Small dog jumping up on back legs

Does your dog jump on you when you walk in the door or grab the leash? If so, you aren’t alone. It can be a tricky habit to train out of your dog, but with the 5 easy to implement tips below, your dog will have all four paws planted in no time.

What Does it Mean When Your Dog Jumps up on You?

Jumping is just a natural greeting for dogs. If you’ve ever seen when two excited dogs meet at the dog park, the first thing they do is crash into each other whilst standing on their back legs.

To them, it’s just how you say a big, happy hello.

Do Dogs Grow Out of Jumping?

Unfortunately, dogs don’t grow out of the “jumping on you” habit.

If you let your puppy jump up on you when they are little, and give them attention and affection for doing so, they will only grow into this habit.

Puppies who frequently socialise with well-trained adult dogs are more likely to stop this behaviour and only jump on other dogs during playtime.

The best way to prevent your dog from jumping on you is to train your dog.

Why You Need to Train Your Jumping Dog

It’s essential to train the jumping out of your dog. A jumping dog can potentially hurt your grandparent or knock over a young child.

The jumping may also frighten someone who has previously had traumatic experiences with dogs; it could worsen their anxiety.

And if you let your large dog jump on people as a puppy, they could knock anyone over when they are a full-sized dog. It's considered bad manners to let your dog jump on anyone.

Large dog waiting for you to get home next to the welcome mat

How Do You Train a Dog Not to Jump on You?

It will take consistency and patience to stop your dog jumping. You’ll also need to enlist the help of others to train your dog to stop jumping on every person that enters a room, and not just you.

By training and practising consistently, your furry best friend will quickly learn to stop jumping.

1. Discourage Poor Behaviour

Discourage your jumping dog’s behaviour by withholding your attention and affection.

As soon as your dog jumps on you, turn around, cross your arms over your chest and make no noise. If the dog runs around to jump on you again, turn your back to them.

You’ll need to continue to do this whilst you wait for the dog to stop jumping. Once the dog is calm, you can pet them and reinforce the positive behaviour.

Another option is when you walk in the room, if your dog jumps, walk straight back out again. Wait a moment, then continue inside and try again. Repeat this until your dog relaxes and stops jumping, it may take a while at first, but eventually, they will understand.

2. Encourage Good Behaviour

Make sure you encourage and reward your dog for the correct behaviour. Withholding your attention and affection without telling your dog what works to get your attention again is confusing.

Keep some treats close by, and award your dog whenever they sit or stand in front of you calmly.

When you do praise and reward your dog, keep it low key. You don’t want to excite the dog so much that they turn into a jumping dog again.

3. Practice Makes Perfect

By practising regularly and consistently, your jumping dog will learn a lot faster. If your dog jumps when you come home from work, spend a few minutes each day coming and going to practice.

Make sure to reward them anytime all of their feet are on the floor and not jumping in the air. It can be confusing and distressing for your dog if there is inconsistency in your response.

4. Add on a Sit Command

Once your jumping dog keeps all four feet planted for a few seconds or more, start asking them to sit.

Walk through the door, give the command “sit”, and reward your dog with a treat when they do.

This will take lots of practice and consistency, but with plenty of repetition, your dog will soon start sitting when you walk through the door.

By asking them to sit, you’re redirecting them to doing a more appropriate behaviour. Whenever the dog complies, make sure to give them an excellent reward.

Dogs behave best when we tell them what to do, instead of what not to do. You can also direct them to complete a different acceptable command. The goal is to get your dog to do something that means they cannot jump; for example, they can’t sit whilst jumping. Your dog will learn that for them to get a reward, they need to complete the command correctly.

Examples of other acceptable behaviours you could add on include rolling on their back for a tummy rub, fetching a toy, going to a mat/bed or any other acceptable behaviour that lets them release some energy.

If you find that your dog is very excited, and it’s hard to get them to focus, try using a remote training collar. With the remote control, you can send a correction to your dog when you need them to focus. Once they pay attention to your commands, you can reward them.

5. Phone a Friend

Involve your friends and family in this training - you want to make sure you stop a dog from jumping on you and also others.

Enlisting the help of other people (preferably ones your dog likes) will mean your dog knows it's never ok to jump on anyone. Ensure your helper uses the same commands that you do, in the same order, and if the dog jumps, they turn their back to them.

This also goes for all family members, friends, neighbours, or even strangers you meet on a walk - if some are rewarding the jumping whilst others are discouraging it, your dog will get confused.

Be Consistent

Does your dog jump on the backdoor to be let out? Does your dog jump on you when you grab the leash?

Make sure in these situations; you are consistent. Don’t let them jump on you sometimes and not others. If they do jump when you grab the leash or head to the back door, take a few steps back until they calm down. Once calm, then move forward, you might need to repeat this a few times.

The rules for jumping should apply to all people and all situations.

 A small dog jumping in the air with a toy

What Not to do With a Jumping Dog

Never use your knee to hit a jumping dog in the chest. This is a punishment that could seriously injure the dog.

A human knee to the chest of a dog will be interpreted as playing by the dog. The dog's response will be to continue jumping because it thinks this is a game, and now you’ve reinforced the behaviour you’re trying to discourage.

The same goes for yelling or pushing your jumping dog; it’ll be interpreted as play and reinforced. By engaging physically with your dog and hurting them, they may make negative associations which leads to fear-based aggression. Fear-based aggression is a much more challenging issue to fix.

Don’t use a leash to pull or yank your dog to stop jumping. Over time, it will learn not to jump only when it’s wearing a leash.

As we know, most dogs don’t live on a leash all day and all night, so the dog will still have plenty of opportunities to jump on people.

Final Jumping Dog Thoughts

Your jumping dog can be a real nuisance to others. You can train your dog to not jump up on people or yourself with the techniques listed in this article.

If you experience problems when teaching your dog from jumping on you, we recommend you seek the advice of a professional dog trainer.

If you are looking for an option to capture your dog’s attention, try using a training collar. These devices will catch your dog’s attention so you can give them a command. Browse our range of dog training collars or if you’re unsure which device is right for your dog, give our friendly customer service team a call.

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