By George A Fox
Yorkshire terriers love to jump on things. It is a way of showing their excitement coming to meet someone, and ultimately purging excess energy that they tend to build up. However, it can be somewhat dangerous, especially if there are small children or elderly people around. The last thing you want is your Yorkie accidentally hurting your child or the grandma jumping on them and trying to play.
Why Yorkies Jump
In their world, jumping is a sign of endearment and a way to parlay excitement when someone returns. Puppies will jump up on their mothers when they are young and their mother returns, and as a result, that behavior translates to greeting an owner or a new person in the house that excites them. In some cases Yorkshire terriers will also jump up to exert dominance over another dog or another person. If you’ve ever seen a Yorkie jump onto the back of another dog’s neck, this is what they are doing – showing that dog that they are superior.
Stopping the Jumping
Jumping can be stopped in a number of ways. However, many owners don’t utilize the proper techniques, instead giving their Yorkies attention they don’t need and reinforcing that jumping behavior. Think of it this way. If your Yorkie were able to talk, they’d be saying “look at me! Pet me! Play with me!” when they jump on you. If you look at them and give them attention, you’re doing exactly what they want, effectively rewarding the bad behavior.
So, things like grabbing their paws or pushing them away – while they are effective immediately – will not work in the long run. They’ll simply do it again, knowing that additional attention is incoming. When it comes to yelling or showing anger, you’ll only confuse your Yorkie and in some cases, create potentially dangerous situations when a they don’t know how to greet a stranger in the house. By the way, when training Yorkie puppies, yelling and showing anger is very ineffective.
Properly Ignoring Your Yorkie
Like many attention seeking behaviors, jumping can be dealt with best by simply ignoring the Yorkie. Turn away from them and continue about your business. You should not make eye contact, talk to, or touch them for the first few minutes you enter the door. This can be very hard to do, and if you have a family, you’ll need to lay down strict rules about how to greet the animal, avoiding that anxious, jumping behavior. For many Yorkshire terriers, that early attention can even breed separation anxiety – causing them to react when you leave or come home.
Of course, you don’t need to ignore your Yorkie forever – just until they relax and stop moving. They might stand patiently waiting, or if they are well trained, they could sit or lay down waiting for your attention. Once they’ve give you their calm attention, you can reward them softly. Don’t get them excited again, but offer them a bit of attention and even a treat if you have any. The goal here is to teach them that your attention will only come when they are calm and patiently waiting for you.
For those who wants to know more about Yorkshire terriers and learn how to train them properly go to Yorkie training tips.
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