When your dog jumps up…

June 5, 2009 at 2:05 am 2 comments

DISCLAIMER: This blog post was written in 2009. We no longer do Obedience Training using “dominance”-based methods. We no longer use collar corrections. These methods made Boogie MORE TENSE, MORE TRIGGERED and more prone to aggressive behaviors. We switched over to reward-based methods in February 2010 and saw improvements. 


If you look to the right column, I have bookmarked some links on Dog Psychology and Behavior training. There are so many conflicting theories, it’s crrazzzy!!!

According to Jan Fennell/Dog Listener – when a dog jumps up on you and licks your face, he is expressing his position as Alpha dog – he is accepting or welcoming you (back) into his pack. Solution: ignore him, don’t look him in the eye. Pretend he doesn’t exist and carry on doing your own thing. He will get the message eventually and calm down and only then do you acknowledge him.

According to Cesar Millan/Dog Whisperer (and trainers who adhere to his philosophy) – when a dog jumps up, he is expressing Dominance. Solution: Don’t ignore him. Take a step forward, look him in the eye and claim the space.

According to Dr. Sophia Yin – when a dog jumps up it’s not dominance. He just wants attention. Solution: Stand as still as a pole and give him no attention whatsoever so that he learns that he won’t get what he wants by jumping. When he sits (= polite behavior), pet and praise. <– this is what Wes does.

According to Suzanne Clothier – when a dog jumps up, it’s social expression. Solution: Don’t punish, don’t ignore. Give the dog something positive that he can do for you (eg, “Sit”) and praise him. You want to teach him self-control.

[L to R: Fish tacos; Kogi BBQ]

According to Lee Charles Kelley (I found his website via Amazon… he is a trainer who has reviewed lots of dog training books) – when a dog jumps up, he is expressing an energetic social state. This is not something you want to quash in your dog. Solution: Neither reward nor punish. Twist sideways and say “Okay, Off!” in a pleasant tone, so that he can’t jump.

According to Turid Rugaas: When a dog jumps up and licks your face,he is showing happiness and respect to his superior. Solution: We don’t want to punish him, but if we want to stop the behavior the best thing to do is turn your back or your side. Do nothing else.. Just turn your back towards the dog every time and eventually he will stop doing it. <– this is what I do. I don’t react and just turn away.

*Of course, my natural motherly impulse is to yell out enthusiastically – HELLO! HELLO! HELLO BOOGIE MONSTER!!! HELLO LITTLE PUMPKINHEAD! and pet him on the head and scratch his back and kiss him and be kissed back. However, I have stopped doing this…

What do YOU think and what would YOU do?

p.s. Boogie doesn’t jump up on me as often as he does on Wes, Eddie, Alicia, other people. Do you think he’s just so used to me being around all the time that I’m no big deal?

Entry filed under: Reads, Social stuff, Training.

Boogie: red neck Using a martingale collar (+ improvisation)

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tc  |  September 16, 2009 at 5:50 am

    Actually there appears two camps. The first believe the dog is trying to dominate/be above the owner. The second, the dog is looking for attension and are exited.
    I believe in the latter. No overpowering motive.
    If you don’t want your dog jumping up, ignore the behaviour and only fuss them when they are on ‘all fours’. Or greet them on their level e.g for a puppy.

    • 2. lili  |  September 19, 2009 at 8:21 pm

      I agree too that he isn’t trying to dominate. But if he jumps up uninvited, I think this shows that he thinks he has the right to do what he wants, when he wants. It’s more like bad manners or rudeness… even if he looks cute doing it!


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