The point of distraction

I’m going to answer a Frequently Barked Question today.

FBQ: How do I stop my Great Pyrenees, or Pyrenean Mountain Dog, from jumping up?

It’s a fairly common cause of concern amongst people who live with dogs. We dogs tend to be more enthusiastic with our greetings than bipeds are. You only have to watch young dogs at the park greeting each other to realise that dogs don’t mean to be rude when they jump up. Of course, if your dog is as large as I am then convincing the dog that it isn’t very polite can be quite urgent!

My bipeds have used the command ‘sit’ to stop me from doing all sorts of things. They always say that there isn’t much mischief a dog can get into while sitting nicely! They taught me it’s a nice way to greet visitors.

Large dog jumping up

Too enthusiastic?

Attribution: By Rytis Mikelskas (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

The first thing to do is to convince your dog that a ‘sit’ always brings good things. Little and often is the way to do this. Ask for a ‘sit’ at odd times and give a treat – this can be something tasty, or it can be praise or perhaps a game. You can also ask your dog to ‘sit’ before you give him his food. When ‘sit’ gets a quick reaction, encourage your dog to stay in that position for a little longer before he is rewarded. Then try asking for a ‘sit’ when there is some sort of distraction, but keep the sit brief at first so that the dog is successful.

When you have a fairly reliable sit, you can move onto the next stage with some help from family members and friends. Ask someone to go out and come back in, but ask the dog to sit before the person comes in. At this stage it’s helpful to stay by your dog’s side so that you can encourage him to remain sitting and reward him for doing so. The person who came in should make a fuss of him if he is sitting.

If you keep doing this it won’t take long for your dog to know that sitting to greet people brings rewards and it will become the natural behaviour. I always use a ‘sit’ when I want to ask for something, as I know how much my bipeds like and reward a ‘sit’.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and it is also Hannukah, so I’d like to wish everyone who is celebrating a lovely time!

See you next Wednesday!

100 thoughts on “The point of distraction

  1. This is great to know for any dog! It took us a long time to teach our golden retriever Sheba not to jump on people. She gets very excited, and to this day you can still see that she wants to jump, but she holds herself back. We have a new puppy coming soon, so we are going to use this method and hopefully get him trained more quickly….thanks!

  2. What great advice! I don’t mine and enthusiastic greeting myself, though lots do!
    Happy celebrating Clowie and family!

  3. Excellent tips for canines and their bipeds to follow, Clowie! I can remember as a teenager coming “face to face” with an overly friendly Irish Setter, who I’m fairly certain didn’t know the meaning of the word “sit”!

    • Thank you. It can be a bit intimidating if a dog you don’t know very well gets right up in your face like that! I don’t suppose he did know the meaning of ‘sit’.

  4. Have a good turkey tomorrow and don’t steal the Thanksgiving ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. A useful tactic when meeting new dogs too…the diving up into face with puppyish enthusiasm is not always interpreted as friendly, sociable enthusiasm is not always interpreted in quite the right way from another dog#s viewpoint! Plenty of potential for an out and out attack! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Yes, you’re right. Adolescent dogs often get told off by adult dogs because of their lack of manners!

      • That’s the best way for them to learn though! At least another dog makes sense to them!
        Just remembered, I recently, and finally, after almost losing the will to live lol waiting for it, got my 2nd half of the Certificate in Puppy Ownership ๐Ÿ™‚ I passed with another credit and I’d like to pass the credit onto you too Clowie. Without your help with that awkward question about puppy training classes I think I’d have been hard pushed to get a Pass let alone a credit! Thank you so much for your generous contribution and time taken to do so. It has been greatly and sincerely appreciated. I’m now trying to be sensible and wait till after christmas before embarking on any full courses! Wolfie hugs!

  6. Thanks for the tips Clowie! Shiner gets so excited sometimes and wants to jump up on people sometimes. Especially my mom, which is a bad thing right now. She just had a mastectomy so I’m trying to avoid any jumping from the dog.

  7. Great advice! I try to always make Rita sit before giving her anything. Now… if I could only train the hubs to do the same! Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Still working on this with Maya. She won’t jump on us but keeping her from doing it with other people has proved to be a six year challenge. She knows sit and stay very well. But when she meets someone new, she gets so excited that she forgets. And up she goes! Argh!!! I love my Maya poo-poo-head. ๐Ÿ˜›

  9. Very good post sweet Clowie. Mumsy taught me to sit before she taught me anything else. Sometimes I would rather go do something else but most of the time I sit nicely when told to. Hugs and nose kisses Chancy

    • Thank you, Chancy. Sit was the first thing I was taught as well. It’s an almost automatic response, whatever I’m doing! They use that to their advantage!

  10. Clowie can you do tricks? xxx

    • I wait to take treats that are put on my paws. I offer my paw when they ask me to shake hands. I can walk backwards and a few other things like that.

  11. Hello Fluffy Clowie ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Well you are right with the tips above. Little puppies tend to be very dinamic… They just canยดt sntand still so finding them a comfortable place to sit on may help… Sure !!!…

    Cheers & see you at Pinterets, Aquileana ๐Ÿ™‚

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  13. And I love reading your blog ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Great ideas. We’ll have to work on this.

  15. No one taught me how to sit. But I guess its because I never jump up on people. I hate it when dogs jump up on me.

    • They’d probably think it was a very cute trick if you jumped on people. I think I’d be worried about dogs jumping on me if I were you!

  16. It’s a great advice. Thank you Clowie. I don’t have a dog, but my sister got four of them and one is huge and loves to jump up. This is going to come in handy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. We bipeds are hard to train. I think because we can give ourselves treats so we have no reason to learn better manners. I wish we were as well behaved as you and many of your friends.

    • The human race is capable of such extremes of behaviour – for good and bad.

      • Very wise. I never cease to be amazed or appalled. I saw a bumper sticker on a car once – strive to be the person your dog thinks you are….I imagine that biped’s quadra-ped was one of the good ones. It makes think, sometimed.

        • I like that quotation, it gives food for thought.

          • I was telling my husband once, how I followed several blogs from my four-footed friends and made comments. He stated that it appeared I was having conversations with “humans”. I replied that I didn’t converse with the creature (four-footed or bipied), I conversed with the soul. My SamCat understands totally. My dear Pugsley, who passed away several years ago, was truly one of my best friends. I miss the talks we had. I enjoy talking with you Clowie. i always learn a lot!

          • I really enjoy talking with you and I understand what you mean about conversing with the soul. It’s hard to explain how you feel a connection.

          • And that is another reason I said you were an “accidental” poet! You take care of yourself and your bipeds and cats. I’ll try to be the sort of person you think I am.

          • I’ll do my best!

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