You’ve no doubt walked into a friend’s home only to be greeted by their dog jumping up on you and knocking you off balance, scratching you, or damaging your clothing. Yet another all-too-common experience is a puppy or poorly-trained dog nipping or mouthing at you, whether at your hands, clothing, or shoes.
These encounters with dogs are frustrating, unpleasant, and even embarrassing for the dog’s owner—and they’re nearly universal challenges when it comes to training a dog or puppy.
Today, we’re covering why dogs and puppies engage in these behaviors, and how a partnership with All Dogs Unleashed results in eliminating jumping and nipping in dogs of all ages.
Why Do Dogs Jump Up?
Whether your dog is a petite Yorkshire Terrier or a lumbering Leonberger, she is most likely jumping up to greet you and your guests. In the canine world, an up-close, face-to-face greeting is natural and expected. Puppies jump up to greet their mothers, engage in mutual face sniffing, and gain reassurance. This behavior also extends throughout a dog’s social network!
If your dog or puppy is seeking connection through attention, wants to go for a walk, or wants to play, they will also likely jump up on you at these times.
From our perspective, this natural behavior is an easy one to overcome with proper training. We’ll teach you how to avoid accidentally rewarding your dog or puppy for jumping behavior (did you know negative attention can be a reward?) and help you train your dog to engage in an alternative behavior.
You may want your dog to sit quietly when visitors approach or you return home, or you may be happy for your dog to grab a toy to bring over to a guest. We’ll discuss your lifestyle and behavior preferences to ensure that the replacement pattern we teach will suit you perfectly.
If you want your dog to jump up on you alone at your request, it’s entirely possible to teach your dog to gently jump up to hug your or greet you face-to-face. We will engage in this training once your dog has learned the correct way to greet you and others. The key here is to ensure your dog only does so when you command, and doesn’t lead this behavioral pattern at any point.
Why Does My Puppy Nip and Mouth?
Aside from teaching your puppy when and where to eliminate, teaching him not to nip, bite, or mouth at you may be the most frustrating and painful tasks. Like jumping up, your puppy’s desire to nip, bite, and chew everything and everyone is completely normal! Still, thanks to their needle-like puppy teeth and powerful adult jaws that follow, this behavior has to be corrected ASAP.
How Long Will It Take to Stop Nipping?
Once your puppy begins teething (at three or four months of age), they will have an intense need to nip and chew until it’s over (at six or seven months of age.) During this span, the pain and pressure of teething must be addressed with healthy alternatives, and their urge to nip and bite has to be redirected.
The training team at All Dogs Unleashed will teach you how to consistently redirect your puppy’s mouthing and nipping.
Please note that a herding dog or badgering-type dog will have a high instinct for nipping because they have been bred to be good at herding livestock and hunting small game—and nipping is a vital part of this job. Your herding or badgering dog will need a lifelong outlet for this instinct, which we will help you develop. Accelerated enrichment, agility, and specialized tasks will all be useful components of your comprehensive routines you’ll need.
As soon as your puppy is old enough to come home with you, she is old enough to begin training to become the ideal canine citizen and companion. Contact us here at All Dogs Unleashed to enroll in classes, schedule individual training sessions, and begin your work as your dog’s best teacher.