Dear Daisy Dog: How can I stop Chester, my young pointer mix, from jumping on me and other people? I was told to knee him in the chest when he jumps, but that’s not working.
Daisy Responds: Chester is jumping on people because he wants attention. So let’s use that information and some positive reinforcement — which is always more effective than aversive training — to get what you want. When Chester jumps on you, turn your back to him, so you’re not making eye contact. Don’t speak to him. Raise your hands into your armpits so you don’t inadvertently pet him if he rubs his head against your hand. As soon as he has all “four on the floor,” turn around and ask him to sit. When he’s sitting, praise him and pet him. If he jumps again, repeat the process. He’ll soon learn that the best way to get your attention is to sit.
Ask the Vet’s Pets is written by Daisy Dog and Christopher Cat, with a little help from veterinarian Lee Pickett, VMD. Send questions to Daisy and Christopher at [email protected]
This article is featured in the September/October 2019 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.
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