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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.
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.
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.
The Make Jumping No Fun Method
When your Great Dane pup jumps up on you, take hold of his paws before he puts them on you.
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.
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.
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.
Repeat and alternate stepping into or making your dog stand past when he is comfortable, to discourage jumping behavior.
The Extinguish Jumping Method
When your Great Dane pup starts to jump up, cross your arms over your chest and turn your body away.
Do not yell at or speak to your dog, ignore him completely. Be a tree.
If your Great Dane continues to jump, walk away. Leave the room or area. Return later when your dog calms down.
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.
Repeat over several days, withdrawing attention for jumping, providing it when paws are on the ground.
The Alternate Behavior Method
Teach your Great Dane puppy to sit. Provide treats to reinforce the command “sit” and the behavior.
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.
Use 'sit' when jumping occurs
When your Great Dane starts to jump up on you or someone else, provide the command for 'sit'.
Reinforce paws on ground
If your Great Dane sits instead of jumping, provide lots of attention and praise.
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