In my recent post about how to train your dog not to jump up on people, I shared that one of the keys to success is to "proactively teach a default behavior of 4 paws on the ground." This basically means that instead of teaching your dog a cue ("sit," for example), you teach them that any behavior that involves 4 paws on the ground will be rewarded. With enough practice, this training means that your dog's default behavior (even around exciting stuff) will be to stand, sit, or walk -- but not to jump.
"4 paws on the ground" is probably one of my favorite things to train, because it usually involves us humans letting our guard down and being a little ridiculous. It's a welcome reminder that dog training doesn't have to be so serious all the time -- and that it is arguably more effective when everybody involved is having a good time.
One way to make a "4 paws on the ground" training session even more fun is to turn on some music and have a dance party! Check out the video below to see a dance party in action.
Teaching your dog how to not jump while you're bustin' a move might seem silly (and it is definitely a little bit silly). But it's also a really effective way to prepare your dog to be more capable of resisting the urge to jump, even when in the presence of exciting people, sounds, and movements.
Of course, be sure to adapt the level of your dance party to your dog's current jumping behavior. If your dog has a really hard time resisting the urge to jump, start out with movements they can handle, then gradually increase the challenge. The goal is to set your dog up to succeed, so that they can be reinforced and so that they can learn. If your dog is repeatedly jumping up, it means you need to adapt the level of challenge so that they can have success.
What song will you choose for your next dance party?