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German Shepherds are notorious for being excitable and fun-loving dogs, but this can pose issues that some owners may have trouble dealing with. While a friendly dog may seem like every owner’s dream, it can quickly become a nightmare for the owner who likes to entertain guests. An eager dog may be very quick to leap up and jump onto new guests without regard for manners and a puppy is likely to be inadvertently rewarded for doing so. German Shepherd puppies are cute and irresistible, meaning that guests are more prone to rewarding jumping up with pets and attention. Unfortunately, this can become less cute as your puppy grows into a much larger adult dog. It’s better to tackle the issue of jumping up early on to avoid the possibility of your German Shepherd knocking over or overwhelming a guest by accident.
As a general rule, allowing your puppy to leap up on others is at best, poor manners, and at worst, offensive or dangerous. Teaching him to respect the boundaries of both you and other people in your home is important for his growth and development and can create a good foundation for further obedience later on.
Whichever way you choose to teach your Shepherd the rules of greeting new people, consistency is key, no matter how many people you have in your home. Getting everyone on board is a crucial step to maintaining training. Teaching your puppy good manners is best done as soon as he turns eight weeks of age and should continue throughout puppyhood. However, it should only take one or two weeks to really adjust him to your expectations when it comes to greeting visitors. Through the appropriate management and repetition, your German shepherd puppy can be the ideal host for your house guests.
To begin, determine how often you receive guests in your home, or if you are often the victim of your puppy’s jumping, make note of the times when he does it in order to plan out a proper training routine. You should be taking every opportunity to practice the method you choose in correcting his behavior and knowing these details will help you in doing so.
Once you’ve figured that out, then gather up some treats that your puppy enjoys to act as motivation. This will make it so he is more likely to behave in the way that you want him to instead of exhibiting the poor behavior.
The Ignoring Method
Watch your puppy’s movements
When either you or someone else walks into your home or the room, keep an eye on your puppy. Generally, he will be very obvious about his excitement if he’s about to jump up.
Turn your body away
Avoid providing any sort of positive feedback to your German Shepherd by turning your body away from him. He may still jump, but you will not be in a position to receive it.
Even a verbal ‘no’ can be seen as giving in to your puppy’s attention seeking. Avoid giving him any verbal reprimands.
Make no contact
Putting your hands on him can give your puppy a signal that he is receiving affection for jumping. Don’t push him off or touch him.
Reward when he loses interest
As soon as your puppy turns away from you, give him verbal praise and pull his attention to something else. Go into another room or play with a toy. He will soon learn that jumping gets him nothing while remaining calm will result in other positive attention.
The Replacement Method
Find a command your puppy knows
‘Sit’ is the easiest command you can teach your puppy so that he can focus on the command rather than jumping. Be sure that she has the command mastered.
Catch your puppy before she jumps
German Shepherds are quick and can catch you off guard easily. Keep an eye on your puppy when you or a guest walks in. If you can catch her before she jumps, she will avoid performing the behavior entirely.
Ask for the command quickly
As soon as you catch sight of your puppy about to jump, ask for your command instead. Keep a treat handy to motivate her into doing as you ask.
When your puppy obeys the command, immediately reward her to reinforce the behavior.
Affection comes after
Let your guests or other people in your home know to only give your puppy attention and affection after she performs the command that you’re asking of her. She should not receive any greeting otherwise.
The Prevention Method
Baby gates can prevent your puppy from accessing the front door where he can jump up on guests. Use them throughout your home.
A puppy who jumps may have excess energy to burn. Be sure you’re playing with him often and providing enough physical and mental stimulation to keep him worn out and tired.
If necessary, adjust your puppy to stay in a crate when guests come over. Keep the crate somewhere where he can sleep if he gets restless.
Distract with a toy
Provide your puppy with a chew or puzzle toy with some treats in it before guests come over. Keep him occupied.
Keep your puppy in another room
If all else fails, keep your puppy in a room with the door closed and provide him with food and water. Let him back out when your guests have left or when he is calm enough to interact.
By TJ Trevino
Published: 02/06/2018, edited: 01/08/2021