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Your Jack Russell Puppy Care Checklist - Jack Russell Crazy Issue #22
October 02, 2011
Get down! How to decrease jumping behaviors in your Jack.
When strangers come to the door, my dogs would not only lose control but they would jump all over my guests. My guests thought it was cute and would often encourage the jumping. To my Jacks it was lots of new and interesting smells. For me, it was a major embarrassment. Once my Jacks were jumping up it was hard to peel them off my visitors. There were one or two pairs of women's hosiery ruined from eager paws on legs. And the breaking point was when my Jack scared a little boy to the point of tears. Man did I feel bad!
I knew action needed to be taken quickly. This habit was no longer endearing. Upon researching this issue, I found that this problem is common among many dog owners. Jacks who jump up when excited are just bidding for attention. They also jump because they are used to being close to us and jumping up is the quickest route to do this. My visitors had been unknowingly encouraging my Jacks to jump by petting them and talking to them while they were in the up position. And when I would come home from an errand like the supermarket, I would hold up my purchase out of reach as my Jack's were jumping which in turn made them think that it was a game and they would jump even higher.
What to do? Luckily, it's not that hard to combat jumping up. It is important that your dog know the "sit" command before embarking on this training. It's hard to sit and jump at the same time.....so practicing having him sit at various doors before they open, practice having him sit before you speak to him, practice having him sit before you pet him. This helps him realize that sitting leads to good things. Next, start small. Work on your Jack greeting just one person. Have this person armed with a few treats. Make sure your Jack is on a lead and calmly greet this person. Have this person say "sit" and then deliver your Jack a treat. As your Jack gets good at this, vary greetings with a faster approach and more animated greeters. After your Jack is mastering these situations then start with trouble spots like greeting at the door. Because jumping is a call for attention, ignore ignore ignore. No eye contact, no verbalizations like "off", no kneeing. Avoid any eye contact with your Jack and in fact you can turn away.
Remember to be consistent and that the longer the habit of jumping has been ingrained, the longer it will take to retrain your Jack. So practice is of the essence!
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We absolutely love receiving photos of your JRTs. That's why we are holding our fourth, October cute JRT contest. Send us your most adorable JRT photos with a brief explanation of who your JRT is and what your JRT is doing/thinking/scheming about in the picture. It's okay if you've already entered in the past, just send us a different picture of your JRT than the one you've previously submitted. The winner will be announced on October 20th, will be featured on our homepage, and will receive a prize from our new JRT Amazon Store. Submit your photos here!
'Til Next Time...
Take care - and take care of your JRT!
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