When you're dealing with a big puppy, pouncing that seems harmless in principle can actually knock you flat. Teaching your big puppy not to pounce keeps paw prints off your clothes and prevents the really troublesome pouncing that can happen when he grows up big and strong.
Ignore your dog when he pounces. This can be tricky, especially when that big body is jumping all over you, but be resolute. Don't look at, touch or speak to your dog when he pounces. He's doing it primarily to get your attention, so any that you give him -- even negative attention, like disciplining -- is a reward for him. Show him that jumping isn't the solution by completely ignoring him when he does it.
Go into another room if the jumping is too disruptive. For example, it's tough to ignore a 75-pound puppy jumping into your lap while you watch TV. If that's the case, calmly go into another room and close the dog out. Alternatively, lead your dog into another room and enclose him in. Either way, your dog learns that jumping doesn't yield negative attention, but rather yields exclusion.
Encourage your puppy to avoid jumping altogether by introducing new habits. For example, when you come home and your dog looks ready to jump, give him the "sit" command, and when he obeys, lavish him with attention and praise. He gets the reaction he wanted in the first place, and you get to avoid being tackled, so everybody wins.
- Be patient. Teaching your puppy that jumping is a fruitless act takes time. If you are inconsistent in your training, he'll grow up without learning a thing, and a big jumping dog is a larger problem than a big jumping puppy.
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.