How to Get Your Dog to Stop Jumping

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Dogs greet each other nose-to-nose and want to do the same with us. Since our noses are not at their level, they jump up to reach them.

Does your dog jump on you as if he’s got springs on his feet? Like it or not, we humans are to blame. We not only permit this behavior, we encourage it.

For example: You come home from work and your small dog jumps up to greet you so you pick him up and hold him or your large dog jumps up on you placing his paws on your chest and you pet him. 

You’re following the basic idea of training by rewarding the dog when he exhibits a certain behavior but most people don’t like dogs jumping all over them and jumping is an easy behavior to correct.

Solving a behavior like jumping requires both management of the situation and training your dog.

Management

Management means you must control the situation so your dog doesn’t have the opportunity to jump up. Use management techniques until your dog is adequately trained not to jump.

For examplelet’s take the dog that jumps on visitors. To manage your dog’s behavior, you could do one of the following before your guest arrives:

  • Have him go to his crate
  • Confine him in another room.
  • Restrain him on a leash

Any of these will prevent the jumping while he’s learning proper behavior.

Training

Teach your dog that he gets no attention if he’s jumping on you or anyone else. 

Teach your dog to something that is incompatible with jumping up, such as sitting. He can’t sit and jump up at the same time. If he’s not sitting, he gets no attention.

IMPORTANTBe consistent. Everyone in your family must follow the training program all the time. You can’t let your dog jump on people in some circumstances, but not others.

Training Techniques

When your dog jumps on other people:

  • Ask a family member or friend to assist with training. Your assistant MUST be someone your dog likes and wants to greet. Your dog should never be forced to meet someone who scares him.
  • If your dog understands the “Sit” command it should be given right at the time of takeoff and enforced. The dog should be lavished with praise and generous petting when all fours are on the ground. If your dog does not understand this command, use a slip lead and pull the leash up gently while pushing down on his rump while giving the “Sit” command. Again, give generous praise when the dog obeys.
  • Have the greeter approach your dog. If your dog stands up, the greeter must immediately turn and walk away.
  • Give your dog the “Sit” command and have the greeter approach again.
  • Keep repeating until your dog remains seated as the greeter approaches.
  • If your dog does remain seated, the greeter can give your dog a treat as a reward.

When you encounter someone while out walking your dog, you must manage the situation and train your dog at the same time.

  • Stop the person from approaching by telling him you don’t want your dog to jump on him.
  • Hand the person a treat.
  • Give your dog the “Sit” command.
  • Tell the person he can pet your dog and give him the treat as long as your dog remains seated.
  • Some people will tell you they don’t mind if your dog jumps on them, especially if your dog is small and fluffy or a puppy. But you should mind. Remember, you need to be consistent in training. If you don’t want your dog to jump up on people, stick to your training and don’t make exceptions.

When your dog jumps on you when you come in the door:

  • Keep greeting quiet and very low-key.
  • If your dog jumps on you, ignore him. Turn and go out the door.
  • Try again. You may have to come in and out dozens of times before your dog learns he only gets your attention when he keeps all four feet on the floor.

When your dog jumps on you when you’re sitting:

  • Stand up immediately. 
  • Don’t talk to him or push him away. 
  • Just ignore him until all four feet are on the ground.

Other Training Techniques that Work

The Knee in Chest Procedure: Call your dog as you anticipate his jump. When he jumps up on you, lift your leg and give him a knee in the chest. Not hard. THIS IS NOT A KICK but a knee jab. (The best way to do this may be to simply wait for your dog to jump then raise your knee and let him jump into it) If this is done with the proper timing, your dog will not see that it is your knee that is causing the discomfort. When you raise your knee and the dog hits it, a barrier is created that keeps the dog from getting close to you and he will lose his balance. If this is done correctly, the dog will jump down rather than have you jump away from him. Repeat this method each time he jumps on you and always reward him with generous petting when he stands or sits calmly. This method works well with medium to large size dogs. Again, DO NOT KICK YOUR DOG! The knee in the chest in uncomfortable and you don’t want to brutalize him.

The Fred Astaire Paw Grab Method: When the dog jumps up, grab his paws and hold on for dear life as you dance around the room. Most dogs do not like to dance and his greatest desire will be to get all fours back on the ground. Repeat this procedure each and every time your dog jumps up on you. His hate of dancing should override his love of jumping. 

When an owner makes a dedicated effort and remains consistent, most behavior problems can be easily over come.


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