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It has to be said that Boston Terriers are gorgeous if not comical looking characters and for decades they have bought pleasure into many a dog owner's life. They are known to be active, little dogs that have a tendency to do certain things which may not be acceptable. One behaviour which needs to be nipped in the bud in the Boston Terrier is their habit of jumping up whenever they want to greet someone.
The problem usually is that these little guys just get too excited about things when any arrives at the door or you come home after being out for a while. With this said, Boston Terriers also like being all over you at any time of the day too because they just love letting their owners know just how much they love them. They will do the same to friends and family who visit which could become a real problem, especially if anyone doesn't particularly like the idea of having an adorable dog all over them.
The first thing you have to do is understand why your dog feels the need to jump up on people in the first place before you can solve the issue. The most likely reason is because your little Boston Terrier has become the leader of the pack, the alpha dog in the household and as such they believe they rule the roost.
It's really important that you establish the fact you are the “boss” in the home and you need to do this by always remaining calm and assertive when you are around your pet. It's particularly important to avoid getting them too excited when you come home, which means making them wait until you are ready to say hello to them and this needs to be calmly without too much praise. Pretty soon, when you get back to the house, your Boston Terrier should take things a little more calmly although nothing will happen overnight. You need to be very patient and stick to your guns about only saying “hello” to them when you are ready and not when they want you to.
All dogs familiarise themselves with people, other animals and things using their sense of smell. The fact your dog is jumping up on you and other people is their way of accomplishing this. It's also their way of ensuring they get your full attention which is something Boston Terriers crave. They like nothing more than being the centre of attention which can become a real issue if you let them.
The best way to solve the problem is to push your dog down gently without making eye contact with them and keeping silent when you do. Every time they jump up, you and everyone else has to push them away in this manner and pretty soon, your dog will understand that jumping up does not get the results they want and they will give up altogether. The key is to always be consistent and never to pay attention to your pet when they jump up.
The problem is that most people react to a dog when they jump up. In a dog's world, the fact their behaviour has triggered a reaction in a person means they've achieved their goal which is to get a reaction whether it's a negative or a positive one. Dogs understand this as being a “reward” for their behaviour so in short, your Boston Terrier thinks you are happy for them to jump up which naturally you are not.
It's really important that any unwanted behaviour is corrected straight away. It's no good waiting a while before pushing your dog down. It's important for them to understand why they are being pushed away so they understand they have crossed a boundary. It will help them understand they have to be more submissive to you and other people they meet whether it's in the home or outside when you are taking them for a walk.
It's also really important to reward good behaviour, but this has to be calmly so as not to get your dog too excited again. The one thing about Boston Terriers is they are quite highly strung by nature much like many other terriers which is why they tend to get overly excited at the slightest thing. If your dog behaves nicely and does not jump up when you come home or when they meet anyone, you have to reward them, but first you have to make them sit quietly which means they have to know two of the most basic commands which is “sit” and “wait”. They should remain in the sitting position when you give them their reward and if they look as if they are about to jump up with excitement, tell them to “sit” again and only give them the treat when they are doing so calmly and quietly.
The good news is that like most terriers, the Boston is a pretty smart cookie and they soon learn the rules even when they have to be taught the “rules” again. The key to preventing your dog from jumping up on you and other people is to always be consistent when you push them down without making eye contact and remaining silent when you do. However, it's just as important to reward good behaviour, but this needs to be done in a calm and assertive manner too. The one thing you have to establish when you share your home with a Boston Terrier is that you are the alpha dog and that they are the “follower”.
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