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How To Teach Your Bulldog To Stop Jumping On People

Many English Bulldogs have a problem with jumping up. And when your dog is as solid as they are, this can cause injury, even if they aren’t very tall! Most likely, it started out when your Bully was a puppy and he couldn’t knock you over by putting his paws on your shin, which you rewarded with attention or a treat. Unfortunately, he got big and now it’s a problem. The following is how to teach your English Bulldog to stop jumping on people.

Image Source: Jim Reynolds Via Flickr
Image Source: Jim Reynolds Via Flickr

Why Your English Bulldog Jumps On People

Dogs are opportunistic creatures. This means that if they can do something to get what they want, they will. As mentioned above, jumping up usually starts when your Bulldog was a puppy and he put his cute little paws on you to get your attention. Understandably, you couldn’t resist. But your puppy just learned that putting his two front paws on you gets him what he wants, and he will do it more in the future. So unless your Bully is jumping on people out of fear or aggression (in which case you should seek a professional dog trainer for help), he is doing it because it gets him what he wants – attention, a toy, food, etc. The good news is that this makes it easy to stop the behavior. All you have to do is make sure your English Bulldog is not being rewarded for it. Then, give him another behavior to do instead that is rewarded. Problem solved.

3 Steps To Getting Your English Bulldog To Not Jump On People

Image Source: Jazz Guy Via Flickr
Image Source: Jazz Guy Via Flickr

#1 – Stop Rewarding The Jumping

Every time your English Bulldog jumps on someone, that person needs to ignore her completely. The best thing to do is turn around and walk away. Even if they shout “down,” “no,” and/or push her away, negative attention is still attention. The trick is that every single person, 100 percent of the time, needs to do this. One person saying, “Oh I don’t mind” and then giving your Bully what she wants will make the behavior stronger, so insist upon your rules.

#2 – Ask For A Conflicting Behavior

Most people ask for a “sit.” Your English Bulldog can’t sit and jump up at the same time. There are two ways to do this: wait for your dog to offer a sit, or give the cue “sit” and then reward her when she responds. The reward should be whatever your Bulldog was jumping on you for in the first place – petting, a toy, a treat, even his food dish! Anything your Bully normally jumps up on you for, she now only gets if she is sitting. If your Bulldog has hip issues, opt for a calm and still “four on the floor.” You will wait until she is standing quietly and then reward. This takes some training and patience, but it will work because, as mentioned above, dogs repeat behaviors that get them what they want.

#3 – Management

This is the last piece of the puzzle and it’s what you have to do while your English Bulldog is learning to sit for things, which won’t happen overnight. You can help your Bully by holding them (as long as they are comfortable with that and the attention they are receiving – see above picture). Having your Bully drag a leash from their harness can also help with jumping for a couple reasons. It’s useful when you meet that pesky person that lets or even encourages your Bulldog to jump on them – you can just step on the leash so he can’t physically practice the behavior. Or maybe you are in a situation that is just too exciting for him at this point in his training to remember his manners. Again, stepping on the leash can help. Finally, you can lead him away from the person altogether, let him calm down, and then bring him back to try the greeting when he is more settled.

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Written by Kristina Lotz
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