Your Staffy jumping up, especially on strangers, is one of the most embarrassing and common behavioural issues. While jumping on you, your family, or strangers isn’t in the same league as aggression issues or as upsetting as separation anxiety, it’s still a behavioural issue that you should address!
When you walk through the front door, you might be irritated if your enthusiastic, excessively energetic Staffy jumps at you. However, it can be dangerous for smaller children and some older adults, who aren’t expecting your Staffy to welcome them by jumping up and almost bowling them over.
Do Staffordshire Bull Terriers Jump?
Staffies have bags of enthusiasm and tend to be overly excitable, especially when young. So naturally, when you’ve been away for a short time, your Staffy will be pleased to see you. If you have a young puppy or are thinking about getting a Staffy puppy, jumping is one of the behavioural issues you’ll have to contend with until you can train them properly.
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Why Do Staffies Jump?
As a Staffy owner, you need to know why they jump. There are two primary reasons why Staffies jump: craving attention and the fact that you have unintentionally trained them to jump.
Staffies jump to get your attention because they want to engage with you on your level, which is a few feet above their heads; to do so, they have to jump. Your Staffy might also jump when you welcome or talk with guests and ignore your Staffy, which is a problem when you have company.
Your Staffy might be a little jealous and trying to get your attention to focus on them, or they might simply be trying to get your visitors’ extra attention.
In addition, most puppies learn from a very young age that jumping gets them attention. It’s common for pups to receive a reward, like a treat and fussing, because people think they’ve “learned a trick”.
This behaviour is highly likely to continue into adulthood. It’s not going to stop even if owners shout at their Staffy. After all, you are still providing attention, which is better from the dog’s point of view because you aren’t ignoring them.
How to Stop Staffy Jumping Up at People? TRAINING GUIDE
Here are three methods that can help stop your Staffy from jumping.
Ignore Your Staffy
- Turn your back on the dog as soon as its feet leave the ground.
- Ignore the dog when it paws at your back or legs.
- Don’t even bother looking at your Staffy. Turn your back if they circle in front of you and jump up again.
- Repeat until the dog picks a more appropriate behaviour, such as sitting, standing, or even turning to leave. As soon as these behaviours occur, shift your focus to the Staffy and praise and pet them.
- If your dog stops the appropriate behaviour and starts jumping again, withdraw your attention and turn your back.
- Repeat this procedure until your Staffy has calmed down and is no longer jumping.
This strategy is based on the premise that any attention, including the negative kind, reinforces that jumping on you attracts your attention. You need to train your Staffy into understanding that jumping never gets the attention they desire.
Use the Sit Command
- We will assume that you have taught your Staffy the sit command for this method. If not, start by introducing that command to your dog. The idea is to teach your Staffy a new way to greet you when you come home.
- Tell them to sit when you are leaving, returning home, or anytime your dog feels like jumping on you. Try to time this before your Staffy begins to jump.
- Suppose they listen and do as you command, offer plenty of praise and enthusiastic fussing. If your dog ignores you and continues to jump, leave the sit command for now and try one of the other two methods. Once you have got your Staffy to stop jumping, move on to the next stage.
- Every time your Staffy looks like they might jump, give the sit command and when your dog obeys, give lots of praise and even a treat.
- Give the sit command every time your Staffy jumps on you. Gradually, your Staffy will appreciate that you will not give attention when they are jumping.
Using the Lead
- Attach the collar and lead to your Staffy.
- When they try to jump on you, say no in a firm voice. Firm enough for the dog to know you’re serious but not harshly because you might have accepted jumping behaviour previously. Your Staffy will be wondering why you have suddenly got angry.
- Put your foot on the lead and keep it there with your Staffy facing you at your feet. They’ll find the lead restricts them when they attempt to jump, and they won’t get very high.
- Fuss the dog at this point and possibly offer a treat. You will repeat this for several days before your Staffy gets the message.