How to Stop a New Bigger Puppy from Pouncingby Eric Mohrman
You may be inadvertently reinforcing your puppy's pouncing greetings.
At first, a pouncing puppy greeting you may seem sweet and adorable. Unfortunately, it gets old, and it can even become dangerous with bigger dogs. Also, not all your house guests will appreciate being pounced on when they walk through the door. It's far easier to teach your new puppy not to jump up on people than it is to allow it now and try to correct it later on. Stopping your sizable puppy from pouncing requires patience and consistency, so make sure everyone in your home is on the same page and committed to ending the behavior.
Confer with everyone in the house and explain the plan to stop your new bigger puppy from pouncing to greet people. Instruct everyone to handle pouncing in the same way consistently.
Ignore your puppy when she pounces at you when you enter the room. Do not pet her, speak to her, let her lick your face, make eye contact with her or otherwise acknowledge her. Doing so only reinforces that pouncing is an acceptable greeting. Don't scold her, as she'll probably only take that as a form of greeting, or she won't understand why you're mad. Don't push her down, knee her or otherwise physically stop her either, as this can easily be interpreted as playing in response to her jumping up.
Walk directly into another room. Close the door and do not allow your dog to come in with you. Stay away for a few minutes.
Train your dog to sit on command. Tell her "sit" and gently move her into a sitting position. Give her a treat and offer praise and affection. Repeat this 10 times in a row. Do the same a few hours later, and again the next day. Do this until your dog complies without your physical guidance. Continue offering praise and treats until your dog reliably obeys.
Tell your new puppy to sit when you enter the room and she starts heading towards you. Offer treats, praise and rubs when she obeys. Go to her, kneel down and greet her. If she doesn't listen and pounces, ignore her and move into another room for a few minutes, closing the door behind you.
Continue using the "sit" command and positive reinforcement until your puppy reliably sits when you appear. Go to her and greet her often, though, or she may revert to her old pouncing tricks to get attention.
Video of the Day
- Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
- Punishing dogs for "misbehavior" is ineffective. They rarely associate the negative response with the behavior you're trying to correct. It also tends to make them afraid of you. Patience, consistency, gentle corrections and positive reinforcement of preferred behaviors are key to teaching your puppy how to act.