Dog From Spain and Too Much Jumping

Perro is a remarkably stable little rescue dog from SpainI have fallen in love, again! Little 7-month-old Perro was found in sad circumstances in Spain, quarantined, and brought home by friends of the couple who have now had him for one month. He is a terrier of some sort.

He is remarkably stable and resilient considering what he has been through in his short life. He is very fortunate with his new home with the patient couple who have already come a long way with him in just one month.

The main problem is his over-excitement and jumping up – sometimes grabbing with his mouth also. It’s especially difficult because they have a three-year-old daughter who gets scratched by his claws. He is extremely good with her – he adores her – and she has already been taught to be gentle and respectful around him.

People seldom realise that they are actually reinforcing the jumping up. If a dog does it this persistently, then they must be. It has be rewarding for him in some way. So, they need to be just as persistent in their own new responses to his jumping up for as long as it takes. Perro will naturally begin to try even harder when he finds what usually works no longer works, and he may even get frustrated and get worse temporarily. Keep calm – and see it through!

The other thing that needs working on is walks. He is currently on an extendable lead and pulls all the time – and why not? An extendable or flexilead has a spring that ensures it’s always tight so it simply teaches the dog to resist. Pulling away a reflex action in response to being pulled back. There is no such thing as loose lead walking on a flexilead, unless it’s locked, and then why not use a proper lead of a good length that is more comfortable to hold? Perro also gets very excited when he sees dogs and people – straining towards them and then jumping all over them.

He has so many good points. He’s not a big barker, he’s scared of nothing apart from the car, he eats well, he doesn’t beg, he is biddable, very friendly and affectionate. Just look at him!

A couple of days later I called in again to work on giving Perro a behaviour incompatible with jumping up, using a clicker. Clickers are often used in the wrong way, but used correctly clicker training is very useful because it encourges the dog to make his own right decisions and isn’t about us giving him commands. This way he learns self control rather than people trying to control him – which very often will hype a dog up even more.
Ten days after my visit I have feedback on his walking is going: “I have been working on this walking out the back and am seeing real improvements, it will take time especially when there are distractions, but he is not pulling continuously anymore”.
Three and a half weeks have now gone by: Perro is getting on really well………We are on holiday at my parents at the moment and Perro is behaving very well. I have asked my family to get up and fold their arms, giving him no attention if he jumps up  and they are all being fantastic with it. I have just had a lovely walk with him, he is walking really well on the short lead. I am remaining very determined to keep him walking on a loose lead, We saw some cars go by while we were walking and he didn’t leap at the at all and paid them hardly any attention at all which is fabulous. I have been doing as you suggested clipping his lead on him first thing in the morning to stop him jumping at us and this is working really well …. I am also still working at the impulse control training as in the video and he is responing very well to this……We are remaining calm and consistent and i feel are making steady progress”.