Have you ever been walking down the street, and out of nowhere a dog comes barreling toward you? You may be used to it when it’s your own pup, but sometimes other dogs can be a little too enthusiastic.
Dog jumping can be really annoying and may even feel scary when you don’t know the hyper doggerino personally. So it’s important to train your furry friend not to do it.
In this blog post, I’ll explain why dogs jump, how to help them stop, and some tips for making the process easier for both of you!
In This Article:
Reasons Why Your Dog Jumps on Everyone
Nothing is more heartwarming than returning home to your loyal companion. They’re so excited to see you that they jump up and down, wag their tail a million miles per hour, and give you lots of kisses.
But jumping behavior isn’t always welcome, especially when your dog does it to strangers. So why do they do it?
The main reason that dogs jump on people is to greet them. This is a very natural reflex that isn’t inherently bad, and for smaller or calmer pups, it isn’t a nuisance for most people.
Your dog is also jumping up on people because it’s been conditioned to. Whether you know it or not, every time you pet or greet your dog warmly in response to your dog’s jumping, you reward your dog.
Attention-seeking is another common reason for dogs to jump on people. If your dog is constantly demanding your attention and you give in, they’ll learn that jumping gets them what they want. This is especially common for dogs that are experiencing separation anxiety. They can’t stand to be away from you and jumping is their way of telling you to never leave them alone again.
If there are several dogs in your household, the resident alpha dog may start to jump on people as a way of asserting dominance. This is less common in single-dog households, but it can still happen if your dog feels like they need to be in charge.
Now that we know some of the reasons behind why your furry bestie likes to jump, let’s talk about how to help them stop.
9 Ways to Stop Your Dog From Jumping
Having trouble getting your four-legged friend to keep his paws on the floor? Here are some tried and true methods for stopping your dog from jumping on people.
1. Teach Your Dog To Stay Calm When the Doorbell Rings
One of the best ways to curb your dog’s behavior when it comes to jumping is by nipping it in the bud before it even happens. There are plenty of triggers that cause dogs to get excited, including knocking, ringing the doorbell, and people coming into the house.
The best way to stop your dog from jumping is to teach them to stay calm when they hear these triggers. Start by teaching your dog to sit or lie down and stay when you ring the doorbell yourself. Once they’re good at that, have a friend come over and do the same thing.
Over time, your dog will learn that the doorbell doesn’t mean it’s time to go crazy and they’ll stay calm even when people come into the house.
2. Place Treats on the Floor to Teach Your Dog to Stay Down
If your dog is jumping up to greet you or get your attention, one way to train them out of this behavior is by placing treats on the floor instead of giving them to them while they’re in the air.
You’ll have your doggerino make a very important choice: do I jump to greet my human friend, or catch this treat before it disappears off of the floor?!
Most dogs’ willpower will be no match for a tasty treat, and eventually, they’ll learn that staying down is the best way to get what they want.
It’s important to keep in mind that this method may not work as well if your dog is jumping up for other reasons like excitement or anxiety. But give it a try to see if it does the trick for your pup!
3. Teach Your Dog Not To Jump By Ignoring Hyper Behavior
As mentioned above, your dog jumps because he has made an association between jumping and getting your attention. The best way to break this habit is by ignoring all jumping behavior, no matter how small.
That means no eye contact, no talking, and no petting – even if your dog has “all four on the floor”. You may even have to leave the room if your dog is relentless for your affection. Once your dog is calm and not jumping, then you can give them the attention they crave.
This method takes patience and consistency, but eventually, your dog will learn that the best way to get your attention is by staying calm.
4. Crate Train Your Dog
Crates are great inventions. They can help your dog to stop jumping by providing a safe and comfortable time-out space for when they get too excited.
Crating is also a great way to prevent other bad behaviors like chewing, digging, and accidents in the house. If your dog is getting too rowdy or won’t calm down when you ask them to, put them in their crate with a chew toy and close the door.
It’s crucial that you don’t use the crate as a punishment. So don’t angrily put the dog into the crate when they’re excited and actively greeting people.
Instead, crate-train your furry bestie ahead of time so they understand that it’s a place for them to relax. You can do this by feeding them in their crate, giving them treats while they’re in there, and letting them spend time in there with the door open until they’re comfortable.
Then, when you have company over, in order to get your dog to stop jumping, excitedly say “crate time!” to your doggo and excitedly bring them over to the spot. This is even more effective if you place small training treats in the crate to sweeten the deal for your dog.
5. Train Your Dog to Sit
“Sit”. It’s a basic command we use to keep dogs from jumping, and we even use it for hyper humans as well. But it’s also an important command for dogs to learn for their safety and obedience.
So don’t skimp on teaching your dog this useful cue! There are many occasions that you can let your dog know to sit such as when you’re about to put their leash on, when company comes over, or even before they get their dinner.
The best way to train your dog to sit is by using treats as a lure and reward. First, hold a treat in front of your dog’s nose so they can smell it but not eat it.
Then, move the treat up and back so that your dog’s bottom hits the floor. As soon as their bottom hits the floor, say “yes!” or “good sit!” and give them the treat.
It’s important to only give them the treat after they’re already in the sitting position so they make the connection between sitting and being rewarded.
The “sit” command is more than an action, it teaches your dog how to focus, which can prevent your dog from jumping when they’re excited.
6. Teach Your Dog to Heel on Walks
It can be hard to teach a dog not to jump on walks, since there are so many stimulating (and aggravating) things to jump on – other people, animals, bikes, cars, neighbors’ yards, et. al.
But if you’re consistent with teaching your dog the “heel” command, it can help to prevent jumping on walks as well.
The heel command is when your dog walks calmly by your side without pulling on the leash. You can train this by luring your dog with a treat in your hand and walking forward.
As soon as they start to pull ahead, stop and stand still until they look back at you. Once they make eye contact, say “yes!” or “good heel!” and give them the treat.
Then continue walking forward. If they start to pull ahead again, repeat the process.
Eventually, your dog will learn that the only way to get the treat (and to keep moving on the walk) is by walking calmly by your side.
Remember to be consistent with this command and praise them often so they know they’re doing a good job.
7. Give Your Pupperino Plenty of Exercise
A great way to stop your dog from jumping is by giving them plenty of exercise. Dogs are full of energy and need to burn it off somehow, otherwise, they’ll just find ways to release that energy – like jumping on you or your guests.
So make sure you’re giving your furry bestie enough exercise every day. This can include long walks, runs, hikes, playing fetch, or even just letting them run around in the backyard.
You can also sign up for dog agility classes to help tire them out both mentally and physically.
If you don’t have time to walk or play with your dog every day, contemplate finding a dog walker or taking them to doggy daycare.
Keeping your dog’s mind well-exercised can help to promote overall calmness as well. Using food puzzles and feeders is a great way to give your dog’s brain a workout.
And lastly, don’t forget to provide plenty of chew toys for your pup to help relieve any boredom or stress they may be feeling.
8. Get Professional Help From A Dog Trainer
If you’re feeling frustrated because nothing seems to be working, remember that you can always get professional help from a dog trainer.
A certified dog trainer can help assess the situation and give you customized tips and exercises for your pup. They can also help you troubleshoot any problems you may be having along the way.
This is a great option if you feel like you need some one-on-one help or if your dog is having a difficult time learning the commands.
9. Talk to Your Vet
If you suspect there is an underlying cause for your dog’s jumping, such as anxiety, it’s important to talk to your vet.
They can help you rule out any medical conditions that may be causing the problem and give you additional tips for training your dog.
And if all else fails, there’s always the option of medication to help calm your dog down. Talk to your veterinarian about this option and see if it’s right for your pup. You can also look into natural calming supplements such as CBD oil.
How to Stop a Dog From Jumping on You
If a dog jumps on you, what’s the best way to block the jump and redirect the dog’s energy?
One way to stop a dog from jumping on you is to turn your back on them when they start to jump. This sends the message that jumping up is not acceptable behavior and also tells the dog that you’re ignoring their actions.
Another way to stop a dog from jumping is to hold your hand out in front of them with the palm facing them. This may confuse your dog and stop them from jumping since you’re creating distance between you and your pup. You can protectively hold out your forearm to block the jump as well.
You can also try gently but firmly kneeing the dog in the chest when they jump up. Do this by lifting your knee up to your waist and slightly turning to the side.
This is usually only necessary if the other methods are not working or if there is an aggressive dog that is not responding to the other methods.
Should You Let Your Dog Jump on You?
Now that we’ve discussed how to stop your dog from jumping up on people, it’s time to ask the underlying question: is it even bad to let your dog jump on you?
As mentioned above, jumping behavior is natural and usually good-natured. So you may be wondering if it’s even necessary to curb this behavior.
Well, it’s definitely not necessary. If you don’t mind your doggerino jumping to greet you and your friends and family are ok with it as well, it’s not a big problem. And if you have a smaller breed dog, jumping may not even be an issue.
However, if you’re finding that the jumping is causing issues, it may be worth it to discourage the jumping.
Here are some signs that your dog jumping on people has become a problem:
- Your dog nips or bites as well: Many excited pups will jump and nip at people’s hands as they reach down to pet them. This can be painful and also cause damage to clothing.
- You have a larger breed dog: A large breed of dog jumping on people can knock them over, especially if they’re not expecting it. This can lead to injuries, both for the person being jumped on and for the dog.
- Your dog is scared or anxious: If your dog is jumping on people as a way to self-soothe or relieve anxiety, this can be a problem. The jumping behavior can actually make your dog more anxious, which in turn creates more undesirable behaviors.
- You have young children: Young children are often afraid of dogs, and a dog jumping on them can exacerbate this fear and also possibly get injured.
- Your dog is aggressive: If your dog is aggressive and is using jumping as a way to intimidate people, this is definitely a problem that needs to be addressed.
- During walks, your dog jumps or pulls severely on the leash: If your dog is jumping on people or pulling violently on the leash during walks, this can be a danger to both you and your dog.
As you can see, there are a few situations where it may be beneficial to stop your dog from jumping on people. If any of the above scenarios apply to you, it may be time to start working on discouraging this behavior.
A Quick Note: Always Use Positive Reinforcement Training
One important thing to keep in mind when discouraging any behavior is to never use punishment-based training methods. This means you should never yell at your dog, hit them, or otherwise try to scare them into behaving the way you want.
Punishment-based training can lead to a host of behavioral problems and is simply not necessary. There are many more effective, positive ways to train your dog.
Instead of punishment, try using positive reinforcement techniques. This means rewarding your dog for the behaviors you want to see. For example, if you want your dog to sit instead of jumping, give them a treat or some verbal praise when they do so.
Positive reinforcement is a much more effective way to train your dog and will result in a happier, well-behaved pup. It keeps them engaged and personally motivated and keeps the relationship between you and your dog positive.
Some tips for using positive reinforcement:
- Make sure the rewards you’re using are things your dog actually likes. This may be treats, petting, or verbal praise.
- Be consistent in your use of rewards. If you only give rewards sometimes, your dog will become confused and won’t know what behavior is being rewarded.
- Use the rewards immediately after your dog performs the desired behavior. This will help them understand which behavior is being rewarded, as dogs (especially excited ones) don’t have the longest attention or memory span.
By following these tips, you can effectively use positive reinforcement to train your dog not to jump on people.
The Bottom Line: Jumping Puppers
Jumping can be a tough behavior to break, but it’s definitely not impossible. With patience, consistency, and lots of treats, you (and your guests) will be able to enjoy calm cuddles with your furry friend in no time. Let me know in the comments if you’ve applied these techniques and the result you achieved. Wishing you the best!