By Dr. Sally Foote, DVM
48% of dogs in shelters are 6mo of age to 3 years of age. Behavior problems due to impulsive behaviors – mouthing, grabbing, jumping up and rough play are often the root of the problem. Follow these steps to stop an older puppy jumping on you during exams, and demonstrate how to get the dog to learn pets only happened when all paws are “4 on the floor”.
Jasper, a 10 month dalmation loves to jump up for attention. He is very quick and does not bite.
Turn around immediately, and take a big step away so the dog does not touch your body. When the dog touches your body that is a form of greeting to the dog, and reinforces the jumping up.
As soon as the dog’s feet are on the ground, give them 1 nugget of food, or treat the size of a cheerio. Repeatedly give treats to the mouth or drop them on the floor to keep the dog’s attention down.
Try to keep your body upright. Get the reward right to the mouth of the dog or right at your feet repeatedly to keep the dog in place.
By only touching, rewarding or looking at the dog when all 4 paws are on the floor, you can immediately stop jumping up and show your client how to do this at home.