What if I told you that you could improve your dog’s behavior without training him? That you could prevent him from doing many of the behaviors that you don’t like – without any cues or treats or learning curves?
Well, these things are completely possible. You can accomplish these goals through management – the art of controlling your dog’s environment to prevent him from being reinforced for behaviors you don’t want. It’s an incredibly valuable piece of any good training or behavior-modification program. Whether you are looking at a short-term or long-term management solution, the better you are at it, the easier it is for you and your dog to succeed.
In fact, management is the correct answer to most questions that are posed to professional dog trainers that begin, “How do I stop my dog from . . . ” (fill in your dog’s favorite inappropriate behavior here). In many cases, management is necessary while the dog learns a new, more appropriate behavior. In others, management offers a simple long-term solution or replaces unrealistic training expectations.
1 – Rephrase: “How do I teach my dog to greet people politely, by sitting, or at least by keeping all four feet on the floor?”
2 – Manage: Control your dog’s environment to prevent her from being rewarded for jumping up on people. You can use the following tools:
- A leash or tether to restrain her as people approach; allow them to feed her a treat and/or pet her only after she sits.
- Crate, pen, closed doors, so when you can’t closely supervise her interactions with visitors, you can confine her to a safe area so she can’t practice her jumping-up behavior.
- Education. Arm your visitors with information in advance of their first meeting with the dog so they know how to behave appropriately in response to her jumping up.
- Exercise, because tired dogs tend to be better-behaved dogs.
3 – Train: Consistently reward her for sitting when she greets people. Use “negative punishment” (dog’s behavior makes a good thing go away) by turning away or stepping away when she tries to jump up.
For more information on why dogs jump on people and how to curb this unwanted behavior, download Stop Jumping today.