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Do you really care about jumping up?

Do you really care if your puppy jumps up? Lets be honest, when they are tipsy tiny and brand new, you probably don’t. In fact the opposite is likely to be true, lets face it they are gorgeous! If they put their cute little paws on your shins searching for your attention of course you’ll give it to them, who doesn’t want a puppy asking for fuss and cuddles?!

So imagine for a moment you are arriving at your friend’s house for dinner, in all your finery, and their lovely friendly dog rushes to greet you, you love their dog, but he’s jumped up in excitement to see you and accidentally caught his claws in your lovely clothes.

Or maybe you’re out for an Autumn walk. A super happy hound spots you and rushes over, you smile at her enthusiasm and bend down to greet her. She bounces up onto her back legs boings around like tigger planting muddy, wet paws all over your legs. (This happened to me recently, and aside from the irritation of being covered in mud, it was a cold day and for the rest of the walk my trousers were wet, yuk!).

This kind of scenario is probably familiar, no-one likes it no matter how much they love dogs, and despite the dogs in question being happy and friendly. So it’s worth keeping in mind that the seeds of this behaviour are sown early in life, when puppies are tiny, fluffy and clean.

Puppies learn fast and easily, they figure out what is fun and do more of it, and you can see how that applies to jumping up. What fun it is getting lots of fuss and attention from humans, and all you have to do is press those magic buttons on their legs with your paws!

The lessons they learn when they are very little will stick with them, remember they have no idea that they’ve got bigger, and muddier, so why wouldn’t they jump up for attention, after all they know it works, its tried and tested.. and fun.

So think about what they are learning right from the beginning, withhold any kind of attention for jumping up (even telling them ‘no’ or ‘get down’ - negative attention is still attention) a good way to do this is just freeze - turn to stone. They will get down quickly, because being ignored is boring. But what is often missed is the reward to for doing the right thing - so fuss, stroke and talk to them the SECOND all four paws are on the ground.

Foster these highly desirable good habits while your pup is really small, it’s much easier for them to learn when they are a brand new and have no bad habits to unlearn.

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