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Why dogs jump...

Tue, 07/30/2019 - 13:51

The jumping of a dog is a universal problem. Those who browse the internet soon see a lot of good-looking advice to repress it. But meanwhile, research has also been done on factors that influence "jump behavior". Petr Rezac et.  from the University of Brno, in the Czech Republic, investigated when dogs  jump, and on whom. And also they studied if there is a difference between dogs.

According to earlier research (2003), half of all the dogs jumped on humans, and in this study they found that even 90% of dogs had sometimes during lives jumped on people. In short, indeed a universal problem. Especially because big dogs can scare little children, there may be damage to clothing, those nails are sharp, and there may be a lot of dirt left behind in less weather conditions. By itself not insurmountable, the last two, but yes, you'd rather not have it. However, the conditions in which dogs jump on humans are still hardly investigated, hence this research.

So, ordinary dog ​​owners, 294 in total, filled in a questionnaire. About their dog, age, breed, size, castrated or not. But also about their habits, how often does the dog go out, the training they have had, etc. And of course, about the jumping behavior. The majority of respondents, 78%, were female. The dogs were well distributed, half male and female. Of the males, 11% was castrated, of the females 22%. The ages were from five months to 14 years.

Of those nearly 300 dogs, 42 dogs were again selected for a series of experiments. In each experiment, the owner entered a door, in which the owner kept standing with his face toward the dog in the first experiment, in the second the owner dropped on his knees ; in the third the owner was standing withh his back towards the dog.

The research soon found that dogs jumped especially against the owners on arrival, and the least against strangers during walks. The did not jump on their owners as much while waling as while beeing at home. But amongst  the dogs there were also differences. For example, smaller dogs  appear to jump more often (3.2x) on the owner than larger dogs. Watchdogs jumped more often on strangers during walks, but during walks, bitches more often jumped on their owners, and so were dogs that are walked more often a day (2x or more) than dogs that need to do with less than twice.

The experiment showed the difference in  behavior from the dogs  when the owner stands or kneels, with the face facing the dog (see table). Over three quarters of the dogs licked the owner's face when he kneeled, but dogs run a lot less often nervously back and forth as the owner kneels, both a significant difference in body position. For other behaviors, the body position was less significant..



The researchers conclude from all data that the owner or strangers location implies whether the dog is jumping or not. The face lick appears when jumping is the ultimate goal of the dog, so the researchers conclude. After all, as soon as possible, 100% of the dogs greet the owner in that way. As greeting? Probably not because in dogs the mouth licking is the way to ask for food. Almost logical, the owner comes home, in the dog's eye "of the hunt", so must have dinner with him ...

That big dogs jump less often - as the researchers say - is probably because they can already reach a bit easier towards the owner's face, just a little bit of bending will do. A chihuahua, on the other hand, is very far away from the face, so needs to jump. And that bitches jump more often as males can also be explained from the food question, after all, with wolves and wild dogs it's the male that is hunting ..

Nevertheless, the researchers also do not rule out that it is not (only) the question of food, but also really an attempt to social contact. As head snuggle in dogs is not uncommon as a greeting, so why not with the owner? And more with him than with a stranger, because dogs also greet "acquaintances" more intense than strange dogs. And, as evidenced from earlier studies, the longer the dogs were separated from the owner, the more enthousiast the welcome, i.e., the more intense the jump behavior.

And so, the researchers conclude, the dogs are not really jumping for the jumping itself. Because if the owner was with his back to the dog, they were doing their ultimate best to front the owner again.

In short, your dog jumps out of food or love, and wants nothing else but a firm lick on your face. Maybe unwanted behavior, but they mean nothing wrong. Finally, you had your exciting day outdoors, he only sat down for hours  waiting for you to come home.

Thanks to Dr. Petr Rezac for the possibility to see the whole article

Factors affecting dog jumping on people