Roxy jumps up to kiss you as a standard greeting. I correct her, but the “It’s all right” crowd at our recent party made it hard to convince her to accept a consistent, more appropriate alternative.
Not everyone likes being jumped on – and kids certainly shouldn’t be – which got me thinking about Mikey, a big, beefy boxer I worked with a long time ago in a shelter. He was awesome, but, man, he jumped nonstop.
Should you find yourself in the company of a jumping bean, here’s a way to handle it, using, of course, some tai chi:
- For goodness sake, don’t panic. No need to yell, scream, flail your arms or be overly dramatic.
- Sink your center of gravity by rooting yourself. (I’ve been linking to that older post a lot lately.)
- Protect your center of gravity by slightly sinking your chest. This rounded feeling in the upper body will help with the spiraling you’re about to do.
- Stand your ground; try not to step in any direction.
- From this position – body strongly rooted and rounded – rotate your torso as the dog jumps on you. If she jumps and pushes your left side, rotate slightly to the left, just enough so she rolls off of you naturally. Even if she hits you dead smack in the middle, you should be able to rotate just enough to either side to roll her off.
Don’t look at her, don’t speak to her. Pay her no attention. Just focus on your tai chi rotating whenever you feel her paws touch you.
Eventually – probably pretty quickly – she will see her attention-grabbing antics aren’t working, and she will stop.
As a fighting style, tai chi primarily addresses short and mid range contact. That’s why the idea of lowering your center of gravity and the ability to rotate is so important.
Those two things also come in handy when dealing with a jumping dog.