How to Train Your Small Dog to Jump Into Your Arms

Medium
2-5 Days
Fun

Introduction

A little Jack Russell Terrier named Bob was trained to run and launch himself into his owner's waiting arms when given the command, “Bob are you scared?”  Now they perform this cute trick at children's hospitals, much to the delight of the youngsters, who think Bob is the greatest. A side benefit of this trick is that it is so well established, that even when Bob is distracted by something his owner can command him to jump into her arms and he will do it, thus keeping him out of trouble, as well as being entertaining! 

If you have a small dog with some athletic ability you can teach your dog to jump into your arms. This is a fun trick with the added benefit of having ahold of your dog at the end of the trick, great if you need to catch your little dog in a hurry!

Defining Tasks

A small dog needs to be athletically fit to be able to jump into his owner's arms. Although, if your dog is really little you can bend over and meet him halfway. It is advisable to make sure your dog is physically fit enough to perform this trick, and that it will not cause him injury. Any dog with joint, back, or other orthopedic conditions may not be able to safely jump high enough to perform this trick, and it is not advised. Although young dogs can be taught this trick, make sure their joints are adequately developed before proceeding. You will provide a verbal command or hand signal of your choosing, put your arms out, and your small dog will run over, launch himself up, and land safely and securely in your arms. This requires trust on the part of your dog, and you may need to do additional work to establish trust if your dog is uncomfortable with the trick at first. Once completed, this is a super cute trick and you will have your dog securely in your arms.

Getting Started

To teach your dog to jump into your arms you will need lots of treats or toys to reward and reinforce the behavior. A chair and small table or stool is also useful to help your dog reach your arms during the training process. Remember, this is a fun trick--do not punish or reprimand your dog during training. Keep training sessions short so as not to strain your dog, jumping can cause injury. Work on trust with your dog if necessary by supplying lots of time playing, exercising, grooming, or performing other tricks and obedience commands to prepare for this trick.

The Shape Method

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Step
1
Sit in a chair
Sit in a chair and give the command “up”. Pat your lap to signal your dog to jump up onto your lap into your arms. Reward with a treat when he jumps up into your arms on the chair.
Step
2
Put on a table
Put your dog on a low table like a picnic table, coffee table, stool or ottoman. Ask your dog to sit on the table.
Step
3
Command jump from table
Stand directly in front of the table, give the command 'up', and reach out your arms.
Step
4
Reinforce jumping
When your dog jumps into your arms, reward him. If he is reluctant, reach out and pick him up, then put him back on the table and ask him to jump again. Gradually move a step away from the table to increase distance and your dog’s confidence in jumping and being caught.
Step
5
Teach jump from ground
Put your dog on the ground, ask him to sit, take a few steps back to give him a few strides to get momentum, bend down part way, put your arms out, and ask your dog to come jump into your arms. Reward when your dog jumps up into your arms. Gradually move to standing upright and asking your dog to jump up into your arms. Reward for jumping up.
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The Lure Method

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Step
1
Lure to jump
Hold a treat above your dog's head, at chest height, and encourage your dog to jump up and reach it.
Step
2
Reward
When your dog jumps up, provide the reward. If he has trouble reaching it at first, lower the treat a little and provide treat for any attempt to jump up and reach it, gradually increase the height until your dog is jumping up to chest height to retrieve the treat.
Step
3
Lure to hand only
Reach out your hand without the treat and give the command to jump. When your dog jumps up to reach your hand, provide a treat after he jumps.
Step
4
Present arms
Put your arms out and lower so that when you command your dog to jump you can catch him in your arms. Command your dog to jump, and reward when he lands in your arms.
Step
5
Reward jump to arms
Put your arms out and lower so that when you command your dog to jump you can catch him in your arms. Command your dog to jump and reward when he lands in your arms.
Step
6
Increase height
Gradually increase the height of your arms and continue to command, catch, and reward your dog until your dog is jumping up into your arms at chest height for a reward.
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The Gradual Increase Method

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Step
1
Reinforce step into arms
Sit your dog down and bend down with your arms a few inches off the ground. Give the command “up” and encourage your dog to step into your arms. Reward with a treat. Repeat.
Step
2
Raise incrementally
Now raise your arms a few more inches off the ground, and ask your dog to jump up into your arms. When your dog comes and steps up, into your arms reward.
Step
3
Increase height and distance
Add some height and distance, allowing your dog to come forward a few steps and hop up into your arm, reward and treat.
Step
4
Increase height to waist
Raise your arms to waist height, sit your dog a few yards in front of you, command 'jump up', and put your arms out. Reward your dog for jumping up. If your dog has trouble, lower your arms again by bending over.
Step
5
Increase height to chest
Gradually increase height so that your arms are at chest height when you command your small dog to come to you and jump up. Reward and praise your small dog for jumping up to your arms.
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Success Stories and Training Questions

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