My dog jumps up on people at Bark Park

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Barked: Tue Feb 12, '13 6:32am PST 
He is a very friendly dog, but he is a big boy, 65-pound german shepherd mix. He thinks it is OK to jump up on his hind feet against people. This is in no way an aggressive action. He is only one year old, very friendly, just doesn't know any better. Of course, this annoys some people at Bark Park. I don't blame them. I am worried that he may do the same with some little kid there and hurt or scare him. Any tips on how I can train my dog Maxie not to do this? PS My pic shows another one of my dogs, Sammy, the pit bull. Maxie is just as big. Thanks.

Barked: Tue Feb 12, '13 7:03am PST 
PS: When Maxie gets up on his hind legs, he is well over 4 feet tall. For smaller people, this big animal suddenly jumping on them is probably a frightening experience. The don't know Maxie is just trying to be friendly.

Edited by author Tue Feb 12, '13 7:08am PST


The- Schnauzinator
Barked: Sat Feb 16, '13 3:34pm PST 
You have to teach him three things:

1) Jumping up is a "bad" behavior

2) The appropriate behavior is to _____ instead. (sit/ lie down/ etc.)

3) Self control

First, to teach him that the behavior is wrong you have to correct him every time he does it. At first you should keep him on a leash so you can better control him. A simple no (said calmly but with authority) and a slight jerk of the leash should do as far as correcting goes. Ask the person he's trying to jump on to completely ignore him. They shouldn't look at, talk to, or pet him. Then, make him either sit or lie down (sitting might be easier to get him to do when he's excited) and give him a treat and tell him what a marvelous doggie he is (but don't praise him excitedly or he'll just jump right back up again). It might be easier to have him sit with his back to the person at first so he'll only focus on you, the treat, and sitting.

Once he's calmed down, you can have the person come up and pet him. As soon as he gets excited and stops sitting, correct him and have the person stop petting him and move away, then start the process all over again. If he starts pulling on the leash to get at the person, have either the other person or you walk away from each other. Eventually he'll realize that the only way to get people to pay him attention is if he sits calmly while they pet him. At some point when he's sitting and not jumping reliably you can allow him to stay standing when he greets people, and you can stop using treats. The main thing is to just get him to realize that jumping actually deprives him of attention. Also, it might be easier to try all this in calmer settings at first, as its hard to get a dog to focus when there's a bunch of overexcited pooches running all around him.

To teach him patience, it might help to extend this practice to other areas in his life. Make him wait (increasing the length of time as he gets better) for treats, his dinner, before throwing the ball, etc.

Hope this helped smile


Waiting for- Treats
Barked: Sat Feb 16, '13 4:46pm PST 

Please don't allow your dog off leash at the dog park until he's under control. This means no jumping on people, no nipping, etc. I was injured by an over-friendly dog at the dog park and it was very traumatic for me, mostly because the dog's owner was such a jerk about it. I had to pay for an ER visit myself because apparently you enter dog parks at your own risk. Please don't allow your jumping dog to go off leash at a park. It's inconsiderate and potentially very harmful to others. Sorry for the rant. Maybe you're keeping your dog on leash, but I just wanted to make you are aware of the numerous injuries that occur at dog parks each year. I will never enter one again because of my experience. And I have to see the scar each day on my face.