How to Stop a Dog from Jumping on You

Jumping is common to dogs.

Most people, however, do not like it, and they tend to be annoyed by their overexcited and overly exuberant dog attacking them all the time. You however need not worry about this too much, as dogs are good at obedience and they can easily be trained to stop jumping on you.

Why do Dogs Jump Up?

There are many theories about why a dog will jump up on people, and the most popular is for dominance and greeting. Your dog is probably just jumping up to greet you, and he is saying to you, “Look at me!”

You may, inadvertently be rewarding him for this behavior without even knowing it and giving him exactly what he wants. Dogs crave attention, and for this behavior to subside, the best thing would be to train him not to jump up and down when he sees you.

He will not understand what you are trying to say simply by pushing him off and yelling at him to get down, or even attempting to punish him. Instead, this may be viewed by him as exactly what he needs; your attention.

So, in this case, any attention he receives from you, whether negative or otherwise, will be perceived as a reward for his behavior, and as such, you must look for other techniques that will help keep your precious pup’s four paws on the floor.

Here are some training tips that will go a long way in helping you tame this behavior in your dog:

1. Discourage the Behavior as Early as Possible

Initially, you may think that it is sweet that your dog greets you by jumping on you, but soon enough, you will start disliking it and wishing he didn’t do so all the time. For the most part, your puppy thinks that when he jumps up, you are likely to pick him up and cuddle him immediately.

So, the best thing would be not to cuddle him and do not pick him up. The earlier you start training him that this is not good, the better it shall be for you. Do not touch him, do not maintain eye contact with him, and do not talk to him. It may seem harsh, but that is the best way you can teach him.

Also, keep a distance with your puppy until he settles down. In turn, this will help send some signals for him to calm down, and he will avoid getting overly anxious and excited about your arrival.

Puppies learn quickly, and it is better to train him to greet you in a calming manner from when he is young.

2. Delay Greeting Your Dog

Well, this may be easier said than done, because both you and your pup are eager to greet each other, but it will be beneficial to you in the long run.

If he is greeting you by jumping up and down, it is wise to delay all sorts of greetings until your dog has calmed down.

If guests are coming to visit and he tends to keep jumping all over them, clip a leash on him, preferably a front-clip harness or a head halter so that you can be able to control him in a manner that will restrain him from jumping on your guests.

When he is good and calm, and on all fours, then, you can allow him to approach your guests and say hello. If he happens to jump, very gently, turn him, and lead him away from the guests. When he calms down, bring him back and watch for his behavior.

3. Completely Ignore Them Whey They Start Jumping

When your dog has all four paws on the floor, give him plenty of attention and praise him. But if at any point he starts jumping, freeze your arms and fold them on your chest until he calms down.

Instruct guests, and everyone in the house to ignore him when he jumps. If your visitors are having a hard time with the – ignore the jumping dog – rule. Then keep him on a leash during their visit, and gently keep removing him from them when he jumps.

For anything you give your dog, whether its attention or a meal, only give it to him when he has all his paws on the floor, otherwise, do not reward him at all.

This can be extremely tough, especially for people who love cuddling with their puppies, but it is the best way to discourage any unbecoming behavior from your dog.

4. Distract Them

Dogs get easily distracted, and when you give him a toy to chew on or have him hold something in his mouth during the greeting time, it will nix his urge to jump up. Stuffed toys and balls or an excellent lasting chew will do the trick.

Keep these near the dog, and give them to your pooch immediately you get in the door, or when your guests arrive.

5. Get Them Moving

To distract your dog from the insurgence of excitement that follows guests arriving, you can try distracting him from the urge to jump by initiating a game of fetch. Use a soft toy that will bounce far when thrown, and let him run all over looking for it.

You could also lose some treats on the floor, which will keep your dog’s nose glued to the ground as he pursues the food, and by extension, this will keep him off your guests during those exhilarating initial greeting moments.

After a few minutes of this, the guests will have been in the house for long enough to cause your dog to calm down completely, and jumping will no longer be an issue.

6. Get Down to Your Dog’s Level

Sometimes, your dog jumps because he wants to complete a proper greeting by sniffing on your face. You can allow him to do this, simply by kneeling on the floor when you get home so you can lower yourself to his level. This will bring your face closer to him, rather than him having to jump up to get near your face.

Do not bend over the dog, as this can be threatening and put you at risk. Instead, kneel as I have mentioned to you above. If the dog jumps on you while you are bending, it could cause you to suffer some facial injury, or even chip one of your teeth.

An alternative to kneeling would be to sit on a chair or positioning your hand lower near the ground so you can pet your dog. This will help direct the dog’s attention away from your face, but still, allow him to say hello by sniffing on your hand at nose level.

7. Reward Them for Good Behavior

When you are training him to stop jumping, it will help you a great deal if you keep some delicious treats close by. As soon as you see him standing up with all four paws on the ground, toss him a treat, and praise him as well.

However, keep things on a very low key, as too much excitement and attention from you could stimulate another round of jumping, which you are trying to avoid.

8. Redirect Jumping with a Sit Command

A simple “sit” command will come in handy in different situations. It is also a great distraction technique when distracting your dog’s attention from the undesirable jumping behavior.

When your pup jumps on you, turn your back on him, but keep him in your peripheral vision. Ask him to sit and immediately praise him if he does so.

In case your dog becomes too excited to the point that he doesn’t even realize you are asking him to sit, then you will need to ignore him completely until he is calm, later try to repeat the command. When he follows this command, give him plenty of praise and a special treat as well.

This will let him know that his good ‘sitting’ behavior is rewarded, and not the jumping.

9. Practice with Other People

Don’t do it alone. Invite your friends and family to help you train your dog, otherwise, he may learn that it is not OK to jump on you, but it’s OK to jump on everyone else. Having over people help you with this training will teach him that it’s not OK to jump period!

More Dog Jumping Tips

You may have heard of some extreme dog training methods that involve calling for some form of harsh punishment or being aversive to your dog.

One of these methods is the use of a knee on your dog’s chest. Another one is the use of a leash correction, or pulling or yanking the leash when he jumps so that you can get him off of you. We do NOT recommend these because:

  • When you use your knee or a leash to correct a dog too harshly or improperly, you could seriously injure your dog.
  • When you use your knee to his chest, you may knock him down, and the dog may interpret this as your way of initiating playtime. His response will most likely be to jump up again so you can continue with the game.
  • Your dog may also learn not to jump up only when he is on a leash, and since you don’t always use the leash, the chances are that he will have plenty of opportunities to get away with jumping when not on a leash.

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