Dogs are versatile and normally well-behaved animals, that’s if they’re properly trained in and out of the workplace. But sometimes, no matter how many times you might try to train them, they can be easily excited.
There are some breeds like the Boxer, Chihuahua, Border Collie, Beagle, Australian Shepherd and more than just love to jump on people.
This can be quite awkward if you have clients in the office, especially new ones, and you want to make that great first impression!
Don’t worry though, as a dog and business owner, you have the power to sort this out. Plus, to help you, today we’re going to provide you with some useful tips to calm your dog in the office.
But, before we do this, let’s first explore why your dog might be jumping.
If you’re looking at your canine with frustration and curiosity simultaneously, you need to know jumping isn’t always their fault. The truth is your dog might be jumping for a range of reasons sometimes; it’s commanding attention, others it’s through excitement, and sometimes it can be stressful.
Moreover, have you ever noticed how dogs greet one another?
If you do, then you would have seen that dogs closely linger to other dogs faces sniffing them and licking them. But, with humans, they can’t exactly do that as they’re a lot taller! So dogs tend to extend their greetings to a human by jumping upon them in the face like a pack leader.
Another reason why your dog might be jumping on your clients is that they’re wary of strangers. On these occasions, jumping can often be seen as a sign of stress or lack of confidence around new people. Your dog might be doing to your clients to gain control and show their dominance over a new pack member. This innate behaviour can be quite nerve-wracking for your clients, especially if they are scared of dogs or unsettled on their feet.
Finally, your dog could just be plain bored and wanting to cause mischief. They might be jumping on a client to stop their boredom for some well due to playtime.
Now you have an idea of why your dog might be jumping on your clients, let’s look at some preventive measures we can put in place.
When our dogs do good behaviour, it can become easy to provide them with a reward like a treat or a toy. But, when your dogs start jumping on you or others in and outside the workplace, don’t provide them with a treat.
You should turn your back to them, don’t say anything to your dog and do not make eye contact with them. Only turn your back towards them once their paws are on the ground. Doing this over time, they will associate it with bad behaviour.
Ok, so this point might look a bit controversial to the last one we stated. But if your dog is a breed that gets over-excited, you may wish to scatter treats all over the floor. Doing this will divert the attention of your client and towards a treat, allowing them to stay on the ground hunting for food.
As a dog owner, it’s your responsibility to stop your dog from jumping on your clients. This means if you know you have a client coming, you can keep them out of the way. You might even want to get a baby gate and keep your dog in another room. Then once your clients are settled, you can steadily bring your dog in to greet them. You could also give your dog treats while they see your clients, so they’re calm and focused.
One good way of stopping your dog from jumping on your clients is by distracting them. You can divert their attention by instructing commands like sit. If you tell your dog to sit before your client comes in, they will most likely be obedient and patient.
Once your dog sits, give them a treat and keep practising this, so they get used to sitting before people come. If your dog does continue to jump, you will want to be firm with your commands and say stuff like “off” to get him to stop approaching your clients.
If you know you have a potential client meeting coming up, you might want to have a rigorous play session with your dog. You could take your dog on a log walk, run or anything else. This will allow your dog to relax and potentially sleep during your client meeting.
When you see your dog jumping towards your client, you should raise your knee or teach your client to raise theirs. This will serve as a gentle signal to show that this behaviour is not tolerated and will discourage your dog from jumping.
Take your dog to different environments and train them not to jump up on you or anyone else. Remember when training if they do this behaviour to turn your back or raise your knee. You will want to expose them to different settings, so they know how to behave regardless. Remember when training them to not jump; consistency is key!
Even though we have mentioned turning your back and raising your knee, it’s important when trying to get your dog not to jump on clients to not punish them. If you scold them, it could induce fear or anxiety and depend on your dog’s breed; they could become aggressive. In this context, rewards are more beneficial and effective.
Overall, having your dog in the workplace can be such an awesome addition to your workday. However, if you have clients coming and your dog gets excited, it can become a bit of an awkward situation. To stop your dog from jumping on clients, you might want to prepare in advance and put them in a crate or on a leash until your clients get settled.
Similarly, you could train them, tire them out before they see your clients, distract them and be firm with your commands. One thing for sure, though, it’s important that you never punish them, so they don’t become aggressive.