Some dogs are great leapers while few like to keep their four paws on solid ground. The fact is that most dogs are willing to try to jump over things because it’s their natural activity.
The sad part is that some natural leapers became perplexed when faced with an obstacle (the height of the object is no taller than his chest) in front of them. They either find a way to walk around it or beg to be carried over or turn back where they came from. Why? From my observation, many owners discourage their dogs from jumping. While I agree that jumping on people or sofa and bed (these, I’m ok to a certain extend) is a behavior should not be encourage but over restricting your dog’s natural capability is something I find it incomprehensible.
One way to correct your dog’s bad behavior is to divert his energy to something positive instead of trying to eliminate it. In all honesty, NO ONE even top-notch trainers cannot totally eliminate an instinctive behavior. Some may disagree with me thinking that they’ve successfully stop their dog from jumping on people or things. The truth is that you just do not create the opportunity for your dog to so and over time your dog may no longer wish to jump. Again, some dogs will still jump when faced with adversities.
Why You Should Incorporate Jumping Activity Into Your Dog’s Fitness Program?
Even though you do not wish to enroll your dog in agility classes or participate in Flyball activities, your dog should know some jumping basics for his own benefits (as I listed above) or for the sake of having diversity in his exercise routine. Furthermore jumping exercise tones their legs muscles and strengthens other parts of the body. However, the most satisfaction I get is seeing my dogs’ confidence level went up a few notches and become less needy—knowing they can conquer obstacles without much help from me.
If your dog (under 10 inches of height) has never jump anything over 5 inches, here is a simple exercise to get him started.
How To Teach Your Dog the Basic of Jumping
With your dog on a leash, start by jumping over something small, such as shoe box. Gesture over the object, saying “jump!” If he jumps the object, give him a treat. Gradually increase the size of the object and see how high he goes.
Note: Although many dogs can jump as high as twice or thrice of their own height, it’s not wise to be too ambitious with this activity. If you do, make sure you have good cushion over the other side of the hurdle. Most importantly seniors and young puppies should not attempt this exercise.
The first few times you try this, your dog may want to walk around the object rather than jump over it. That’s quite normal for first timers. If he continues to walk around the object many times, you’ll have to change the jumping exercise to another location. In order to make your dog want to jump, you need to find what motivates him to do certain things he does. For example, if your dog enjoys going out for walks through the front door, then you just have to line a few shoe boxes at the entrance leaving as little gaps as possible. Follow Steps 2, 3, and 4. Remember, both grounds (inside and outside the house) have to be on the same level.
Finally, if he still refuses to jump, and seems nervous or frightened, don’t force your dog any more. Find other fun activities to do with your dogIt is better to organize a pain management for dogs as such classes would help it transform into a different animal that would become restrained in its behavior because regular jumping can lead to adverse health effects in the future simply because it is important to keep them under control right from childhood as their exuberance is hard to manage as they grow up that might also cause inconvenience to neighbors and guests.