tr?id=1702533549982635&ev=PageView&noscript=1 No Jumping Dogs This Christmas | Smartypaws

No Jumping Dogs This Christmas

on 01 December, 2021

Did your dog tackle your Turkey Day guests? If so, I promise that you are not alone. The day after Thanksgiving, I received several calls from dog-owners asking the same question: “How can I train my pup to stop jumping on guests for our Christmas gatherings?”

Unfortunately, it is a bit unrealistic to expect a dog to learn how to gently greet your guests in a mere few days. It can be done, but it is not likely - especially at this time of year. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can create many difficulties when it comes to the time and energy required to be intentional in training. Consistency and practice over time are sure to yield results in changing any dog’s frantic welcoming rituals, but there is much more involved when it comes to helping a hound transform from a jumping kangaroo into a mellow mutt when faced with the commotion of company.

Your best bet for managing an overzealous dog at the door this Christmas is to keep high value treats in your entryway to implement into one of these clever strategies:

  • Drop and scatter several treats behind you when guests are entering. This encourages your dog to stay further back instead of rushing at incoming visitors. Continue dropping the goodies at your heels until all your friends are through the entrance and the initial excitement has died down.
  • Hand willing guests a palm full of goodies. Have them hold the tasty treats in a fist at your dog’s chest level while dispensing one at a time, but only when all four of the pup’s paws are on the floor. Then, direct your guest to drop the last few treats on the ground before walking away. You can also make a fun variation of this by having either you or your company toss a plethora of treats away from the door for your pooch to follow and find.
  • Smear a tablespoon or two of peanut butter, squeeze cheese, canned dog food, or any delectable dog safe spread onto a lickimat. You can also apply it inside a heavy-duty chew toy, marrow bone, or even out-of-the-way on the entryway tile floor. No worries about the mess. If the tidbits are tasty, then your pup will be busy licking and cleaning the spread while your friends come inside undisturbed.
  • After a knock or doorbell ring, grab a wad of those high value treats and lure your dog away from the door to their kennel or behind a gate. Leave Fido to feast, temporarily separated with his goodies and a special chew toy as you greet your guests. Once everyone is settled, bring your dog out on their leash. Hand them treats only when four paws are on the ground or when they introduce themselves by sitting. In the case of multiple dogs, this is an especially effective and less stressful way to manage chaos when competition for treats or attention may be a concern. Just bring out one dog at a time on their leash to greet guests. See demonstration here.

A valuable tip when handing the dog treats in the above strategies is to be sure you dispense the goodies at the dog’s chest level or near the floor. This will help deter jumping up to snatch the cookies out of an elevated hand. Also, please remember that a plain, dry dog biscuit will not suffice for these strategies to work. You MUST use food or treats that your dog can’t resist.

The above suggestions are management strategies that can help calm and redirect frenzied dogs in a pinch. Yet, with Smartypaws guidance and some practice, you can train your social dog to greet people politely in numerous ways: sit for petting, nuzzling a hand, calmly going to their bed, bringing a “present”/toy, or even bowing to say, “hello”. There are many fun skills we can teach our dogs for interacting appropriately with company. Do not wait until next Thanksgiving to start training them! Book an in-home training package today. You can also contact us anytime.



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  • Debra goes above and beyond in every interaction! She trained me. She trained my dogs, and she even trained my children. Exceptional!

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