One of the most common behavioral issues dog owners have to deal with is jumping. Excited dogs jump on people, jump on furniture, and generally just jump for joy. To handle this issue, dog owners generally try to maintain a calm environment and impose boundaries for their pets. But my Sadie does not act like the typical dog. I actually have trouble encouraging her to jump. On most days, Sadie refuses to jump onto the couch, onto her window seat, onto the bed, etc. I’ve had to invest in a series of doggy stairs for key places in the house, such as the stairs to my bed pictured above.
But there is no physical reason Sadie needs these stairs. For her the issue is all mental; she lacks self-confidence. Sadie is afraid to run full out towards something to build up the momentum to jump onto it. Sometimes Sadie will come racing towards the couch, only to stop short right in front of it and stare sadly up at me, waiting for me to pick her up and put her on the couch. If I lead Sadie using a leash, she has no trouble jumping onto the couch. If we’re playing around and she’s excited and having fun, she has no trouble jumping onto the couch to retrieve a toy. If there is a loud noise outside, Sadie jumps right onto the window seat to investigate the sound. But if nothing exciting is happening and Sadie just feels like going onto the window seat or the couch, she will sit and cry and wait until I’m behind her before making the jump. She doesn’t need a physical boost from me, she needs a confidence boost. This is partly why we use the hula hoop for exercise, as I discussed a few days ago. Using the hoop I can encourage Sadie to jump safely and easily, building her confidence and muscles at the same time. Sometimes I wish Sadie didn’t worry so much and could just be free to have fun all the time like she does jumping through the hula hoop. But honestly I’m not too bothered by her lack of jumping. I don’t need to worry nearly as much as many pet owners about broken legs and knocked over knickknacks and stolen snacks.
This post is part of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge.
This post is part of Rascal and Rocco‘s Pet Parade blog hop.
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