They started calling me “bad bunny” early on. And well, I can’t blame them.
In the morning, I hopped up to greet my dad.
On walks, I hopped up to greet people and dogs and anything else that interested me.
At mealtime, I hopped up on the gate and barked at my parents to pick up the pace with my food.
In the evening…. In the evening I didn’t hop. I zoomed!
Then one day, my parents started changing their behavior.
Dad would turn his back when I tried jumping up in the morning. He used to love my greetings!
On walks, I was forced to sit and got distracted with the yummiest treatos until the other doggo and human passed by. How sneaky!
My meal would only be delivered if I was sitting and quiet.
I still zoomed.
That was then….
But now I write this journal entry as a slightly more mature pup. I have shed the “bad bunny” nickname, but my parents occasionally reminisce about my puppy energy. Well, sorry humans, I made progress and now I’m not going back. There are so many perks to not jumping, and I want to share them with you, furiends, so you can get in on it too. But first, you need to know what changes to expect.
Starting at home
One day, you’ll jump up to greet your human like you usually do, and they’ll just turn their back. I know you’ll be tempted to jump up more and make sure they saw you, but it won’t help. They’ll just turn away again. It’ll be easy to start asking yourself “do they still love me?!” But don’t go into that place of self-doubt. They love you tons! And they have the treatos to prove it.
You only have to do one thing. It will be tough, but trust me it’ll get easier every time they do it.
Then the magic happens, pup!
As soon as your human will hear your tail hit the ground, they’ll say your marker word, turn back to face you, kneel, and finally give you the treato in their hand. You’ll also get tons of scratchies!
Be aware, your test isn’t done yet. They’ll still have more treatos stashed!! So don’t start jumping right after you get the first reward. If you do, then they’ll get up, turn their back, and you’ll be back at square one. If you stay seated for (what will feel like an eternity but actually) like five seconds, then you’ll get the second treato. Win-win! Plus, more scratchies.
Tempted to jump up now? Don’t do it fren. Just don’t. Trust me. Cause there’s yet another treato waiting. This is the best one, and humans save it for when they finally stand back up. While they stand, they’ll put their palm up toward you and probably say something like “wait.” If you keep your tail on the ground this time, then two more of your favorite treatos will have your name all over it! Win-win-win-win.
At this point, the excitement of greeting your human is gone anyway and you can calmly follow them around like their shadow.
Okay, so this works when you greet them. But what happens if you randomly get the urge to jump, you may ask?
Your human will do the same back turning and walking away business. #rude! Since you took them by surprise, they may not have treatos to share when your tail hits the ground. Instead, they’ll give you lots of scratchies and loving, which is what we wanted anyway when we started jumping. With time, you’ll realize the only way to get that attention is with all four paws on the ground.
Yes, I said “unless”.
Unless you get so good at it that your humans teach you “paws up.” OMG that’s my favorite. It means they want me to jump up! I love coming up to mom or dad’s level and stretching my paws out on their chest. But if I ever try doing that without being invited, they still turn their back. #rude!
Extending to walks
It’s going to be harder for your humans to control all the random people and doggos on your walks. But they’ll try. Once again, the faster you master this, the more freedom you’ll have to meet whoever you want.
Here’s what they will do.
If your humans don’t want you to meet another person, they’ll put you in a sit, kneel next to you with a hand on your collar/harness, and let you nibble on a treat.
They may also say something like “here.” If you try jumping up… well… did you forget they had a hand on your collar/harness? Yeah, thought so. Sit your tail back down. When your human stands back up you may once again be tempted to jump after whatever you wanted, but… um… fren? They still have a handle on your collar/harness. So, sit your tail back down and wait. Be patient and you’ll be rewarded with a treat when your human says “walk” and motions the treato like an arrow away from your nose.
Don’t be surprised if, when another doggo or human approaches, your human may say something like, “oh (s)he’s in service dog training.” You know you aren’t.
And your human knows you aren’t. But it’s a white lie humans tell to avoid saying flat out “no” to people. #rude!
If your human is okay with you meeting another person, then the outcome will totally depend on how vocal your human is. If they aren’t comfortable giving directions to the other human on how to approach you, then you’ll basically have free reign to do whatever you want! Muahahahaha. But if your human is comfortable with saying, “(s)he’s in training, so if (s)he starts jumping, can you turn your back,” then the faster you sit the faster you’ll get to say hello. It also helps if your human guides the visitor to scratch you under your chin rather than on top of your head. It’ll make you less likely to want to jump, and we all know chin scratchies are the best.
You know what happens when you pass the jumping test? Your humans will let you meet so many more people!
If you’re like me, then you’ll learn how to get your humans to let you meet tons of people! You’ll put yourself into a sit anytime you see a human walking your way (even if they’re 300-400 feet away), and patiently wait for the human to either come pet you (and their dog to play with you) or walk past you (in which case you’ll sulk, but start walking again). It’ll be a great reminder to your humans that walks are about quality, not quantity, and they’ve got a sweet pup that sparks people’s smiles!