I couldn’t figure out how to keep Honey from jumping. Until she showed me.
Stop Jumping, You Darn Dog
Training every person we knew to turn away from Honey if she jumped on them made her less likely to jump. But it didn’t stop the jumping completely.
And besides jumping to greet strangers, Honey also jumped up on me.
No, not when I came home. And not when I got her ready for a walk.
Honey jumped every time I had something new and interesting in my hands.
- dog treats (of course)
- the mail
I also noticed that she was more likely to jump on strangers if they had something in their hands or were moving them about.
After months of frustration, I finally understood what she was telling me.
Stay Still, I Just Want To Smell You
Honey didn’t put her front paws up on my body like she was soliciting something. She was leaping to put her nose closer to the item in my hand.
Aha! Now I know what’s going on.
The next time I took an onion out of the cupboard, I held it down for her to sniff it. When I brought the mail in from the front porch, I allowed her a sniff. And when I was carrying dirty mugs leftover from teaching a home buyer’s class, I lowered the tray to the level of her nose.
She hasn’t jumped since.
Don’t Try This At Home, If…
Honey gets a polite sniff of everything, including food I’m taking out of the fridge.
I can do this because she’s never grabbed anything out of my hand or off the counter. She waits until something is offered to her. She’ll simply sniff and wait to see if she’s getting a piece.
I could never have done this with my first dogs, Agatha and Christie. But then again, they didn’t bother jumping up when I had food in my hands. They were too busy plotting how they’d get it away from me when I wasn’t looking.
What Is Your Dog Telling You?
I’ve gotten great training advice from readers. It’s almost as if you are able to look at the problem from the outside and suggest new solutions because you’re not frustrated and tired. Imagine that.
Can you do the same thing with your own dog? Watch his behavior and find out what he’s telling you about how to change it? Or have you done it already?
I’m beginning to suspect that all the secrets of the universe are known to our dogs. Now we just need to learn how to listen.
Have you ever solved a training issue by figuring out what your dog was telling you?