Besides patience and consistency, here are some helpful tools for training your dog to stop jumping or counter surfing. Most of these products are focused on setting up your home in a way to prevent these unwanted behaviors, as well as make reinforcing good behaviors easier for you. Many dog owners have these items or something similar, but haven't thought about using them in their training or management for jumping. Remember — proactive training is better than reactive training, so creating an environment that helps stop jumping before it starts (and prevents any jumping from being inadvertently rewarded) will go a long way in helping you tackle your dog's jumping behavior!
This tension gate can be easily installed in doorways or places where you need to keep your dog from jumping, such as the kitchen or to block the entryway area. Fits openings from 28-42 inches wide.
Free standing dog gates can be incredibly useful in open floor plans or areas where you don't want an installed gate. Use these to block off entryways or the kitchen. Also can be used for training sessions while working on the approach–retreat method for jumping, and then folded up and put away until the next session.
Playpens can be useful in teaching a puppy not to jump up (with approach-retreat methods), or to keep them somewhere safe and confined while you cook in the kitchen. And many playpens can be modified to act as a gate or way to block off larger areas of a room by simply not connecting the panels continuously — just make sure to keep some angles between panels to provide some stability if using this way.
This raised dog bed provides a clear target for your dog's "go to bed" or "go to place" cue. Having a place to settle and being rewarded for staying there is a wonderful alternative behavior to being underfoot in the kitchen or counter surfing. It's also a great thing to train for dogs that jump at you when you come through the door.
If you'd like your dog's spot to be "moveable," use a portable and durable travel dog bed like this one. You can move this around your home or even bring it with you to the coffee shop, where you can practice having your dog settle while people pass by (instead of leaping on people in greeting).
In order to be proactive, it's important to keep a stash of treats or toys within easy reach — especially in areas where your dog tends to jump the most (like the entryway). Installing something like this wall holder with a place to keep treat jars or hang a toy will make it easier for you to be prepared to reward your dog for not jumping, or interrupt and redirect their jumping behavior to something appropriate.
These 25 oz. treat jars have an airtight lid to keep treats fresh, and are small enough to stash around your home wherever you need them.
You can also install a dry food dispenser like this one to make treats easy to grab on your way in the door. Each twist of this dispenser releases approximately one ounce of treats or dry food.
An alternative to keeping treats stashed in treat jars is to keep them always within reach by wearing a treat pouch. I love this treat pouch because it has an easy-snap closure and can be worn with a waist belt or clipped onto a pocket.
These are some of Cathy's favorite training treats currently in her rotation. Included are a few different types and "value levels" — every dog is different in what they will work harder for when it comes to treats. If you're just starting off working on not jumping, high-value treats (think smelly and soft) tend to get and keep a dog's focus easier than lower value treats. For jumping, many dogs are actually seeking attention, so remember that real-life rewards like eye contact, petting, and speaking to or praising can be just as valuable to use as a reward in many moments! Food treats, however, give us an easy way to focus our dog and precisely reward for keeping their paws on the floor.
You can also use dog-safe foods that might already be in your kitchen, such as fresh raw carrots or green beans. Just make sure you cut these into small pieces for training treats.
These minnows are my dogs' favorite high-value treat right now. I break each minnow into two or three pieces to help cut down on how many treat calories they're getting.
There's something about freeze-dried beef heart — I always joke that these are "doggie crack." These treats are usually super high value for most dogs. These can even be broken into smaller pieces so you get more out of each bag.
These treats are super tiny — perfect for training as you can do more repetitions without overdoing it on the calories.
My lowest value training treat is literally my dog's dry kibble. Using a portion of their regular meal amount, set aside for training throughout the day, can really help manage weight while training your dog. This dry food is grain-friendly. However, FirstMate does have grain-free options as well.
If your dog won't work for their regular dry food, that's okay! Increase the value of the training treat or consider trying a different kind of dry food as a lower-calorie treat option. Sometimes they just want something different than what they get every day at meals.
And if you need more personalized training help, check out our Dog Training Essentials: Jumping & Counter Surfing Workshop, which includes a live 1-on-1 virtual training session with Certified Dog Trainer Cathy Madson.