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He has huge paws, weighs up to 170 lbs and has a long tail that he loves to wag from side to side with full force. His love of playing rough with you ends with possessions getting knocked over or broken in your home. He’s lovable and friendly to everyone he meets, which means he gets over excited and has the tendency to jump up at people. However, being a Great Dane, one of the largest breeds of dog, this is far from acceptable.
Jumping up is not so much a problem while he is a puppy however when he grows into an adult dog with these bad habits, you are going to find yourself being knocked over with the force of a small horse! Not to mention muddy paws all over your clean clothes, which is why it is best to nip this behavior in the bud while he is young.
If he is a puppy, training your Great Dane not to jump will be a lot easier as he will not be as big and heavy as an adult dog. If he is older and has been jumping up for a number of years, his behavior is going to require a lot more work to change. Training will require a lot of patience from you, your friends, family and anyone else who comes into contact with your dog. Expect a few muddy paw prints on your clothes and furniture and do not punish him for it.
Due to the nature of the training, be warned that his behavior may get worse before it gets better. He may think he is not jumping high enough to get your attention at first and may try to jump with more effort. Be patient though, this only means that you are well on your way to correcting the behavior.
It is important during this training that you are consistent. Anyone visiting you and your Great Dane must follow the same rules. Just one person not following your rules and rewarding him to jump up will only make the behavior stronger and undo your hard work. You must also avoid using your knees to block your dog or push him down as this may hurt him and injure him.
Before training can begin you will need to get your hands on lots of treats and a clicker. Once you have all this in order, you are set to start training.
The Ignore Method
It may sound obvious, but one of the best ways to teach your Great Dane not to jump up is to ignore the behavior.
Start to play a game with your Great Dane and get him into an excited and playful mood.
When he inevitably does jump up, take a step to the side and break eye contact with your dog.
Don't raise your voice
Do not raise your voice or speak to him, just ignore the behavior.
Breaking eye contact and looking away will show him that you do not like him jumping up and will not give him the attention he wants if he continues to do so.
Try and distract your dog if you can each time by using his favorite toys every time he has tried to jump up.
The Turn Your Back Method
Start off by calling your Great Dane over to you. It is likely at this point he will come running over and try to jump up at you.
Cross your arms
If he does so, fold your arms across your chest and in a stern voice use the command ‘down’ or ‘no’ if you think he will respond better to that.
Turn your back
Turn around and put your back facing to him. Wait a few seconds.
If he is not jumping up any longer, turn around and be sure to give him a treat and praise. If you turn around and he tries to jump up again, try and turn around before he has the chance to do so.
If you repeatedly turn around and he jumps up again, walk away from him. He may follow you, however you must keep your back to him.
Repeat this step a number of times over a period of a few days. Try changing the location also so that he learns not to jump up in a variety of locations.
Once your Great Dane learns jumping up will mean that he does not get the attention he wants and he will not get eye contact, he should soon stop the behavior.
The Clicker Method
A clicker is a great way to communicate to your dog, shape his behavior, and reward him when he has performed well.
You will want to find a quiet and enclosed space for this method where there are few distractions. Your living room or enclosed yard would work well.
Get his attention
Start off with a treat in one hand and the clicker in the other hand. Use the treat to get his attention so that he is focused on the training
Ask for 'sit'
Ask him to sit by giving the verbal command ‘sit’. If he does so without jumping up, give a click of the clicker and then reward him with the treat. This will let him know he has performed the behavior correctly
If he does, however, jump up to receive the treat, use the vocal command ‘down’ or 'off' in a stern voice. When all four of his paws are firmly on the floor, be sure to give him a click and reward.
Repeat step these steps until he gets the idea that having all paws firmly on the ground is when he will get rewarded. Try not to ever use force or push your dog down as he may see this as a game
By Lola Hobbs
Published: 03/13/2018, edited: 01/08/2021