Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Learning from TV, Practicing with Puppies

In a conversation with my brother today,I heard about a sweet dog who jumps a lot and whose human has a hard time handling him. Our conversation made me think of how I had tried out a technique I had seen on "It's Me or the Dog."

Basically, the episode showed two dogs who always jumped on people when they entered a home. A lot of dogs do this and a lot of the owners I know just put up with it or pull the dog away. I've always just let the dogs jump because it didn't bother me to have dogs jumping on me. However, it can be upsettin for people like my mom who are afraid of dogs. If I get a dog some day, I want my mom to feel comfortable visiting me so this particular technique really interested me.

Victoria started with teaching the dogs to "wait" to the side of the door with enough room for a person to come in. This involved training the dogs having someone come to the door, ring the doorbell, and wait patiently for the dogs to sit and wait properly. Then, when the dogs were calm, the person came in and the dogs were allowed to politely sniff (not sure if my mom would deal well with this, but if I promised sniffing instead of jumping, it might help). If they started to jump, the person was to turn around so they were jumping at the backside of the person. The dogs miraculously would return to the ground when the person's back was turned.

I was handling a sweet one year old Pit Bull/Bull Dog mix. She was a sweetie but kept jumping on me and other people. Thankfully most potential adopters understand that shelters dogs often have basic training, but not the greatest manners. I did try the turning trick though whenever my dog would jump. What was really cool--it worked! Whenever I turned, my dog returned to her feet and would stop jumping on me.

So today you get advice. If a dog is jumping on you and you don't want him to do so, try just turning around. They'll lose interest and stop. I tried it with two of the other dogs and it worked. Let me know how it goes for you!

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