Ask the Vet’s Pets: Down Play

Daisy Dog has the tips and tricks to keep your excitable pooch from jumping on your guests.

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Cartoon drawing of a mixed breed dog.
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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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Comments

  1. This really is helpful information on jumping dogs and positive, re-directive training in getting them to stop. It sounds like Chester (and other dogs in his situation) has pent up energy that needs releasing.

    Everyone is so busy now with work and everything else, dogs often aren’t given the walks they should be which would help. Also, a game of fetch with the ball or Frisbee at a park or dog park is a great way to spend quality time with your dog, and tire him/her out in a good way. In addition it’s giving them the attention they want and need. Remember, your dog always wants to please you even when their attempts go awry. They always mean well.

    Great photo of the dog on top happily jumping away!

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