How To Stop Your Dog From Jumping on People
26 February, 2013

Our dogs love to show us their affection, especially when we arrive home.  They love to run to the door and will even greet us with a nice big kiss!  However, if they greet you by jumping on you, it can be dangerous to you and other people whom they will invariably jump on.  If your dog exhibits this type of behavior, it is important to correct the behavior as soon as it happens.

There are reasons why a dog jumps on people and ways to combat it.

Why Dogs Jump Up

Most dogs jump up on people because they like to be at face level when they say hello and greet us.  It is a natural, instinctive behavior.   And most dog owners reinforce this behavior by slapping their thighs and encouraging their puppy to rush forward and jump up. This is OK when you have a puppy but should not be encouraged as the dogs get older.  In fact, if you can correct the behavior when they are puppies, that is preferred as they will learn how to stop this at an early age.

How to Correct the Behavior

Different trainers have different techniques that they use to correct the behavior.    But, below are some basics that could help you with your dog.

First, try to command the dog “off”

If the dog jumps up on you or anyone else, try to say “off” which means to get down and place all paws on the floor. Off is a good place to start because it gives your dog a place to go.  This communicates to your dog what to do rather than just saying “no” or “don’t” which is not an instruction but merely telling your dog that he or she is doing something wrong.

When your dog follows your command, make sure to pet him, give him a treat or praise him so he knows that staying off your friends and even you is the correct behavior.

If the above doesn’t work, try a “sit” command.

If your dog doesn’t respond to the above command, try the basic “sit” command when he or she jumps on people.  Your dog might respond well to this command as it is fundamental in his or her training.  Any time your dog jumps on people, keep reinforcing the sit command.

When you have friends over and your dog rushes to greet them, make sure that you say ‘sit’.  You can even have your dog on a short leash in case he or she rushes over to greet them with a jump.  And, again, if your dog behaves well, make sure to praise him or her.

As with all dog training methods, the most important thing you can do for your dog is be consistent with whatever method you try to use.   And, if you have other family members, make sure that they all use the same training techniques so your dog does not get confused.

If none of the above techniques work for you and your dog, you should schedule an appointment with a dog trainer to figure out the best method for your pup.  A dog trainer will know what works best for your dog type, breed, size and age.  


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