Cockapoos can jump like grasshoppers, flying through the air like some kind of super-dog. It’s pretty amazing how far they can jump, and how powerful their back legs are. But it can be a lot less fun when your cockapoo scratches you or knocks you over by jumping. Here’s what to do.
Some people think it is cute when their cockapoos jump on people. Others think that jumping puppies are endearing. However, dogs of any age or size should not be allowed to jump on humans. Jumping must only be as a result of a command, not randomly upon any stranger or visitor which the dog comes across. Some people, especially people who are not dog-lovers themselves, will likely be most annoyed to be jumped upon by any kind of dog. When out walking, dogs who jump on people will often leave muddy paw marks upon clothes, inadvertently scratch people, put runners in nylons, damage clothes or footwear, and possibly even knock frail or off-balance people over.
A dog which jumps up on a human of its own free will is not showing respect to that person. He is not always giving a warm friendly greeting, either. Instead he imay be asserting that he is more dominant or prominent than that person and wants to exercise his control. Regardless of why he is doing it, such behavior belongs to an alpha character, and a dog does not have alpha dominance over a human. A lesser member of a pack of dogs would not jump up on a superior member of the pack. Instead, allowing space shows respect for higher ranked members of a pack. A dog which jumps on humans is not showing respect.
Imagine walking in your local park and coming across a young puppy. The owner allows the puppy to jump up on everyone whom it meets. Since the puppy is young and small it does not cause anyone injury or knock anyone over. However, it does have muddy paws, and so everyone is left with muddy clothing to some degree. Unfortunately, the owner of the puppy does nothing to stop him from jumping up at people. Obviously, everyone who has been on the wrong end of a muddy paw print is not impressed. In addition, the owner is only making things worse for the future, since the puppy will continue to jump on people as he grows older.
An early lesson to teach your puppy is the “no jumping” rule. Since jumping is not allowed by fully grown dogs, the rule must be the same for puppies. Consider the type of behavior you would deem acceptable for an adult dog. If there is any behavior which you think is unacceptable in an adult dog, then it is also unacceptable in a puppy. Such rules are best learned when your puppy is still young, and is more easily trained.
Believe it or not, your cockapoo (and dogs in general) prefer to have rules and consistent boundaries. If you do not allow your dog to jump up on you and your family, the same rules must be applicable to all other friends, relatives and visitors. As the owner, it is your responsibility to maintain consistency. Even when others say that they do not mind being jumped upon by a dog and that they enjoy playful behavior in dogs, such changing of the rules will only confuse your dog. The rule for one and all is “no jumping”, unless specifically commanded.
Dogs are very aware of space, and have a keen sense of balance. In order to train your dog out of jumping up, you need to make use of that spatial awareness. If you lean back or step backwards whilst your dog jumps, he will continue to invade your space by jumping. Instead, when your dog jumps, step into his space.
Imagine that you have a sphere around you which represents your space. You are not going to allow anything into your space. Be prepared for when your dog jumps and step sideways into him with your body, shouldering towards him. Do not deliberately face your dog head on when doing this, but try to angle towards him. Do not be surprised if you catch your dog unawares on the first few occasions, since he will not be expecting this behavior from you. While you are not deliberately attempting to knock him down and are certainly not trying to harm or abuse your dog, do not be overly concerned if he does bounce off you and fall down. Dogs can take a great deal of “rough and tumble” contact without suffering harm.
Your aim with this exercise is to smoothly fill your space with your body, occupying an area which your dog was aiming to jump into. Your casual and calm movement into your new area of space will offset your dog’s balance, which is not an experience which dogs enjoy. As you move forwards or sideways, lean slightly forward, not backward. Remember, do not move too fast, as you are just retaining your own space, not deliberately knocking your dog down.
This tactic can work with nearly any dog who attempts to jump up on you. Lean slightly forward, stepping to the side and forward, occupying space which you have claimed, and which the dog was going to jump into. Your new space is claimed, and the dog is put off balance. In time, and after a number of failed jumps, the dog will learn that jumping up on you is not fun, and he will respect you more.