Jump Down and Fetch Me a Beer

Speaking of humping... your feedback was awesome last week as so many enjoyed the humor of Hump Day in my last note - Thank You! Today is about JUMPING. Conversation includes poor manners, pushy-ness, bumps, pawing, clawing, and other annoying and potentially harmful habits from 4 legged friends while we focus on positive results.

Jumping is NOT a bad thing. It is natural but may occur unannounced, unrequested and on the elderly. Here is Success = teach them to jump on cue = using a word, gesture or sound. Play and have fun with this. Be creative. Goodness knows they are. Let’s start at this cleverness. Say you have any size dog who jumps up and you yelling NO is ineffective; then say YES to UP.

What? OK, catch your breath and go with me for a moment. #1 – your dog already knows how to jump and if you say YES “UP” and acknowledge that behavior (of jumping) then YES, YOU CAN say: YES to the next new and wanted behavior = “OFF”.

Think about it. Up is "UP." Off is "OFF." Also “DOWN” is a good word but -- here is a drum-roll moment in training… #2 - Use a new word for the new behavior. Why? Because whatever word you are presently repeating (like OFF or DOWN) is clearly not working. Maybe after 10 times but that is further tangible proof your method is not working. If I repeat a request twice without desired results – I am doing something wrong, not the Dog, Cat, Pet Rat, Rabbit, or Horse. Raising my voice, gestures, and/or expectations is not going to improve their behavior. That was already proven 10 times over.

So now what? New word for the new behavior which here is visualized as ‘four on the floor.’ My opine: When a jumpy (or humpy) dog has four feet on the floor for a nano-second; then I repeat OUR new word and give a highly valued reward. Yes a treat is great as well as a pleasing timbre and tone to your voice. Make sure the treat is on the floor or lowered so the four (paws) remain on the floor otherwise we are reinforcing the OLD and UNWANTED behavior. Be quick ASAP with the reward when you see the new behavior or at this juncture = even a TRY = a slight move toward the new behavior!

It will all get better, I promise. Just takes some time. Be patient with yourself.

What else? Get out of their way. Make it more difficult for them to start jumping. Walking towards them – not away - can help. When we move backwards or to the side; we are only moving the target! Try moving towards them – not to knock them off balance EVER, but to not make it so easy to have a landing spot to jump on. Some people re-direct to a safe place = couch, counter top, or banister – service dog training!! Pretend you are practicing to return a library book. Why not? Play with this. Learning will proceed faster.

Super intelligent and super bored dogs? I recommend fun.

Teach them to fetch a beer from the ‘frig. Get the mail. Put garbage in the bin. Don’t know how? Next newsletter / blog I will explain it for most every personality type (pets and people) and get results in a few weeks. It will be fun while we establish a give and take friendship.

Not quite there yet? Try some of THE REMEDY CALLED: TEAMWORK. Check out the formula = Chestnut Bud Flower Essence for communication, Arnica Essence for motivation, Gorse for friendship, Mimulus for emotional insecurity, and Lady's Slipper for (in)decisiveness.