BANE OF A DOG OWNER'S EXISTENCE:
JUMPING AND PULLING
Dog trainers will tell you, and dog owners will agree, that the most common reason for contacting a trainer is for help with pulling on the leash, dragging the owner around, jumping up on people, and jumping on counters, tables, and doors.
A typical request that I hear is to 'break' the dog of these habits.
My response? "Ummmm….no. We don't break things here."
Sure, it might be a little terse and cocky of me, but truly, the verbiage we use is really critical to the process.
Think about it. We have an animal of a different species living in our homes. These poor dogs are DOGS living in a HUMAN world. Isn't it our responsibility to teach them what our expectations are before we hammer them for getting stuff wrong? I seriously doubt that most dogs are doing these things to be malicious. They are most likely doing them because they are perfect at being dogs. Now it is time for us to show them what we want them to do, so they can get it right, feel great about it, get rewarded for it, and love doing it with us and for us.
Doesn't that sound SO much better than breaking your dog?
Great Companions offers a wonderful class called, "Jumping and Pulling, Oh My!" (Click here to go to the Class Schedule page)
It is a 6 week series that addresses these precise issues.
Some of the exercises teach you how to start building your working relationship with your dog, first, in a quiet area, and then to start doing this in more and more distracting places. We work on teaching the dog where we want him to be when we are attached to them by a leash. We teach strategies for regaining your dog's brain when he is hugely distracted, too. And then there is the jumping aspect of dog ownership. We work on a "leave it" cue and apply it to counters and tables. We work on teaching a sit when people approach rather than jumping up to greet (a normal canine response), and we work on door manners, which is a life skill, really, if you think about it. I don't want my dogs bolting out the door when I open it, nor do I want my dogs to jump on people as they come through the door.
That's a lot of learning for a 6 week class!!!
To top it off, it's so much fun to watch your dog engage his brain…if you take the time to watch him or her puzzle through some of the exercises, you will be superiorly proud!
Click here to go to the training tips page.