How To Stop A Dog From Jumping Up

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Jumping is a problem that a lot of pet parents deal with. Dogs jump for a couple of reasons. One reason is because the dog is excited. Another reason is because the behavior has a reinforcement history. And one other reason is because our faces omit a lot of smells and the dog wants to get a good whiff.

Stopping Your Dog From Jumping on You:

A lot of people get home after a long day of work and get jumped on when they walk through the door. If this is a problem to you, how I recommend remedying this situation is to ask the dog to sit instead of jumping. This is what is referred to as an incompatible behavior. Now, first things first, if you only try this when you walk in the door, and don’t do any practice runs of it, it’ll probably take a while to work. If you go out of your house a couple times a day, and then return and ask your dog to sit, it’ll help him understand what you want when you do it the “real” time. Use food rewards to encourage him to sit in the future. It’ll also be a good idea to have some treats at the ready when you do actually come in on the “real” ones. Stay patient with this, it will take lots of repetition. In the long run, you will not need treats for this, as your attention in this situation is what the dog is after and will serve as the reward.

Another game I like to play that helps dogs understand that we want them to sit instead of jump consists of teaching and “auto-sit.” To teach this, I grab a treat and show it to the dog. I then walk to a spot in the room and turn towards the dog. The dog comes up to me and usually tries behaviors that have worked in the past. (Jumping, pawing, barking, etc.) I patiently wait for the dog to offer a sit. Once he sits, I give him a piece of the treat and then I move to another spot and start over. As the dog starts doing well with this, I start moving a little faster to cause a little more excitement. The idea with this is to get the dog in the habit of walking up and sitting in front of people, instead of jumping on them.

Lastly, one other game that can be played is called “4 on the Floor.”

This consists of tethering the dog to something sturdy. (Maybe the bottom of the couch) The dog being tethered gives you the ability to walk away without him following. Walking away when done correctly is a form of punishment. As soon as the dog takes one paw off the ground, you want to walk away. (You can use this for play biting too.) When you’re hanging out with him you’ll want to give him lots of attention and even food or toy rewards for not jumping. As soon as he jumps, walk away. This is something you’ll want to do for a couple weeks. (Even when the jumping has stopped with you when doing the game.) By continuing you’ll be continue to reinforce the good behaviors.

If your dog is jumping on you while you have one of his toys or are holding on to something here’s a video to help with that:

Stopping Your Dog From Jumping on Others:

A leash is an extremely important tool to use when trying to get your dog to stop jumping on others. The leash is a tool that allows you to remove him from his reward. (The person) when he does in the incorrect behavior. (Jumping) Here’s how I use it:

The first thing I do is teach the dog to walk up and sit in front of a person. I refer to this as “Go Say Hi.” (Reference video for visual) I practice this cue with people in the house, and with anybody that is willing. As you can see in the video, the dog is cued to “go say hi” and is brought up on leash to the guest. The goal is for the dog to go up and sit so it can greet the guest. If he does, he can get what he wants which is the attention. If he jumps, use the leash to bring him back to the starting point for a couple seconds. Repeat this process until the dog successfully sitting instead of jumping. If the dog is struggling, give him longer breaks in between attempts. (A couple minutes.) During those breaks you can either hold onto him by his leash, or put him away. (Crate, baby gate etc.)

Here is the video:

Be very strict with this process. It isn’t the easiest thing to accomplish, but with lots of consistency you’ll have a dog that doesn’t jump on guests coming in the door. Also, don’t allow people to say that jumping on them is okay. This is going to confuse your dog and cause the jumping to continue. If the situation comes up, tell the person your dog needs to sit for greetings. If they can’t respect that, they lose their opportunity to pet your dog.

In conclusion, to stop unwanted jumping you need to be very consistent. Don’t allow your dog to jump on guests sometimes. Don’t allow guests to say, “it’s okay, he can jump on me.” Don’t allow the dog to jump on you sometimes. Always ask the dog to do a more appropriate behavior like sitting. If you stay strict, you’ll accomplish your goal. If you get lax, you’ll probably have a dog that jumps for a lot longer than you’d like.

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About The Author

Kevin Duggan

Kevin Duggan is a certified professional dog trainer certified by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. He has been training professionally for 5 years. Kevin loves working with dogs and helping them mesh better into their homes. He does this by teaching the dog what we would like it to do, and reinforcing the behavior. This is also known as Positive Reinforcement. Kevin specializes in helping build positive relationships between humans and their canine companions.

10 Comments

  • Julio

    Reply Reply May 20, 2015

    thank you I really needed this training tip… she likes to jump on everyone all the time going to take your tip

  • Anyssa

    Reply Reply May 20, 2015

    Hi Kevin,
    Thank you for all the great posts!
    Is there any way you can help with this situation, my dog won’t stop chewing on his blankets and anything around him outside. It’s starting to get dangerous because he’s eating the pieces.

    • Jean Cote

      Jean Cote

      Reply Reply May 20, 2015

      That would be a great idea for another article, I’ll see if Kevin is interested in writing one on that subject.

      • Anyssa

        Reply Reply May 21, 2015

        Thank you Jean,
        I apprec

      • Anyssa

        Reply Reply May 21, 2015

        *I appreciate that a lot. Thank you both for helping everyone out with our furry pets 🙂

  • Carrie Lyle

    Reply Reply May 20, 2015

    “Sit” is a great tool, and something most dogs are taught to do successfully early on. My three always sit for a treat and their meals, so this would work well for them. We live in the country, and don’t get many visitors, so the excitement of a guest or even just the door bell is very high. I think this approach might just be the right fit for my kids.

  • Katie

    Reply Reply May 22, 2015

    Thank you so much for article on jumping. I have a 10 month old Aussie Shepherd and this is her biggest problem. I love her to death!! Cannot wait to start.

  • ErinDixon

    Reply Reply May 22, 2015

    Hi Kevin,
    Great how to video on teaching your dog not to jump. We are having a problem with jumping after the sit. When we come home, out dog Scout is so excited he turns several circle in font of us, sits, then when you have patted him in a calm state, he raises up and licks your nose! What do you suggest?

  • Mrs. Sue Roper

    Reply Reply July 30, 2015

    Hi Jean,
    My leashed dog Archie always sits well on command when meeting other dog walkers, however when we are chatting after a while he jumps up on the other dog walker which catches me out as there appears no trigger for this to disauade him prior to his jumping.
    Can you help please.
    Love your cute guy Sylvester.
    Sue

  • PAM JACKLIN

    Reply Reply February 12, 2016

    Hi Kevin ,we have rescued a malamute which makes three dogs in all .At the moment we have no visitors as all three jump for attention .They `jump at us because we have to take them every where because the rescue has eaten his way out of two cages and while we had visitors , they were left in the other room the phone lead disappeared off the skirting board Regards Pam

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