How to Train Your Dog to Jump on Command

How to Train Your Dog to Jump on Command
Easy difficulty iconEasy
Time icon5-10 Days
Fun training category iconFun

Introduction

Do you want to go on lots of adventures with your pooch; however are they always such a hassle because he just doesn’t get the hang of jumping into the car and you find yourself covered in mud after a walk out in the country? Imagine how much easier and less back breaking it would be if you didn’t have to lift your 90-pound pooch into the car, or maybe you’ve got a few small dogs and with each pupper you lift in, the chore becomes heavier and more time-consuming. Or maybe you’ve got a large 4x4, small kids, and a ton of camping equipment to take with you and the last thing you want to do is load the dog into the car as well. How much easier would it be if you could teach your pupper to jump, saving your back as well as your time? Well using this guide in a few simple steps, you can do exactly that.

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Defining Tasks

In this guide, we will be teaching your pupper the 'jump' command, which has a lot of useful applications and can save you a lot of effort and exasperation in trying to lift your dog. As mentioned in the scenario before, particularly if he’s a large breed dog, it will be useful to get him to jump into cars, onto couches or even onto the table at the vet's. This command has some real uses in service dogs, as they need to complete complicated obstacle courses. Aside from practical applications, it is also a very cute and fun command to teach and will build on the trust and disciplinary bond you have with your pet. It would also be an invaluable asset to those thinking of competing in competitive training events with their pooch. The command is of a medium difficulty and most pooches should pick it up within a week or so, however, your pup should be approximately a year old so that most of their growth has taken place and they are less likely to injure themselves learning to jump. Bear in mind that not all dog breeds can jump--breeds with long backs and short legs such as Dachshunds are not suitable, as the risk of spinal injury is high.

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Getting Started

In order to get started, you’ll need plenty of tasty treats and a can-do attitude; energy will also help, so be sure you and your pooch are both well rested. If you’re looking for a more complicated jump technique, you can use suitable objects or bars that your dog can jump over, which can often be purchased at large pet supply stores. It’s important to think of you and your pooch's health and safety when teaching this trick. In order to make sure neither you nor your pooch injure yourselves, select a location with an appropriate amount of space with an even surface for flooring, the yard can be good for this, but just make sure there aren’t any potholes lying around. Now you’re ready to get started.

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The Straight Up Method

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1

Begin sitting comfortably

The best position for your dog to learn to jump is from sitting. Make sure he already has a good grasp of this basic command before teaching him to jump. Be sure to tell him to sit first and give him a treat.

2

Treat placement

Kneel down and place the treat a little above your dog's head to begin with so he just can’t quite reach it.

3

Say 'Jump!'

Now as he’s reaching more and more for it, tell him to ‘Jump’ in a firm but friendly voice. When he does this and gets the treat, tell him how much of a good boy he’s been and give him a fuss.

4

Rewind and repeat

You want to really consolidate the basics before you get him to jump higher, so make sure to repeat the previous step, until he jumps without hesitation.

5

Increase the height

Gradually keep moving the treat a little higher and repeat the 'jump' command, increasing the distance each time your pupper gets it right.

6

Sit and jump

Revert back to the starting position by commanding ‘sit’. Now this time, instead of holding the treat out in front of your furry friend, say ‘Jump’. by now he should have associated the command with the action and will jump up high. Now give him a big treat and shower him with praise.

The On An Object Method

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Sturdy object selection

Choose a sturdy object, such as a solid step, or look into purchasing specialized jumping tools from pet suppliers. This should be a fairly low object, to get your furry friend used to jumping onto something low to begin with.

2

Use those treats

Hold a treat for them above the object and give the jump command in your friendliest, encouraging but authoritative voice.

3

Give them praise

Make sure you reward your dog highly with treats and give the loveliest back scratch ever to your four legged friend when they’ve made it on to the object, as jumping can be a scary feat when you’re on all four paws.

4

Gradually increase the height

Start to use higher objects such as hurdles or obstacles you come across during your every day routine. This can be a sofa (if your pup is allowed on the furniture) or even a garden bench or low walls that you find on a walk. Make sure you use the jump command on approach and treat generously after. Jumping into the car is another good example.

5

Go to classes

Now that your pooch has this basic training under his collar, if you wanted to take the exercise further you could take him to an agility course where he could have a go at all sorts of specialized jumps and obstacles. This form of exercise is especially good for intelligent, enduring, medium-large breed dogs that require lots of stimulation to prevent bad behavior traits and teach discipline.

The Jumping Together Method

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Positioning

To avoid injury and get enough height, jumping needs to begin with the ‘sit’ position.

2

Jump with him

Again, you want to use treats to encourage jumping, however, hold the treat just out of reach above the dog's head and show him what you want him to do, by doing a little jump yourself.

3

When he jumps

Once your pup jumps up, give him lots of praise and tell him how much of a good boy he has been.

4

Jumping higher

If your pup takes to following your lead, get him to sit again, get another treat, and then do a higher jump yourself. If he follows suit, keep increasing the distance you are jumping as well.

5

Introduce 'Jump'

Now each time you jump, introduce the 'jump' command, saying it clearly and in a friendly manner, to reinforce this is what you want him to do.

6

Stop jumping and just command

Once jumping has been associated with the command, your pup should just jump straight up at your say without you having to do any work this time.

By Catherine Lee-Smith

Published: 10/13/2017, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Thor

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Belgian Malinois

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8 Months

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Question

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How to train my dog to attack ?

July 13, 2020

Thor's Owner

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Darlene Stott - Dog Trainer and Groomer

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104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, this is an undertaking that has to be taught by a professional as teaching a dog to attack can be a very dangerous situation for both Thor and anyone who comes into contact with him. Please look online for information and consider carefully your decision. Remember, a dog well trained in obedience is an asset and will be a good, protective companion. Obedience and loyalty are essential for safety. All the best.

July 23, 2020

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Luna

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Red Queensland heeler border collie mix

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5 Months

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I need help training my puppy to jump on command, I built a DIY dog training jump that has a high level and a low level, she keeps going through the middle when I train her on the high level, please help me.

July 12, 2019

Luna's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rylee, You need a middle level(s) too. Going from low jumps to high jumps suddenly is too abrupt for dogs that aren't already comfortable jumping high, it needs to be gradually learned. If you don't want to add one or two more middle levels to the jump, then find objects that are varying heights that can sit in front of the jump for her to jump over, such as cardboard. Ease her into jumping higher by making the jump slightly higher than the low level - just a few inches higher than before. Work at that level with lots of encouragement and praise. When she is comfortable jumping at that level, then make a jump that's a few inches higher than the current level. Continue making the jumps gradually higher until she can jump at the height of the high jump. When she can jump that high, then remove your cardboard or other middle jumps. If she continues to try to go through the jump, place something in that space until she gets into the habit of jumping over every time and doesn't even consider going through it. Check out this jump for example, notice the spots on the pole that can hold the pole in place at varying heights - allowing you to ease into higher jumps and adjust the pole height as needed: https://carlson-agility.com/product/1-pvc-single-jump-with-aluminum-cups/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

July 12, 2019


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