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Martin Rütter: Your dog won’t jump for joy


It is a good feeling as a dog owner when you come home and the dog runs towards you, barks, wags its tail and starts up. Someone is happy that you have come home – so the thought of many dog ​​owners.

But in most cases it is a misjudgment of the owner: the dog usually does not jump at the owner for joy, but because he is slightly annoyed. “In the rarest of cases this is meant in a friendly way, but much more often as a correction to people who have not taken the dog outside,” says dog trainer Martin Rütter in an interview with The problem is often: Many people also praise this behavior because they think the dog would jump in the air for joy.

The emotions of dogs are difficult to interpret for us humans

Dogs jumping on their owners or even strangers is one of the most common problems that owners have with the animals. So far, no scientific evidence has shown what triggers this behavior. This is because it is extremely difficult to correctly interpret dog emotions.

In 2017, researchers from Mendel University came to the conclusion that dogs jump to owners rather than strangers, and especially when they enter the house. The researchers also noticed that jumping is often associated with other typical behaviors: pulling your ears back, bending your body, and wagging your tail – another behavior that, according to Rütter, many dog ​​owners misinterpret.

“The wagging tail can have very different meanings”, says Rütter, who has shaped many Germans in their dealings with dogs through his television shows, live performances and numerous books.

Dogs don’t always wag their tails for joy

“For example, if the body is calm while wagging, and the dog slightly lowers its head and fixes the person opposite, the wagging tail only shows the excitement of the dog shortly before an attack.”

Also read: “These 3 parenting mistakes hurt your dog the most, says Martin Rütter”

Many owners don’t realize that some common theories about dogs are most likely to be wrong – so consider whether you’ll be really happy the next time your dog jumps on you.

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This article was published by in November 2019. It has now been checked and updated.


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