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How to stop jumping on visitors

Good Morning. Thanks for accepting my request to join and I'm sure you may have been asked before about bull terriers greeting visitors with over enthusiasm. We don't have too much problem with this, the problem arises when our visitors sit down and Ruby launches herself at them. She will be two in April and is totally adorable but for this and we can't seem to get her to stop, other than removing her from the room. We have tried this numerous times but once we let her back in the room she carries on regardless. Would appreciate any advice. Thanks. Have enclosed a picture so you can see how innocent she looks!!image
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  • Ruby is gorgeous,have you tried keeping her on a lead until she calms down,my 2 are exactly the same when people come to visit luckily the only people who come to the house are people who know the dogs,they are the same when my girls get home from school they are so excited to see them they want to be at the girls side and give them loads of kisses they calm down after about 5 mins once the initial greeings are over
  • Thanks she is gorgeous, so are your two. Yes we have tried using the lead but she's very strong and tries to drag us over to the visitor! My sister comes once a week to eat with us and has done for months so she does know her but it makes little difference. Will just have to keep removing her from the room and hopefully she will get the message eventually.
  • I think we just have to realise that they are people dogs :D
  • edited March 18
    To me it sounds like some more general and basic obedience training could help with this issue. But it takes time, especially with Bull Terriers.
    You already have found a solution (excluding her).
    Now it's up to you which route you want to follow in the future: Keep her out when visitors are coming or go the much longer but in the end also quite effective way of training her.
    With age your little beauty will likely calm a little more. But that does not mean that very exciting moments will resolve the same way.
    It could be the case that without training you will have to manage that issue her whole life.

    Some people choose to do just that.
    It's not an issue, it's a decision you have to make. :D

    Either way, I really think it's a nice gesture on your side to NOT just expose your visitors to the dog's happiness and let things go their way. ;)
    Some people decide to do just that. And, honestly, I think that would be the worst of all possible solutions.
  • Thanks Djammy, We wouldn't want to exclude her indefinitely as she does love everyone. Will see how it goes with the training. As Melphipps commented they are certainly people dogs, although she seems to love other dogs too. We took her out to our local park from being a puppy and owners of most other dogs were very happy for her to say hello to theirs, and still are despite her exuberance!
  • edited March 29
    Considering that she is only two years old there's still a good chance that besides the effects of training she is going to settle a little with age.

    I will tell you a few things about how I am approaching such problems. I feel very successful with the way I am doing things and feel like I have an awesome bond with and the total trust of my dog.
    But this is just MY way, there are lots of other options out there and completely different approaches.
    Just see if there's something that makes any sense for you in my tips and then try it if you want. If not, just leave it. That is your choice alone. ;)

    One thing that has helped me A LOT in the past is that - until today even though my dog does not do it any longer - I ALWAYS warn people who want to interact with my dog and pet her to not bend over her and to please watch their jaws because she may go up on them and her happiness could be hurtful.
    Not only does this save a lot of trouble, it also makes people more aware and their changed and a little more cautious reaction also seems to transfer to the dog.
    I have always told visitors to my home to forget about the misconception that they have to be nice to my dog even if the dog does not remember good manners. I also told them that they were a much greater help for our training success if they did not just tolerate some behavior but instead told my dog clearly or at least showed her with unmistakable gestures when they didn't want to be bothered anymore or in the way she was doing it. That was once we were at a point in our obedience training when she was finally listening to my commands and I was able to "let her loose" on visitors while still under close watch.
    I was still always ready to interfere. But the "negative" reactions towards her when trying to go up on people and on the other hand soft praise and a treat when she remained with her four on the floor were finally able to transfer the message.

    Another or additional approach is to instruct visitors to NOT react to the dog AT ALL - if the situation allows for that - until all four are on the floor and to remain as calm as possible when interacting with the dog in order to not fuel her excitement.

    One really good managing measure I am using until today in cases I want to REALLY make sure that she will NOT GOT UP and that has nothing to do with training is that I step on her leash in a way that allows her to sit upright but not go up on someone, even if she tries.
    That is something, too, you could try and see if she gets the message that way.
    If not, at least you will have a way of managing the behavior when greeting people without having to lock her away. In the meantime you could keep up your training. And sooner or later the step on the leash may become unnecessary.
    Just a few more ideas. :)

    After all, all this is about is the dog grasping the information that it is allowed to be happy and interact with people but that she is NOT welcome to show it by going up on others.

    As you see there are a lot of different ways to try as a single measure or combine. I have only mentioned a few examples I have been successful with.
    When other people are involved they are often not really helpful because most of them will rather assure you that the behavior of the dog does not bother them instead of realizing that they would be much more supporting if they assisted your training efforts. That is something you will likely have to actively encourage.
    If your visitors are not cooperative it can be a helpful approach to find ONE person that teams up with you and visits you for particular training sessions in a controlled an set-up way.
    It you incorporate positive reinforcement by putting a lot of emphasis on rewarding/gently praising the moments when the dog stays off a person - even if it is just for a few seconds at first - and people in general just turn away when it goes up, your dog will likely understand much faster which behavior brings GOOD things and which behavior makes people turn away and avoid it. Your dog is very smart. It will get the message.

    This issue just needs some very consistent and willful attention for a while. Once your dog has understood which behavior is undesired and has ideally even learned a command for "staying down" things will become A LOT easier.
    Once your dog really understands the message that people do not like the "climbing" it will become much more cautious with this because it is also now reaching the age when your approval or disapproval really start to matter to her. She may even start so "ask" for permission before she tries to climb up on you for a hug. At least that's my personal experience.

    One mistake I see MANY dog owners making over and over is being inconsistent and more importantly ... impatient.
    Many try different methods in a far too tight rotation of approaches and declare certain strategies unsuccessful WAY TOO SOON.
    Their problem is not that they have "tried EVERYTHING". They probably really have tried a lot indeed. But that is likely their core problem. They have NOT stuck with ONE approach long enough to even give it a chance to develop any results.
    Training is a process that takes time and as owners in order to not get frustrated ourselves or frustrate our dog we need to value success in little steps. First the dog needs to REALLY understand. As we can't just tell them, repeated experience (the same situation over and over) needs to replace the talking. That just takes more time than a heart-to-heart conversation. "A while" can be a few days or weeks or even several months OR years in special cases!

    PATIENCE means having the stamina as the owner to keep up the training until the coin has dropped for the dog.
    CONSISTENCY means to train in a controlled situation but also avoid to indirectly approve of the behavior in everyday life. Because on the one hand sometimes accepting a behavior just by letting it happen and on the other hand NOT accepting it another time does send a VERY mixed message to the dog and makes understanding SO much harder.
    As long as the task can not be fulfilled successfully by the dog, MANAGING is in place until the dog can reliably follow the command.
    In this case until the dog stays off reliably it is simply not allowed to go up when the visitors are coming. Period. Just as you are already practicing it the dog is in another room or as in my example wears a leash and a step on the leash prevents going up.
    WE have to learn what patience and consistency really are about, our dog has to learn what it can and can't do. So we all have our tasks, I guess. :D
  • edited March 29
    Here's even one more thing that came to my mind this morning. One starts to forget really fast once these things are working. :)
    For a while I had made it a habit to have my dog sit while greeting strangers because while she was busy doing that sit she was not able to jump up at the same time. It's two opposite activities. It was not an all-round remedy for us because of course when things where exciting she would not sit for long. But it still bought me valuable seconds to get her controlled AND more importantly by constant repetition of this my dog was learning an alternative behavior she could apply when she noticed that her going up did not really get her anywhere. To this day when she is unsure if she is doing something wrong or does not know HOW to react during training or so she resorts to this behavior because she knows she can never be wrong with a sit. :D
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