How can we stop our dog from jumping when we're not around?
May 11, 2014 11:39 AM   Subscribe

Our dog, part Cavalier and part Basset, was a born jumper - she's always been able to jump over gates and barriers, up onto the couch, onto chairs, onto our fairly high bed. After 11 years of jumping, she had a bad landing, hurt herself, and needs to rest. How can we stop her from jumping when we're not in the room?

On Friday, she landed badly after jumping off of our bed, and is walking awkwardly with her hind legs. We took her to the vet, had her x-rayed, but there was no specific problem - this is likely a joint issue or back pain. She was given pain medication, some supplements for joint recovery, and she's supposed to rest for a week.

Now, she's a good dog - she doesn't jump up on people, and she "asks" before jumping up on something we're already sitting or laying on. She doesn't jump on inappropriate things like tables or tabletops. However, if we leave the room she's in, she will almost invariably eventually get up and jump on and off things she considers more comfortable or interesting than her floor bed. Remarkably, even with the injury and with her awkward walking, she is still is able to make most of these jumps, doesn't yelp or express pain during the attempts, and it has been a frustration hearing "flump!" just seconds after we leave a room.

This thread says to crate, but she is a rescue dog, and has always been very upset by crates or enclosed spaces (we tried getting her a crate early on, and she always seemed scared by it and deeply miserable while in it, even with treats).

We also got her doggy steps, but she disregards them. There are objects she jumps on - couches, chairs, beds - in every room of our home, so simply removing temptation would be pretty hard. She historically could easily jump baby gates, and I strongly suspect she can still do so given the height of our bed. Our fenced back yard has tiers, and she is used to jumping between the tiers, so that's not an option either. Not to mention, we want to make sure she relies less on jumping since she's going to have increasing trouble with it due to her getting older.

There are endless articles on the internet about how to train your dog how not to jump up on people - but that's not the issue, and she's fine not jumping if we're there with her. I understand that crating will technically resolve the issue, but that's a road we only want to go down after all other avenues are exhausted given our prior experience. How on earth can we persuade her not to jump when we're not around?
posted by eschatfische to Pets & Animals (3 answers total)
Could you make one room jumpless (like a guest bedroom where you can put the mattress on the floor or just move it out or put it up against the wall) and then gate her in with two baby gates one over another in the doorway? With deliberate spacing, you can make it so that there is no gap she can fit through even if she climbed all the way up.

If I had to do this with one of our dogs, I'd put my own bed on the floor for the duration, I think. Easiest to put them in there when I'm gone *and* keep her from jumping up to be with us at night.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:01 PM on May 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

I don't think you can train this. I think this has to be managed. Someone will surely chime with how to do it if it can be done, though.

These are options I would consider if I had this problem:

--Use gates and keep her in a room with nothing to jump on. Of course, she might try to go over the gates.
--Use an x-pen when you are not there or use an x-pen panel or two as a gate to put her in a safe room.
--Keep her with you so you can keep an eye on her, i.e., she goes with you from room to room.

If none of this will work, you might reconsider crate training. Use luring or clicker training and it won't take long to make the crate an awesome spot.
posted by AllieTessKipp at 12:03 PM on May 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

IMO, this is a safety issue and more important than her dislike of crates. It's for a limited time period to let her body recover. Personally, I'd use a crate and not feel a bit bad about it because you are doing the right thing by your dog, even if she's scared of it at first.

Of course, you should do everything you can to help her be more comfortable in it, but I think nixing it as an option is a mistake here because it is the best and most reliable option while she heals.
posted by zug at 12:38 PM on May 12, 2014

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