Teach Your Dog to Sit, not Jump Up

Does your Bulldog jump up on you? It’s a complaint I hear a lot. Dr ¬†Sophia Yin is a premiere dog behaviorist and trainer. Here she tells us the effective and bonding way to train your dog to sit and not jump up on you. ¬†It CAN be done! My Archie never jumps on me. Some of my friends are a different story because they encourage him to jump up…

Dr. Yin explained that her approach is to train the dog that “Sit is really fun!” Once a dog learns “Sit is really fun,” when she comes running, she automatically sits and is then rewarded for sitting. If she starts to jump, Dr. Yin teaches pet owners to remove their attention in a very clear and obvious way by standing completely still with their arms to their sides, not looking at the dog. They dont need to turn their back to the dog, because if they do and she sits, theyll miss the opportunity to reward her. Its really very straightforward.Dr. Yin says its also very important that the appropriate behavior is trained first, because if you do the standing still thing when your dog starts to jump up on you, and she doesnt know any appropriate behaviors like “Sit” to perform instead, it could take her quite awhile to try to figure out what she should be doing. So its much more productive to teach the appropriate behavior first before teaching her that you will remove your attention when she performs unwanted behaviors.Dr. Yin explained that the way she teaches the sit behavior is with treats which often consist of food from the dogs regular meal. You should stand completely straight because your body posture must be very clear to your dog. Keep your arms at 90-degree angles so your hands are clearly out of range of your dog, and keep your hands centered against your body. As soon as the dog sits, you straighten your arm and pop a treat into his mouth. Give one treat for sitting, then follow with additional treats for remaining seated, because you want your dog to stay seated automatically without needing a verbal cue. You dont want him to sit and then immediately stand and start jumping. When your dog realizes this is a pretty fun activity, walk maybe five steps backwards very fast. Your dog will follow you. Repeat the exercise all over again.The goal is 30 reinforcements within a couple of minutes. With that many reinforcements in a matter of minutes, even the slowest dog will learn fast as long as his owner makes it clear what behavior is being rewarded. That means getting the treat quickly into your dogs mouth, then standing up straight again, and then in between treats, pulling your arms back to your body with your hands in front of your belly button. This is so your dog knows he wont get a treat when your hands are in that position, but only when your hand is right at his mouth.When you come home, for example, and you know your dog is going to run up to you, you have your treats ready. When your dog sits, you immediately reward him once for sitting and additional times for remaining seated. You practice walking away, he follows you, he sits, and he gets a sequence of rewards again. The goal is that when you arrive home, your dog knows “Were going to play this fun sit exercise where I sit, I get to follow you, and I get to sit again. I get to follow you, and I get to sit again.” The sit behavior becomes a game. The sit becomes fun. And as soon as he starts getting it you increase the interval between treats and decrease the total number of treats per session.And its not just about giving the treat. Its about delivering it in a way that makes it more interesting so quickly and moving in ways that make it fun. By moving and giving treats again when he sits, it makes the exercise fun for your dog.

via Behavior Therapy: Is This Dog Training Fit for Your Dog?.


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