He will not stop jumping on people!! - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums

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Old 11-28-2008, 04:58 PM
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He will not stop jumping on people!!

Everyone is always so helpful whenever I ask a question, so I wanted to try again. My 1 1/2 year old male golden is absolutely perfect with me one on one, but as soon as someone comes into the house he's jumping and bouncing and mouthing! Unfortunately he is quickly becoming persona non grata with everyone. He has had dog whisperer training, german training and Clomicalm all to no avail. I was always under the impression that goldens were a family dog as opposed to a one person dog. Is this something that he will grow out of and is there some training trick that I don't know. This is my first golden and I would die for him, but he has to become better able to greet people. Other than that, he seems to be great.. no chewing anymore, completely housebroken, etc. I'm afraid that with the remainder of the holidays coming he's going to have to be restrained by leash or crated too much and that breaks ,my heart. With everyone coming in and out and home from college, I'm petrified. Any advice would be more than appreciated.
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Old 11-28-2008, 07:46 PM
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Goldens are very prone to jumping up to look/lick people in the face because they're so friendly and people-focused. It isn't usually dominant or aggressive behavior, but rather an attempt to look a new friend right in the face and exchange a few friendly kisses. So it's actually absolutely a part of their positive temperament.

It is, however, totally unacceptable in my book, since people who are elderly, have health problems, or are dog-phobic might be upset or even injured.

While you're retraining this behavior, make sure NOBODY plays a game with the dog where he's allowed to jump up. If he gets to jump on even one special person, it'll be harder for him to figure out what's desired of him. I'd also refrain from teaching or practicing "give paw" or anything that encourages the dog to jump up and/or put paws on people. You can go back and train those tricks later once you've ironed out the undesired jumping.

I don't know what you've tried yet, but here's what I'd do: Practice entrances on the leash. When friends come over, leash your boy and have him sit next to you when you open the door. When you see him thinking about a jump, pop the leash (don't yank) and give your quiet aversive noise, like the dog whisperer's snap and shh or a quiet "no." Don't yell; it just adds to the excitement. The "no" is to interrupt the dog's behavior, not to surprise or frighten him.

It's really important to make sure you don't enter into a tug-o-war where you're hauling on the dog and he's dragging you toward the guest. The leash has to be a way of interrupting the unwanted frame of mind, not a way of fighting with the dog.

As with all corrections, timing is everything. The trick is to pop and correct right before he begins to jump. If you're hauling back when he's already jumping, you're going to end up in a tug, which won't help.

You don't need the leash for this. If you have really good presence, you can put yourself between the dog and the guest and have him sit and interrupt him with sound and your physical presence when he starts to jump.

A common mistake is to yell "down" at the dog when he's jumping. That can be really confusing for a dog when "lie down" is a whole other command. Many people use "off" instead, but you could say whatever you want, so long as it's not a duplicate.

Make sure your guest COMPLETELY ignores the dog for at least the first five minutes he or she is there. No talking to or about the dog, no eye contact with the dog, and definitely no petting. Once the dog settles down completely for a good five minutes, your guest can interact with him.

Whatever you do, make sure your actions and your guest's take energy out of the situation. Yelling, yanking on the leash, or getting upset or nervous will all add to the dog's confusion and excitement. Make sure your practice guest is ready to be jumped on and ready to stand there and ignore it while you do your corrections. In the short term, crate the dog when unprepared guests come over so he can learn with patient, calm people only.

Every guest that reacts excitedly to the dog's jumping, either positively or negatively, will confirm the behavior. Jumping is very much self-reinforcing, so you've got to break that cycle. Good luck!
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Last edited by tippykayak; 11-28-2008 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 11-28-2008, 08:59 PM
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Thank you so very much.......your suggestions were fantastic and incorporate many of the things we have attempted to "learn" in training. It also explains his behavior in such a straightforward way, I'm feeling better already! Happy holidays
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Old 11-29-2008, 01:14 AM
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Here are a series of 14 free videos on my site that will help you with that.. Here is the link:

http://www.companionsforlife.net/Jumping_members1.html
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Old 11-29-2008, 06:48 AM
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Many thanks to you also. With all of this information, I am confident he will be the pet he has the potential to be. I am going to visit that website today! Happy Holidays
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Old 11-29-2008, 07:43 PM
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Great comment, Tippykayak. One more small suggestion is to "set up " the dog with some friends acting as guests to practice not jumping. While you do the things Tippy suggests, your helpful guest should cross her arms over her chest(closed body language) and turn her back to your dog, remaining motionless until the dog is calm. The dog then gets the opposite of what he wants, and doesnt self-reward. Another thing is to teach your dog "place", "mat", or the nice old fashioned Go Lie Down. You might need to tether your dog at first- maybe with a tasty kong or something- but you can get him in the habit of going to his "place" rather than the front door to bounce off the walls. To be fair to the youngster, get him nice and physically tired before company.
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Old 11-29-2008, 08:32 PM
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When my neighborhood kids helped me train Lucky to sit (using treats) while he was excited like that...it, it really stuck and helped in all excitable situations.

In the house, we no longer need to crate Lucky and he doesn't jump anymore but gosh he still gets excited and will hardly let guests walk through. We have to tell him to "lay down" and that helps calm him....
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ljilly28 View Post
Great comment, Tippykayak. One more small suggestion is to "set up " the dog with some friends acting as guests to practice not jumping. While you do the things Tippy suggests, your helpful guest should cross her arms over her chest(closed body language) and turn her back to your dog, remaining motionless until the dog is calm. The dog then gets the opposite of what he wants, and doesnt self-reward. Another thing is to teach your dog "place", "mat", or the nice old fashioned Go Lie Down. You might need to tether your dog at first- maybe with a tasty kong or something- but you can get him in the habit of going to his "place" rather than the front door to bounce off the walls. To be fair to the youngster, get him nice and physically tired before company.
Well put. I totally agree with LJilly's additions. A tired dog is in a much more trainable state of mind, and the things he learns while tired can carry across to times when he's not. Also, her body language tip is awesome. After a couple of tries, you'll probably see it click in his head: "wait, when I jump up, the person gets all boring and ignores me...hmm...what if I sit instead?"

Good luck!
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:00 AM
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Great tips! Been having the same issue w/my Golden, they're so people-focused like tippy-kayak said. On walks when she sees another owner walking their dog, she'll greet the owner first, haha have heard the same from other golden owners too. But thanks for the tips everyone.
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