduled,
staggered times during the day, offering them food and drink in return for their help in
training your dog. After several repetitions with different people, your dog will be more
willing to sit still when people come to visit. The more you repeat this exercise, the
easier it will become. In short time, you will be able to have your dog sit quietly on
command while you greet guests.


Persistent, uncontrollable barking is not only a nuisance to you but to your neighbours
as well. In order to approach a solution to the problem, it is necessary to have an
understanding of what is causing your dog’s barking. Is he doing it because he is a
good watchdog? Is he barking because there is a strange dog on his property? Is he
tied up in the yard and ignored and, therefore, barking out of boredom? Does he bark
to get attention in the house?

If your dog is barking as an alert to let you know that someone or something is on the
property, he is doing what comes naturally. Dogs feel protective of their territory, and
their barking, as a warning to an intruder or to alert you that someone is there, is
instinctive. Most people want their dogs to bark under these circumstances, and even
encourage it with praise. In this case, it is not the barking that is the problem, it is that
the dog won’t stop barking when you want him to.

                                         Mother Knows Best Obedience School
                                                        “Jumping - Barking”

Some dogs bark to get attention. There are some breeds that are more prone to this
behaviour than others. Shelties, Collies and many toy dogs are notorious barkers.
Your attention is their reward, so that is a self-perpetuating problem. You can’t ignore
that piercing bark, yet to pay attention is to reward the behaviour.

The most common reason for dogs barking continuously is boredom and frustration.
Barking is their outlet, and the reward is the release of tension. When a dog is isolated
and begins barking, the result is that the owner comes running out of the house to scold
him. For just a moment, the dog is not alone. His owner is with him, relieving his
boredom and loneliness. Sure he’s being scolded but, to a lonely dog, having someone
with him who’s yelling is better than not having anyone at all. To a dog left alone too
much, the owner’s presence, even when angry, is a reward.

Barking that results from isolation can be both prevented and cured by not putting your
dog in the frustrating position of being left alone in the yard too long. Both the
prevention and the cure for a barking problem of this nature are to obedience train your
dog regularly. This gives him a job to do so he is performing a function and it makes
him an integral part of the family.

If you do not have him in the house because of other problems, solve them. Dogs who
bark because of isolation, and dogs who dig for the same reason, cannot be broken by
any magical cure. If you have a dog with a problem resulting from frustration, the only
cure involves your spending some time with your dog and making him a member of the

When the dog does his duty as a watchdog by barking to alert you, it is commendable
behaviour. But when he keeps it up longer than necessary, you have a problem. To
teach him to quiet down once he has alerted you, use the positive approach to modify
this behaviour as follows:

   (1) Follow the lesson plans to teach him to respond to your command to “COME”.
   (2) Once he is responding, use this command when he is barking at something.
       Initially, you may have to use food as a reward to get him away from the window
       or door, but whatever it takes, call him to you, reward him with praise, and take
       control of the situation.
   (3) Thank him for letting you know that someone or something is out there, and give
       him a DOWN command. Praise and leave him in a DOWN-STAY.
   (4) Go to the window/door to see what was there, return to your dog, praise him for
       staying and release him. If the window/door he was barking at is in a different
       room, take him to that room, tell him DOWN-STAY and proceed as above.
   (5) If he immediately runs back to resume his barking after your release, call him to
       you, repeat the procedure, and then do a LONG DOWN for 10 minutes.

                                          Mother Knows Best Obedience School
                                                         “Jumping - Barking”

What you are doing is teaching your dog that it is good for him to alert you to danger,
that he should come to you to tell you about it, but then you take over. You are in
control of both the situation and your dog. He learns that his job is done once he lets
you know there is something out there.

If your dog is barking, do not yell at him. At best, your yelling will be interpreted by your
dog as your joining in with him. At worst, you will be yelling at him for following a natural
instinct. This will confuse him and may undermine your relationship.


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