Like most dogs, Great Danes love their humans and they often express their affection by jumping. While this may be endearing when they are puppies, it can be a nuisance, or even dangerous as they grow.
Teaching your Great Dane not to jump can be challenging, especially if you encouraged the behavior when they were young. Fortunately, there are a few techniques that have been proven effective at curbing your dog’s jumping behavior, and we have compiled a list of four proven methods from which to choose.
Remember, when it comes to training your Great Dane, it is important to be consistent. Choose only one of the techniques described below and stick with it. Switching from one technique to another will only confuse your pooch and make training more difficult.
#1 – Use Known Commands
Likely one of the first commands that you taught your Great Dane is the ‘sit’ command. ‘Sit’ is also one of the commands with which your Great Dane is likely most familiar. You can use this to your advantage.
Train your Dane to sit or stay when greeting others, be it when out socializing or when others come to visit your home. Any time your pooch jumps on you, or someone else, sternly give the sit command. Once he/she complies, reward with treats or affection.
Over time your pooch will begin to associate ‘sit’ with ‘greet’ and he/she will no longer jump on Grandma when she comes to visit.
Tip: Any command with which your Great Dane is very familiar will work (down, stay, sit, etc.). Just be sure to remain consistent.
#2 – Tone Down The Affection
Your Great Dane is a pack animal, and you are recognized as the leader of the pack. If every time you come home you greet your pack with enthusiasm and excitement, your dog will follow your lead. It is often our enthusiasm that causes our furry companions to jump in the first place.
When you come home to your Great Dane it pays to tone down your affection. Say ‘hi’ to your furry friend and move on into the home. Go about your business as usual until your pet settles down. Once your pooch has calmed a bit, ask him/her to sit, then give them some love (and maybe a favorite treat).
Over time your Dane will learn that the door/entryway is not where the affection is delivered and will wait until you get settled before expecting the much anticipated greeting.
#3 – Teach Them A New Command
While this requires more extensive training, your Great Dane can be taught a new command that is only associated with meeting or greeting other people. Use a one, or two word command like ‘greet’, or ‘be nice’ to encourage your pooch to sit and shake hands.
Train your pooch with a favorite treat during normal training sessions with no distractions. Once they get it, begin using the command every time you enter the home, or meet a neighbor on the street. As your dog becomes more familiar with the command, start trying to associate it with the ringing of the doorbell.
The end goal is to get your dog to greet every guest by sitting and extending his/her hand.
#4 – The Jump On Command Approach
It sounds counter-intuitive, but teaching your Great Dane to jump on command can help them to learn not to jump when not commanded to do so. This is especially useful if you are the type of person who enjoys the exuberant greeting.
To use this technique use the sit/stay command upon arriving home. Once your dog complies and greets you calmly, reward them with affection and then invite them to be more affectionate with a ‘hug’ command while patting your lap or chest. Give them a hug and some affection and then use the ‘off’ command to end the greeting.
In this way your pooch will begin to associate jumping with the ‘hug’ command and chest-pat gesture. In order for this to effectively prevent unwanted jumping, always ignore unwanted jumps and use the ‘off’ command to rebuff the behavior.
Good Luck- remember consistent practice makes perfect!