By: Joel Allen

Not too long ago, I was shopping at our local Walmart with Mom and Dad. Now I must explain something to everyone about my parents. My dad is considered short; I mean he is shorter than me and definitely shorter than my mom. We all joke and call him vertically challenged, LOL! Anyways, we were at Walmart and Mom sends him to go to the chip aisle to get what they like. Well, a few minutes go by and Dad has not returned. So, Mom pushes the cart over to the chip aisle and I go with her. As we round the corner of the aisle, we see my dad actually jumping up, unsuccessfully, to reach a bag of chips that he wants. Mom and I start laughing and Mom says, “Look! We have a jumper!” Dad was not pleased with that remark, as was apparent on his face because a stranger was laughing at our quip. I was acting like I did not know Dad by saying in a loud voice, “Sir, do you need assistance?!”…LOL. Poor Dad. I know there are times he wants a vacation from us.

My question to my readers: “Is there a jumper with four paws in your family?” The one that likes to step in the mud and leave prints all over its victims? I have seen prints all over people who run into this type of jumper. It’s funny when it’s not me, LOL. So, what do we do to stop this undesirable behavior?

As a trainer, I have given many solutions to this problem. One solution I suggest is a spray bottle that has never contained any chemical. The formula I recommend is 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water. (Reverse the formula if the jumping is not curtailed.) There is always a certain way to apply the spray bottle method.* I recommend that when the jumper starts jumping for that attention it so desires, spray directly in a stream at the dog’s face. Aim for the nose and if the eyes get splattered, too, it is all right. The dog’s reaction should be sneezing, snorting and pawing at its face. At times there can and will be collateral damage when correcting your dog’s jumping problem by accidentally spraying its victim along with them. It happens folks. Now every time your jumper gets excited and ready to start jumping, just reach for that spray bottle. When your dog knows what a spray bottle is and sees it being reached for, your dog will stop…most of the time.

So, now we have established a way to curtail that jumping behavior. Let’s say that you still have a problem when returning home because your dog jumps on you as you come through the door. Your dog does this occasionally because they know that the spray bottle is not in your hands. My solution is to have a spray bottle in your car or handily hanging by the door. Then it’s ready to use as needed.

Now, let’s train the dog in the behavior we want. Find yourself a volunteer. What we want to do is tempt the dog into jumping and then spray it when it does. The end result will be that even when there is someone trying to encourage the dog to jump up, it will not do so.

One more thing -- the spray bottle method is not the only method out there to use. An aluminum can filled with around 22 pennies is effective when shaken at the dog when it jumps. The sudden noise can scare them out of jumping. There are other ways to curtail this behavior, and maybe I will share them with everyone another time.

Remember, consistency is the key to success. Now, in parting I will leave everyone with one more problem that will come up. Every family has that one person who loves the family dog so much that they get the dog to jump up by calling it over excitedly, using that baby voice, and tapping their shoulders. What I do when I see this happen is grab the spray bottle and spray the one encouraging the jumping. That’s right, I spray the human. After all, they are the problem…LOL!

*(DISCLAIMER: This spray method, in my opinion, has a 90 percent success rate. Not all dogs will stop the undesired behavior by using the method I am suggesting. A warning to everyone, too: Do not walk up to the dog and spray directly in its eyes! Always spray dogs from a distance.)
By: Joel Allen

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