Jumping up is one of these puppy behaviors that some people encourage but others deplore. There’s no doubt that being greeted by a puppy jumping up to give you a hug or a sloppy kiss has its appeal, but when that puppy reaches adult size, suddenly the behavior is, well, not so appealing!
Before it gets out of hand, look into your crystal ball and decide whether this is a behavior you really want to encourage. It can be tolerable in a small dog, although you run the risk of snags in your stockings, but a puppy that will be the size of a half-grown bear cub can inadvertently cause injuries by knocking something over. Teaching a still small puppy to sit instead of to jump up for attention is a good way to prevent problems later.
When the pup looks like it’s about to jump up, tell it to sit, then bend down to give it attention or a treat. The puppy can’t sit and jump simultaneously, so if it learns to sit when told it won’t jump. With consistency, the puppy will learn to sit to get attention.
And of course, there is the problem of teaching a new puppy how to walk properly. Early training can make walking a puppy much more enjoyable. It’s best to use lots of food or a favorite toy and back up training with tons of patience in order to teach puppies to walk right at your side without pulling on the leash.
“I put no pressure on the leash,” says Amy Harmon, long-time dog trainer and part owner of her southern California school for Obedience Training.
She goes on to say: “In my right hand I hold a hot dog or a toy at my left thigh, where the heel position is, and say, ‘Puppy, heel.’ Off we go, even if it’s just 10 steps. I keep my right wrist at my thigh so the toy or hot dog is right where the puppy’s nose is, and if they’re not there, they correct themselves.”
The bottom line here is that it is a heck of a lot easier to teach a puppy what you want it to do than to unteach bad habits in an older dog. Remember that the amount of time and effort you spend training a puppy will be repaid over its lifetime.
The information shared on this site is for information only. It does not take the place of professional advice from your pet’s healthcare provider.