One of the more annoying behaviors an English Springer Spaniel can display is jumping up on people. This action could knock down a toddler, an older person, or someone unsteady on their feet; it could tear and dirty someone’s clothing, or the dog’s nails could scratch and hurt someone. So the dog needs to learn not to jump.
You can train English Springer Spaniels not to jump by attaching a leash to the collar, the leash should be pinned under your foot and that will prevent the dog from jumping up. The dog is rewarded for remaining on the ground. This learned response is then linked to a cue word such as “off”.
Fortunately, this is a highly intelligent breed, eager to please, excelling in training as a gun dog and a sniffer.We need to understand why the dog likes to jump up on people and explore an effective training method and the underlying principles to keep in mind. It’s also important to be aware of practices to avoid as they could be counter-productive or harmful to the dog.
How To Stop English Springer Spaniels From Jumping
Set aside time for training your dog: a fifteen-minute session is long enough. You need to be calm, in control, and patient. It’s best to use positive reinforcement in the training sessions, rewarding your dog with treats, encouraging vocal responses (such as “yes!”), and praise when he acts correctly. Repetition is necessary until he has a good understanding of the desired behavior. Consistency is also important
An effective training session for your English Springer Spaniel involves using a long leash or rope that you attach to his collar. Stand on the leash, so the dog is comfortable but unable to jump. Then entice him to jump with an object he likes to play with and get him excited. When he jumps up, stand on the leash to stop the jumping.
Once he’s seated or lying down (“four paws on the ground”), wait for 10 seconds and then reward and praise him. Your dog has to learn that not jumping up will be rewarded. After repeating this several times, test your dog again without standing on the leash. If he jumps up, take a step back and onto the leash, so he has to sit. When he’s seated or lying down, reward him with treats and praise.
The next step is to stop using the leash and to use a cue word like “off” or “leave”. When your dog starts to jump, use the cue word, and as soon as she sits or lies down, wait a few seconds and then give the reward and warm encouragement. She’ll soon realize that her job is not to jump. An example of a trainer using this method can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P1DgDED23o
Your dog must understand that this behavior is expected whether on or off leash and mustn’t tie the behavior to being on a leash. It’s unlikely that he’s on leash all the time, so he must understand that jumping up is always off-limits.
If your dog has been trained since puppy-hood on basic commands like “sit”, “heel”, “down”, and has been socialized correctly, you can give her a command like “sit” when you anticipate she’ll jump up to greet you or someone else.
When a friend or family member arrives, give your dog the “sit” command. Tell the visitor not to give the dog attention until she’s seated. When the dog is sitting and calm, the visitor can greet her. Should your dog jump up again, repeat the “sit” command. Reward the correct behavior with positive reinforcement such as praise and treats.
As with everything, there could be ups and downs in the training process, but as long as you remain patient and encouraging, your dog will master the behavior.
Why Does Your English Springer Spaniel Jump?
This is a friendly, affectionate breed, and your dog is probably jumping up to express his joy at seeing you, meeting someone new, or having some fun playtime. Most dogs like to jump up, so it’s not an issue unique to English Springer Spaniels.
In some situations, jumping up could be a way of seeking attention, especially if the dog is experiencing separation anxiety. Or maybe your dog is craving some exercise.
However, your dog needs to learn that jumping up is undesirable and never allowed. If you don’t teach your dog this, he could start jumping up in other situations too, such as trying to take food off counters (“counter-surfing”).
English Springer Spaniels are not particularly prone to “springing” if that means leaping or jumping. The “Springer” in their name refers to their special skills-set as gun dogs where they’re trained to flush or “spring” game birds from their hiding places under long grass or brush. The dogs make the birds nervous, so they spring/fly up, thus becoming visible to the hunter.
Actions To Avoid When Your English Springer Spaniel Jumps Up
Walking away and ignoring your dog when she starts to jump on you may increase her desire to get your attention and exacerbate the problem.
If you push your dog away or wrestle with him when he jumps on you, he may interpret this as an exciting game that could intensify his jumping behavior. This is an unintentional reward for bad behavior.
Never punish your dog by kicking your knee against her chest when she jumps on you. You could cause serious harm to your pet. Or, she may interpret this as a game and jump up again, eagerly anticipating round two. Leash correction that involves pulling or jerking the leash can also hurt the dog.
It’s better to set aside time for training when you can teach your dog how to act by providing a command to be followed.
Regular 15-minute training sessions that are pleasant and positive will strengthen your relationship with your dog and make her all the more eager to please you. You should find that in a relatively short space of time, the jumping behavior is a thing of the past.