How to Train a Great Dane Puppy to Not Jump

How to Train a Great Dane Puppy to Not Jump
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon2-4 Weeks
Behavior training category iconBehavior

Introduction

Have you ever had a Great Dane jump up on you? Have you ever been flat on your back with 150 pounds of dog on your chest? Usually, the two happen simultaneously!  


Great Danes love people, and they usually want to show it by getting as close to you as possible. But because of their very large size, this can be dangerous. Not only can a large, heavy Great Dane knock a person over easily, but a Great Dane on its back legs is as tall or taller than a human. Because of their height, this puts their front paws, complete with claws, at face level! Injury from a misplaced paw on the face or eye can be serious.  

Owners should train their Great Dane as a puppy, not to jump up on people as a matter of both manners and safety. Consistency is the best way to train your Great Dane puppy not to jump up, so this nasty habit does not continue on into adulthood. The trick is usually getting everyone in the household, including visitors, to adhere to the “no jumping” rule. After all, that Great Dane puppy is pretty cute,  just remind everyone jumping won't be cute when he is full grown.

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Defining Tasks

To teach your Great Dane puppy not to jump up on you, family members, or guests, you will need to remove the reward for jumping, which in most cases is to get as close to you as possible. Removing yourself from the situation when your puppy jumps up and not rewarding him with attention, even negative attention, will be key to successfully ending jumping behaviors. Avoid punishment, as even negative attention can reward an attention-hungry Great Dane. Teaching your Great Dane puppy an alternative behavior such as 'sit' that is incompatible with jumping is a good technique for managing jumping in a puppy.  An alternative method is to make your young dog stand on his haunches, past the point where it is rewarding for him, so he avoids it in the future. This method should be used carefully, and by a handler that is used to working with young dogs, so as not to cause injury or fear, or reinforce the behavior. Remember, you are trying to discourage him, not punish or hurt your dog.  

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Getting Started

The most important thing to do in training your Great Dane puppy will be to get everyone on board. Consistency is very important, you do not want anyone to reinforce jumping by not sticking to your training plan. Using treats to reinforce alternate behaviors, such as 'sit' that are incompatible with jumping, will also be useful. Remember to be patient with your young Great Dane and avoid punishments that will confuse him.

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The Make Jumping No Fun Method

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1

Grab paws

When your Great Dane pup jumps up on you, take hold of his paws before he puts them on you.

2

Make your dog stand

Hold your dog’s paws until your puppy becomes tired of standing on his back feet, when he show signs of this, let his paws go and allow him to put them back on the floor.

3

Step into your dog

When your Great Dane puppy starts to jump up, take a step into him rather than away. This puts your dog off balance and forces him to put his paws back on the ground.

4

Do not frighten

Be careful not to injure or frighten your dog with either of these techniques, be careful that he does not fall over and hurt himself.

5

Repeat

Repeat and alternate stepping into or making your dog stand past when he is comfortable, to discourage jumping behavior.

The Extinguish Jumping Method

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Turn away

When your Great Dane pup starts to jump up, cross your arms over your chest and turn your body away.

2

Freeze

Do not yell at or speak to your dog, ignore him completely. Be a tree.

3

Leave

If your Great Dane continues to jump, walk away. Leave the room or area. Return later when your dog calms down.

4

Approach again

When you return, if your Great Dane jumps up again, turn and leave. If he stays on the ground, praise and give a treat and attention.

5

Repeat

Repeat over several days, withdrawing attention for jumping, providing it when paws are on the ground.

The Alternate Behavior Method

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Teach 'sit'

Teach your Great Dane puppy to sit. Provide treats to reinforce the command “sit” and the behavior.

2

Use when distracted

Give the command for the alternate behavior in distracting situations, such as outside in the yard or on walks. Practice often so your puppy thinks this is a great trick that brings him attention.

3

Use 'sit' when jumping occurs

When your Great Dane starts to jump up on you or someone else, provide the command for 'sit'.

4

Reinforce paws on ground

If your Great Dane sits instead of jumping, provide lots of attention and praise.

5

Establish 'sit'

If your Great Dane continues to jump up, turn away or have your guest turn their back on your young dog. When the dog hesitates, repeat the command for 'sit'. Reward if your dog complies. If he does not, remove him from the situation. Continue to practice 'sit' and try again later.

By Laurie Haggart

Published: 02/09/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Nova

Dog breed icon

Great Dane

Dog age icon

8 Months

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Question

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I recently bought a new house and the lady who sold it to me left her 2 cats. I already had 2 cats. My Great Dane is just 8 months today and I cannot get her to stop chasing the cats. Please help

Nov. 10, 2021

Nova's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Leah, If pup is just chasing but not fixated on or trying to harm the cats (even though pup could of course accidently with the size difference), then pup may just need to work on building impulse control and obedience commands around the cats. If pup is more fixated then that, you may need to work with a trainer and pursue training like the training in the third and fourth videos I have linked below, the severe cat aggression videos. Either way I would make sure you are using safety measures like a crate, back tie leash, or basket muzzle around the cats right now, and keeping them separate when you can't supervise with at least two doors between everyone, like a crate and a bedroom door, or pup in one room with the door closed and the cats in a second room with the door closed, instead of just right outside pup's door. Mild cat issue - teaching impulse control: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWF2Ohik8iM Moderate cat issue - teaching impulse control using corrections and rewards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dPIC3Jtn0E Severe cat issue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MLJV5PBh7Y More e-collar work with cats with the same dog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8lkbX0dhT0 Work on impulse control in general with pup, by teaching things that increase impulse control and calmness - such as a long, Place command around lots of distractions. Practicing the command until you get to the point where pup will stay on Place while you are working with a cat in the same room. You can also back tie pup while they are on place - connecting a long leash attached to pup to something near the Place just in case pup were to try to get off Place before you could intervene. This keeps kitty safe while practicing and reinforces to pup that they can't get off the Place. The leash should be long enough that pup doesn't feel the leash while they are obediently staying on the Place because it has some slack in the leash. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Below are some other commands in general you can practice to help pup develop better impulse skill/self-control - impulse control takes practice for a dog to gain the ability to control themselves. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the room: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Nov. 11, 2021

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Ruca

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Great Dane

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1 Year

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Question

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We have done training with our dog. Jumping seems to be our most problematic area. Me being with her the most (I am female), she only jumps on me. We can be with multiple other people and she will only jump on me. Or if we are on a walk she will jump on me when she is more tired. I will try the 1st method more of stepping into her while holding her front paws. Just wondering if there is a reason it is only me... Thanks!

Feb. 15, 2021

Ruca's Owner

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Alisha Smith - Alisha S., Dog Trainer

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257 Dog owners recommended

Jumping: Teach your dog that they receive no attention for jumping on you or anyone else. Teach your dog to do something that is incompatible with jumping up, such as sitting. They can't sit and jump up at the same time. If they are not sitting, they get no attention. It is important to be consistent. Everyone in your family must follow the training program all the time. You can't let your dog jump on people in some circumstances, but not others. Training techniques: When your dog… Jumps on other people: Ask a family member or friend to assist with training. Your assistant must be someone your dog likes and wants to greet. Your dog should never be forced to greet someone who scares them. Give your dog the "sit" command. (This exercise assumes your dog already knows how to "sit.") The greeter approaches you and your dog. If your dog stands up, the greeter immediately turns and walks away. Ask your dog to "sit," and have the greeter approach again. Keep repeating until your dog remains seated as the greeter approaches. If your dog does remain seated, the greeter can give your dog a treat as a reward. When you encounter someone while out walking your dog, you must manage the situation and train your dog at the same time. Stop the person from approaching by telling them you don't want your dog to jump. Hand the person a treat. Ask your dog to "sit." Tell the person they can pet your dog and give them the treat as long as your dog remains seated. Some people will tell you they don't mind if your dog jumps on them, especially if your dog is small and fluffy or a puppy. But you should mind. Remember you need to be consistent in training. If you don't want your dog to jump on people, stick to your training and don't make exceptions. Jumps on you when you come in the door: Keep greetings quiet and low-key. If your dog jumps on you, ignore them. Turn and go out the door. Try again. You may have to come in and go out dozens of times before your dog learns they only gets your attention when they keep all four feet on the floor. Jumps on you when you're sitting: If you are sitting and your dog jumps up on you, stand up. Don't talk to your dog or push them away. Just ignore them until all four feet are on the ground. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thank you for writing in!

Feb. 16, 2021


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