Teaching your dog how to greet people politely is both more courteous and much safer. And now for the advice.
umping up on people is a natural canine behavior. Jumping gives dogs a chance to greet people directly, and what’s better, it’s sure to draw attention. However, jumping to greet is unappealing and harmful from a human perspective.
Read our step-by-step guide to stopping your dog from jumping up. The secret is to get your dog to understand that jumping up is a poor way to get your attention.
How to Train a Dog Not to Jump?
This process doesn’t happen overnight. Even more frustrating is the fact that the behavior is probably going to deteriorate before it improves. This is called an “extinction burst,” and it’s your dog’s last all-out attempt to do the behavior that comes naturally to them in order to get what they want.
But don’t waver from your position! A long-lasting change will occur if you can employ these techniques consistently over time.
If Your Dog Becomes Overly Excited and Jumps Up on You:
- Turn your back. Do not push your dog off with your hands. They will probably think, at the very least, that jumping wins their attention, if not that you’re playing with them. If your dog jumps on you, never knee them. This is dangerous and painful.
- If you’ve turned your back once or twice and your dog is still jumping on you, let them know this behavior isn’t acceptable by telling them “Too bad!” and walking away from them, putting a closed door or baby gate between you.
- When your dog is calm, you may return to interacting with them.
If Your Dog Jumps on You When You Come Home
- Partially open the door. Close the door right away and wait for 30 seconds if your dog is overly excited and one or more of its paws are off the ground.
- Reopen the door by starting to open it. Close the door and wait another 30 seconds if your dog is still jumping around.
- When your dog is relaxed enough to enter without jumping up on you, keep closing the door and waiting.
If Your Dog Jumps on Friends When They Come to Visit
- Lock the door for your visitor while keeping your dog on a leash. Instruct them ahead of time to knock when they arrive (to alert you) but to enter on their own and wait in the entryway for you to come and greet them.
- Bring your dog inside once your visitor has arrived, but keep them far enough away so that they cannot be reached. Request a sit from your dog.
- Have your friend walk toward you but ask them to stop and stand still if your dog becomes too excited and stands up. Get your dog’s attention and command them to sit when this occurs. Your friend can resume moving forward after sitting down.
- Repeat Step 3 until your friend reaches your dog with all four paws still on the floor. Let the two introduce themselves when they arrive!
If Your Dog Jumps on Strangers Saying Hello at the Park
- Request a helpful stranger’s assistance in teaching your dog proper greetings for a brief period of time. Ask the stranger to remain still so you can approach them.
- Walk your dog toward the stranger and start to say hello. If your dog gets too excited—tugging on the leash, bouncing around, barking, and so on—get their attention back on you while backing up a step or two.
- Give your dog a moment to calm down (standing or sitting is OK), then begin to approach the person again. Every time your dog becomes too animated to greet, repeat Step 2 again.
- All four of your dog’s paws should be on the ground as soon as you arrive at your new friend’s.
Here are more tips to train your dog’s behavior:
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- How Much Does It Cost to Train a Service Dog?
- How to Become a Service Dog Trainer? A Beginner’s Guide
- How to Train a Dog Not to Bite? 12 Effective Strategies
- How to Train a Dog Not to Jump on People? Tips
What Do You Want Your Dog to Do Instead of Jumping Up on People?
Pick a task that you can’t perform concurrently with jumping. It is not necessary for this to be elaborate. Here are a few options:
- Standing/Four paws on the floor
- Retrieve a toy
- Go to a Mat (or dog bed)
- Rollover to get a tummy rub
Once you’ve chosen the behavior you want your dog to do instead of jumping, you’ve got to put in the work. Don’t start teaching your dog to sit when they are already jumping; instead, start training them when they are calm and not distracted. That is a recipe for frustration.
Start training the behavior using high-value training treats, but remember that dogs tend to jump on people to get attention.
To reinforce the behavior in real life, give your dog attention by making eye contact, petting them, and giving them praise. This will teach your dog that sitting (or fetching, or standing), making it easier to gradually wean him off of training treats…) is how they get your attention.
How to Prevent Jumping While You Train?
In order to prevent your dog from practicing jumping while you are teaching them the proper greeting behavior, you must control their behavior. For example, if your dog has a strong “Go to Your Place” cue, you can send your dog to their mat or crate anytime the doorbell rings.
A baby gate can also be installed at your entranceway to prevent your dog from approaching guests. You can also avoid jumping by keeping your dog on a leash whenever visitors arrive.
Leaving toys and treats by the front door is another management tactic. To keep your dog busy while your visitor enters, you can throw the reward out the doorway. Or your visitor can give your dog the treat or toy as a reward for a polite greeting.
When you’re walking your dog, it can be particularly difficult to avoid jumping. You can’t rely on strangers to be aware of or adhere to your rules. Until your dog understands appropriate greetings with friends and family, avoid greeting strangers. Instead, get your dog’s attention with a “Watch Me” cue or by squeaking a toy and letting the stranger walk past.
Tell people how to greet your dog when he’s ready to try it out in public. Ask them to ignore your dog if your dog doesn’t follow the rules. Your dog will quickly learn how to greet people politely, whether they are at your front door or on the sidewalk.
Conclusion: Train a Dog Not to Jump
You must stop rewarding jumping in order to get your dog to stop using it as a greeting. This entails controlling your dog to prevent them from practicing jumping while you teach them a different and more appropriate way to greet people.
Next time your dog jumps up at you, ignore them completely by turning your back. Avoid speaking and avoiding making eye contact. Wait until all four of their paws are back on the ground and be patient. As soon as this occurs, turn around and give your dog a treat.
Will My Dog Grow Out of Jumping Up?
Unfortunately, dogs don’t grow out of the “jumping on you” habit. If you allow your puppy to jump up on you when they’re young and reward them with attention and affection, they’ll only develop this behavior.
How Do I Stop My Dog from Jumping on Everything?
This has a straightforward resolution. Put the behavior on a command, such as “Up!” paired with a hand signal of patting your chest. The dog is only allowed to jump up when he hears that command, and must immediately stop when he hears the word “Enough!” or “Okay!” If your dog is having trouble stopping, ask for a sit.
Is It Rude to Let Your Dog Jump on People?
Some people enjoy letting the dog occasionally jump up on them. Never give your dog the freedom to decide when to behave; otherwise, the dog may learn to greet everyone in an uncontrolled manner.