Jumping up Part 2…..Ignore the Bad, Reward the Good – 15 Minute Ignore!
Now let’s look at the fourth way to deal with the jumping up problem, the one that most folks don’t remember or enforce, the only one that will address the issue of a dog that jumps up…IGNORE THE BAD BEHAVIOR! I don’t care how hard it might seem, you will not talk to, look at, or address the dog in any way while the bad behavior is happening! You will start by walking in the door and not looking at the dog. If they jump up on you, you will not touch the dog. Rather you will turn your back on the dog or preferably you will walk right by. Some dogs are over the top and will jump up on your back. In this case, you may have to leave the room and shut the door. Go in the kitchen; make yourself a glass of iced tea (or maybe an adult beverage – age consenting of course!).
If the behavior continues, go into the bedroom and change clothes, and shut the door if necessary. The goal here is that until you get the behavior that you want, which should be a dog that is not jumping on you, you will not respond. By ignoring the behavior, you are withholding the reward which is your attention and this is where owners fail. Read on and I will explain how to start training your dog using the 15 minute ignore, rather than Fido training you!
The entire objective of the 15 minute ignore is to take back leadership in your own house! Hopefully I have convinced you that in many cases your dog has learned how to push your buttons and get exactly what he/she wants from their favorite human. Don’t feel bad, my wife points out to me on a regular basis that if I can see this in my dogs, why do I let my kids rope me into this scenario daily. So, you let dogs push your buttons and I let my 7 and 10 year old boys push mine! (That should make you feel better) The end result is the same, we allow ourselves to forget to ignore the bad and reward the good. I simply ask for 15 minutes max and we should be able to fix both the dogs and the kids!
Let’s think about our kids when they are young. We go through the store and do everything we can to avoid the candy aisle, but that one time we take a wrong turn and there we are. Our kids start asking for candy and we tell them no. Then our kids start yelling and screaming that they want the candy, throwing a fit right there in the store (haven’t we all been there at one time or another???) We are mortified as people start to stare. Here is the turning point…we can give in to stop the embarrassment and give them the candy, we can pick them up or take their hands and leave the store (without finishing the shopping) or we can ignore the behavior, continue down the aisle and complete the shopping, without reacting at all to the temper tantrum. Sound familiar? Read on…
We are back to not touching, talking or addressing the dog, in essence, you need to ignore them. Be ready though, Fido is not used to this insolence from his human and trust me, he will try every trick in the book to get you to flinch (much like your children.) Do not blink. Most dogs don’t even make it 15 minutes, at the 8-9 minute mark they get pissy and say “TO HECK WITH YOU” and sulk off in the corner and lay down with that huffing noise that only a disgruntled dog can make. Be careful and don’t get cocky because you are only half way there. You must now wait a couple of minutes and allow the dog to remain in a relaxed state. This is the moment you have been waiting for. NOW REWARD THE DOG FOR THE GOOD JOB OF BEING CALM!!!!! Go to the dog and lavish him with love. If you can pull this off for let’s say 4-5 weeks, you will have a dog that will not jump up on you when you walk in the door, because that behavior gets them nothing positive! Fido now realizes if he wants Mom or Dad’s attention, being calm will get him what he wants.
Now if your dog is already comfortable with the sit command and is regularly using sit to get what they want (remember post Sit – Say Please???) you may have something to incorporate into the 15 minute ignore, sitting down. If, after you have ignored the jumping up behavior, FIDO comes to you and sits on his own, you need to take advantage and reward that behavior. This means he has figured out that rather than behaving inappropriately, if he sits at your side, that is a suitable behavior rather than jumping up, so he gets your attention. Take advantage of this and lavish him with love. As time progresses, FIDO will begin to use sit, or he’ll go lay down, sooner upon your entry into the house and there will be fewer instances of the jumping up to greet you.
After all that, you can finally answer the question of who is training who… the right way! Remember…Keep It Simple Stupid! Ignore the Bad; Reward the Good, or if you’re really smart…Redirect the Bad; Reward the Good!
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