How to Stop your Dog From Jumping on People

Puppies are cute.  They’re playful and happy and full of energy.  All they want is your attention and praise and it’s very tempting to give it to them no matter what they do.  There are a lot of problem behaviors that have their roots in uncorrected puppy behavior though.  You need to be careful and establish the right rules early in order to ensure that you’ll always have a strong, healthy relationship with your dog.

One of the most common puppy behaviors that can turn into a big problem later is jumping up on people.  Dogs will do this for several reasons, and it may seem cute at first.  If left unchecked, however, jumping up can become a big problem, particularly in larger dogs.  It’s a pretty easy problem to fix though, and it’s well worth doing.

All About Attention

The main reason dogs jump up on people is that they’re excited.  Your dog is so happy to see you when you get home that they jump up to greet you.  While it’s nice that your dog is so glad you’re home, this is not the best way for them to express it, and you need to make that clear.  Your dog is excited to see you and wants attention – don’t give it to them.

If you give your dog attention – even negative attention – when he jumps up on you, all you are doing in reinforcing the behavior.  You need to avoid this type of reaction if you want to change the way your dog is acting.  There are a few simple ways to do this that can be very effective.

Turn Away

When you know your dog is about to jump up on you, turn your back to them.  Your dog wants your attention and thinks this is the way to get it.  You need to completely ignore them and not make eye contact until your dog is no longer jumping up.  Once they’re settled down, praise them immediately.  This will reinforce the idea that good things come when they’re not jumping up.


Instead of turning away completely, you can simply give your dog something else to do when they jump up.  Commanding them to sit, for instance, is a good way to encourage a different behavior.  You must be sure and lavish your dog with praise and attention when they do what you’re asking.  This way, your dog will make the association that jumping up gets them nothing, while sitting gets them the attention they’re looking for.

Jumping up may not seem like a big deal.  It’s annoying sometimes, but your dog only does it because they love you, right?  This may be true, but it can become a problem quickly if your dog jumps up on children or elderly people when he becomes excited.  In order to avoid the possibility of anyone getting hurt, it’s best to train your dog early not to jump up on anyone.  This will make it easier for you to enjoy your dog in all kinds of situations.

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Claudie on September 24th 2010 in Dog Ownership, training Tips

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