Jumping on doors may be a difficult problem to eradicate, especially when dog owners unknowingly reinforce such behaviour by giving the dog attention when it does this--or worse, by opening the door. Dogs will then quickly learn that to get attention or to have the door opened it must engage in such behaviour. The good news is that there are tricks to stop this annoying behaviour and minimise damage to doors.
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Things you need
- Nail Clipper
- Soft paws for dogs
- Dog door
- Empty jar
Start by assessing why and when your dog jumps at the door. Dogs may jump at the door to ask to be taken out, or dogs may jump and scratch the door when they are left alone and get anxious. In the latter case, the dog may suffer from separation anxiety, which in severe cases may need the aid of a dog behaviourist.
Clip the dog's nails. If your dog tends to jump on the door frequently, you can minimise damage to the doors if you shorten the dog's nails. A good product to invest in is a Dremel rotary tool, which will file the dog's nails to a smooth edge and make them less damaging. Other options are Soft Paws, vinyl nail caps glued on the dog's nails to prevent damage to furniture, doors and floors.
Install a dog door. If your dog is jumping on your doors to get out or come back in. This way the problem can be eradicated as the dog can come in and get out as it pleases, without requiring your intervention.
Fill up your empty glass jar with a couple of coins. If you catch your dog in the act of jumping up at the door, shake the jar vigorously. This will startle the dog and stop it in the tracks. With time, the dog will learn to stop jumping up at the door to avoid this annoying consequence.
Teach your dog alternative behaviours. If your dog jumps at the door to have it opened, discourage the jumping-up behaviour and ask your dog to sit instead. The dog should learn that after it sits nicely, the door will be opened.
Purchase a dog crate if your dog tends to jump at doors when you are away. This way your dog will be safely contained and will not get in any trouble. Most dogs love their crate once they are properly introduced to one.
Tips and warnings
- Blocking access to the door by using a baby gate or closing the dog in another room may also help reduce the jumping-up behaviour.
- If you crate your dog, teach your dog how great crates are by making them extra comfy and adding a toy.
- If unsure on how to clip your dog's nails correctly and safely, have the vet or groomer do this for you.
- Never open the door when your dog jumps on it; this will only make the behaviour worse.
- Never use the dog crate as a form of punishment; your dog may refuse to go in it and may associate it as something negative.
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