Why do dogs love to jump up on people? It is their own merry way of greeting their human companions. Whilst this enthusiastic show of affection may seem amusing at first, especially if your dog is small, it can later become a bad habit as it can escalate into an undesirable behaviour if left uncorrected. Dogs jumping up on people can be dangerous with large adult dogs such as Great Danes and Saint Bernards. Continue reading to learn ways on how to stop a dog from jumping up on you.
What should I do to stop my dog from jumping up on me?
Do rewards-based training to make the stop-the-dog-from-jumping-up strategy more effective.
Train your dog to sit and stay when greeting people. Any time you see him jump on, someone calls for such a training session, as consistency is key. Use games, treats, petting, or praise to reward the desired behaviour.
Whenever your dog jumps, ignore him. But when he corrects himself and puts all 4 paws on the ground, immediately reward your dog. Later in the training phase, you can leave out the food rewards and simply praise him for being a good dog or pet him on the head.
Needless to say, avoid punishing your pet. Jumping is an appeasement behaviour that is common to all dog breeds. Punishing the behaviour may only make your dog bounce even more.
Rein in the affection.
Do you lavishly show affection to your dog when you enter the door at the end of the day? If you say yes, that probably explains the jumping. Dogs repeat certain undesirable behaviours such as jumping because they are rewarded for it.
Remember that your furry friend is a dog, and the best thing you can do for him is to treat him like a dog. That being said, you should communicate to him in ways that a canine can understand.
So when you get home, greet him calmly and confidently. Your pet will take a cue from your initiative and will be less likely to greet you inappropriately.
When you notice your dog trying to jump on you, use a lead to get him to stay down. Step on the lead when he is about to jump so that he’s unable to bounce. Release the hold when he settles down.
Try jump-on-request training.
Training your dog to jump on request is not necessary. But if you are amongst the dog owners who do like to be greeted by 4-footed jumping friends, it is better to train your pet to jump on request to avoid confusion and undisciplined gestures of enthusiasm.
Upon coming home, use the sit–stay training strategy so the dog can greet you calmly. After you close the door and are ready to greet your pooch, say “hug” or a command word of your choice and pat your lap or your chest, so he associates the word with the jump. This request itself is your pet’s reward for not jumping on you during the initial greeting.
When your dog successfully follows the process, reward him with a treat. Then tell him “off” whilst pushing your body into him. Don’t push your pooch with your hands. Repeat this step if your dog bounces on you again.
How to stop a dog from jumping up on guests
As long as you train your dog not to jump without invitation, you can expect him to behave well consistently. However, if you’re not confident that your dog can stay down when a guest arrives, do a simulation of the situation with the help of your friends:
Step 1: Make sure that your dog is on a lead so that you can control him when he tries to jump up on your friends.
Step 2: Remind your friends to be calm when they interact with your dog. Displaying excitement often encourages dogs to jump up on people.
Step 3: When you open the front door to let your friends in, give the sit-stay command to your pooch. If he remains standing or sitting when they enter the room, look him in the eyes and reward him with a treat.
If your dog jumps up, have your friends turn and walk out of the room. Let them stay outside for a couple of minutes. Allow them to enter once your dog calms down.
Note that your dog will likely experiment in the scenario and repeat the jumping, so be patient and repeat the steps. He will soon observe that the treats come when all of his feet are on the floor. Consistent supervision will help your pet to stay down after a couple of his jumping attempts.
Some dog breeds are more excitable than others. If your dog is amongst the more enthusiastic ones, it will take a bit of time for him to make significant progress. To help discipline your pet, you can learn more about your dog’s ways by comparing dog breeds.
How to stop a dog from jumping up on strangers
Once your dog learns to greet his human companions at home politely, it is time to teach him the appropriate behavior when meeting strangers outside your home.
Here’s what you should do to stop your dog from jumping up on strangers:
Step 1: Look for a friend who will act like a stranger. Then meet them for a walk with your dog.
Step 2: If your dog starts jumping up on them, both of you should ignore him. Do not pay him any attention until he behaves.
Step 3: Allow your friend to reward your pooch once he calms down. They should do it in a relaxed way to not trigger your dog’s excitement and jumping behaviour.
Step 4: Repeat the process and gradually increase the rewards every time your dog displays a desirable behaviour. If he continues to jump up on the stranger, no reward should be given.
Step 5: Schedule another training with your dog over a few weeks. Make sure to let him meet with several different people every session. This will make him get used to the idea of meeting various strangers and slowly learn how to greet them politely.
How to stop a dog from jumping up when walking
In most cases, dogs jump up when walking because they demand your attention. Some pooches tend to be very excited to explore the outdoors and want to play. Here are 3 easy steps to prevent a dog from jumping up when walking:
Step 1: Stop walking and ignore your dog. Do not give him any attention until he stops jumping up on you. Do mind that he may exhibit an extinction burst. This means he will even try harder to get you to notice him. It may continue for a few minutes, so be patient and wait for this behaviour to abate.
Step 2: If your dog has calmed down, give him the “sit” command. Once his 4 paws are on the floor, reward him with a treat or praise. Do not act overexcited when rewarding him, as it can prompt him to jump up again.
Step 3: Continue walking with your dog. Reward him if he walks beside you without jumping. However, if he continues to jump up when walking, skip the reward and repeat the steps. Do it until your pooch understands that nothing interesting happens if he keeps jumping up.
How to stop dog jumping up on the counter
Counter surfing happens when dogs find out that the kitchen counter or dinner table is a great source for delicious grub. This behaviour is just as vexing when dogs jump up on people. Teaching your dog the “off” command or letting him stay on his bed are some of the best ways on how to stop a dog from jumping up on the table:
Keep your dog on his bed.
This training aims to make your dog learn that it is more satisfying to stay on his dog bed than jumping up on the counter. Begin by tossing a few treats on your dog’s mat or bed.
Make sure to reward him with praises when he goes to the area. Then tell him to lie down or sit. It may take several repetitions before your dog stays on his bed or mat without trying to move.
During his first stages in training, he will need frequent encouragement to keep him from leaving his place. So give him treats now and then.
Another great option is to provide him with a dog-safe dental bone or a Kong with treats. As he slowly progresses in training, you can gradually decrease the number of treats.
Step 1: Bring your leashed dog near an empty counter. Once he jumps on it, place a dog treat under his nose and use it to guide him off the counter. Accompany it with the command “off.”
Step 2: Once all his paws are on the floor, reward him with praise or a treat. Make sure that the food reward is of high value. It should be able to distract his attention from the enticing smells in the kitchen.
Step 3: Repeat this a few more times until your dog will learn to stop jumping on the counter.
Keep in mind that these methods will be more effective if you reduce the temptations in the kitchen. Never leave any food on the dinner table or kitchen counter. Wipe off any crumbs or residue that might leave an enticing scent.
In cases when food should be left on the counter, instal baby gates or close the door to keep your dog from entering the kitchen.
Know that training your dog not to jump on you will take time, effort, and patience. But if you have tried all these ways and your dog still does this behaviour, then better find a dog trainer or a canine behaviourist for your dog.