We all know the story. A visitor comes to your home. Your puppy gets excited at the prospect of all the petting he is about to get. He loses all control and starts jumping at your guest in a desperate bid to get as close to them as possible. Everyone laughs and remarks how adorable he is. Since dogs greet each other at face level, this will seem like the appropriate option for your puppy.
In this article we will look into: German Shepherd Jumping up, Why they do it and how to stop it.
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Why should you stop your German shepherd dog from jumping up?
Puppies jumping up may seem cute, but 6 months on you have an out of control 50-pound dog throwing himself at people and putting people at risk. As a puppy, jumping up should be stopped to prevent serious issues in later life.
German Shepherds are large dogs and the last thing you want is your adult dog knocking over poor Mrs. Jones from next door. He won’t understand that it is wrong because he was allowed to do it as a puppy. An adult German Shepherd is capable of jumping between 4 and 6 feet high. They are a working breed and have a lot of power in the legs. For more information on how high a German Shepherd can jump please see this article.
It is also necessary to prevent jumping as German Shepherds are prone to joint problems like hip dysplasia. Jumping can make this worse and puts a lot of pressure on the joints.
How to stop your German Shepherd dog from jumping up?
So, how do you stop it? The simple answer is body language. This is how dogs communicate at is the easiest way to explain to him that this behavior is not acceptable.
Whenever you see your dog getting ready to jump up at you, immediately give a firm “no” or “ah-ah” and turn your back. To a dog, your back is boring. There are no physical cues for him to read. His first response will probably be to circle you so he is facing you. Now he is ready to try again!
Be persistent. Even if he manages to get his feet of the floor, still give him your back. He will immediately get down because by turning your back you are rejecting his request for attention. Eventually he will give up. This doesn’t mean he has learnt not to jump, it just means he has learnt that it isn’t wanted right now.
To continue with the training, you need tell everyone your dog comes into contact with the do the same thing. That will begin to develop and association for your dog between jumping up and not getting the fuss he wants.
In addition, you need to give him an alternative. When he comes rushing towards you, hold out the palm of your hand like a stop gesture and ask him to sit. As soon as he does you can lavish him with pets and praise. The second he jumps up you must end the interaction by turning your back on him.
This teaches him that to get attention, he must sit nicely and be calm. As soon as he starts being giddy and excitable, the fussing stops. Since he came to you looking for that attention, being calm will be a good incentive.
If your German Shepherd is not getting enough physical or mental stimulation, he will be tempted to find his own entertainment. A garden fence under 5 feet high is not going to be enough to contain your pent-up pooch. He will hop straight over and be off exploring the neighborhood and running off all his extra energy.
To prevent this from happening, you will need to install a fence at least 6 feet tall. If your German Shepherd has jump your short fence before, do not just add to the height. This will simply teach him to jump higher and he will continue to escape. You need to remove the old fencing and install new fencing in its place.
Make sure the materials you use are sturdy and well made. Go for a high-quality wood that will not crack or loosen. You also want to choose a fencing material that your dog cannot chew through. Chain link fencing is practically indestructible, but still allows him to see what’s going on. If having a view of the street is encouraging his jumping behavior, solid wood panels or vinyl panels would be a better choice.
Chain link is also not a good option if your dog knows how to climb. The notches between the links give him a good grip and will enable him to climb up and over rather than jumping. Also make sure there is no garden furniture that he could use as a platform. German Shepherds are highly intelligent and capable of problem solving.
German Shepherds may jump because they are bored. The simplest solution to this is to prevent boredom by providing them with opportunities for mental stimulation. Shake things up on walks by going somewhere new. The unusual sounds and smells will be a good distraction. Also, instead of one long walk, split it up into 2 shorter walks so he has multiple opportunities to be out of the house.
You can create your own engaging toys from things you would normally throw in the trash. Plastic bottles make great treat dispensers. Poke a few holes along the side of the bottle just large enough for your dog’s treats to fall through. Add the treats and screw on the lid. Your dog will have to work out how to get the treats out himself. This encourages him to use his senses of smell, sight and touch.
Raw meaty bones satisfy the desire to chew and stops them being destructive with your furniture. When choosing a bone or chew, make sure it is not too small to be a choking hazard. The best size is one similar to your dog’s head.
Try some different toys. Instead of playing with the same tennis ball every day, trying introducing some different options such as Frisbees, plush toys or squeakers. The different textures and noisy will be mentally stimulating and dogs love new things.
Kongs are great for distraction, chewing and boredom. They are made of a firm rubber that can be chewed and mouthed without being damaged. You simply fill the hollow centre with a tasty snack such as peanut butter or natural yoghurt and leave your dog to tongue his way to treat heaven!
Learn new tricks. Obedience training requires concentration and this is mentally stimulating and tiring. German Shepherds are very clever and can learn new things remarkably quickly. Try teaching a few new tricks such as roll over, high five or crawl.
Agility classes are a great way to get exercise and get your dog’s brain moving. They will have great fun running around the course but they also need to focus on your instructions and learn to use the equipment correctly. Agility includes seesaws, tunnels, jumps and weaves.
You can test your dogs sense of smell by hiding some of his favourite treats around the house or garden and telling him to find them. You will have as much fun watching him as he will finding them.
Get them socializing. If your German Shepherd plays well with other dogs, take him to the dog park so he can socialize with his own kind. Alternatively, you can organize a doggy playdate with friends or neighbors. Dogs form friendships like we do and they can get anxious if they haven’t seen their pals for a while.
Training Not To Jump:
If you are continuing to see the jumping behavior there is a method of training you can try that may prevent it in future. For this you will need the assistance of a relative, friend or neighbor, plus some tasty treats:
- Start with your dog on a short leash with your assistant. Stand 6 feet away with a few treats in your hand.
- Allow your dog to sniff the treats in your hand before you start so he knows you have them. Start walking towards him.
- If he jumps as you approach, say ‘no’ in a firm voice and step away. If he does not jump, give him the treat and a little fuss.
- After a few attempts, stop giving the treats and just reward him with attention. You don’t want the treat to become the only motivation.
- Continue to repeat this training regular to solidify the behavior in your dog’s mind.
German Shepherds were bred for protection and herding. They are working dogs and need to be strong and agile. They have been selectively bred to be athletic. This is what makes them such good police dogs. If a criminal jumps a fence to get away, a German Shepherd will not hesitate to follow and he has the physical ability to do it.
Starting this training when they are puppies will make your home life a lot easier and safer. Jumping can cause serious injury, especially if they knock somebody over. If your dog is jumping over fences, he runs the risk of injuring himself, either by cutting himself on the fence or landing badly on the other side.
We hope this article has helped you to get a better understanding of why your German Shepherd dogs jump and ways to stop it. If you would like us to answer any more questions on German Shepherds please leave a comment below or fill in this form here.