If your Malamute jumps on you a lot, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you five common reasons why Malamutes do it and what you can do about it.
Your Malamute might actually be doing it for a number of different reasons and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main causes and there are many things you can do about them.
Possible reasons your Malamute jumps on you
Below are a number of possible causes and what would make each of them more likely to be the main reason.
The cause might be that it is showing its excitement. This would be more likely if it jumps on you more in situations such as when you arrive home or when you’re playing with it.
One reason why excitement could be a cause is that it might want to greet you at the face. It could also be because puppies mothers would feed them from the face and they would jump up to get the food.
The reason why it does it could be that it is trying to get attention from you. This would be more likely to be the reason if you tend to give it more attention when it does it and if it tends to do it more when you give it attention.
To prevent this, it would help to give it attention when it is behaving the way you want it to. But, it would also help to avoid rewarding it with attention when it jumps up by not letting it jump up and ignoring it until it calms down.
Not enough training
If you have not given your Malamute much training, it will likely behave the way that it feels like behaving. The way that it feels like behaving is unlikely to be the way that you would like it to behave. This is why it is important to give it lots of positive reinforcement training by starting with the basics and building up from there.
The cause might be that something has been causing it to be fearful. This would be more likely if it does it more at random times or if it does it more in situations such as when there are loud noises outside.
Rewarding the behavior
It might also be the case that you have encouraged your Malamute to jump on you by giving it things it wants when it does it. If you give it things such as extra attention, toys or treats when it jumps then it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to give it rewards when it is behaving the way you want it to and to avoid rewarding it when it misbehaves.
How to get your Malamute to stop jumping on you
Below are a number of options you have when getting your Malamute to stop doing it.
Seeing as it might be doing it in order to get extra attention from you, one option would be to stop giving it attention when it jumps up, by leaving the room if necessary, and to wait for it to calm down before giving it attention again. If it then starts jumping up at you again you would stop giving it attention again. Doing this should teach it that jumping up does not result in it getting what it wants from you.
Another option would be to redirect its focus onto something such as sitting or laying when it seems like it is about to try to jump up at you. Doing this should help to get it out of the habit of jumping up at you.
Train it not to
You could also train it not to jump up using positive reinforcement training. This is where you reward it when it does not jump up and stop rewarding it when it does.
To use positive reinforcement training to get it to stop jumping do as follows:
- Get some treats that your Malamute likes
- Get it to sit. If you haven’t taught your Malamute how to sit yet then you can do this by luring the treat above its head until it sits naturally
- Tell it to stay and then wait for half a second then give it a treat. The idea is to reward it for staying sat and keeping its attention on you so you want to reward it before it has a chance to fail.
- Do the same as above but increase the duration each time you get it to stay.
- When your Malamute is able to stay for over 15 seconds start to introduce distractions such as the squeaking of a toy. Start out with minor distractions such as simply showing it the toy and then build up to harder ones such as rolling the toy in front of it.
You can watch the video below to see how it is done.
Give lots of exercise
In order to keep your Malamute fully stimulated and to reduce how hyper it becomes, it would help to give it lots of daily exercise. Generally, it is recommended for healthy adult Malamutes to get at least an hour of exercise per day.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider about your Malamute jumping up at you.
When training your Malamute, it is important that you are patient. It is not likely that you will be able to get it to change its behavior drastically with just one or two training sessions. But, if you are consistent with the training, you should be able to get much better results over the course of weeks and months.
When it started jumping
If it did not always jump up at you, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since it could be the case that there was an event that occurred that caused it to start doing it.
If your Malamute started doing it suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as it learning that it gets rewards when it does it, suddenly giving it less attention or a sudden change in its daily routine.
When it jumps more
It would also help to consider whether or not there is a certain time that it tends to do it more since the timing might have something to do with it.
For example, if it tends to do it more when it is excited, it would be more likely to be due to the excitement and it would help to get it to stop by ignoring it until it calms down as mentioned above.