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How to Train a Puppy Not to Jump

Updated on July 19, 2016

We'll examine the reasons why a puppy is naturally inclined to jump. Also, we'll see why it is necessary to deal with this behavior early on in your dog's life. Finally, we'll delve into how to train a puppy not to jump and how the average pet owner can stop this undesirable behavior.

Why a Puppy Jumps

There are a few reasons that your puppy jumps and all of them are instinctual and natural. Firstly, we know that wolf cubs jump up towards their mother's face in order to get their mother to feed them when she returns from hunting. This is ingrained in your puppy's nature and is a positive thing for him.

Your puppy may jump as a way to get closer to your face where it is easier for him to read your facial expressions and to hear your voice. With a smaller breed of dog, this need may be even more prevalent as he is very far from your face.

Jumping is a common way that dogs socialize with each other one-on-one. As such, this is an activity that your puppy finds to be a fun and positive way to get your attention and to greet you.

With that being said, there are good reasons to stop this behavior in your puppy at an early age. It may be cute when your little pup greets you excitedly at the door by jumping on you. When he's fully grown, it will be another matter entirely.

It can result in rips and snags to your clothing, ruined handbags, you being covered in muddy paw prints, scratches along doorposts and furniture, and can even result in injuries to the elderly or small children who may try to interact with your dog.

A dog who jumps inappropriately is unseemly and is no fun to his owner or anyone else.

How to Train a Puppy Not to Jump

You can train your puppy not to jump by denying him the thing he seeks to get by jumping. He is looking to get your attention, so by not giving it to him, you are training your puppy that there is no point to jumping up in the first place.

If your puppy jumps on you, give no reaction at all. Simply turn away as if he weren't even there. If the jumping continues, walk away or leave the room. Give him absolutely no attention.

New York Times bestselling author, Tamar Geller, in her book 30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog: The Loved Dog Method, says:

"When your dog jumps on you, just turn away. You're not angry, just nonchalant. Don't say anything, not even a "no" -a jumping dog shouldn't receive any attention from you, not even negative attention."

The front door is a good place to practice. When you know you will be leaving, have healthy treats or a good dog toy ready to reward your dog for not jumping on you when you come in.

When you are preparing to have guests over, make sure to have a good leash handy to prevent guests from reinforcing bad behavior by inviting the dog to jump on them. When the visitors arrive, have your puppy on the leash. This will give you more control over his behavior.

It will also help to clue-in your family and friends to the fact that you are training your dog not to jump so that they can be supportive in your efforts.

Some Useful Tips

  • If your dog is more interested in jumping on others than on you, you can give a sharp tug on his leash to discourage jumping.
  • Holding his collar is also a good way to stop him from jumping on others until he can be properly trained.
  • Keep your treats, toys, and leashes near the door you and your guests normally come and go from, as this will be where most of the training takes place.
  • Be careful not to encourage bad behavior by rewarding your puppy with attention when he jumps.

Further Reading

30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog: The Loved Dog Method
30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog: The Loved Dog Method

Geller presents us with a loving and gentle way to train and mold our dogs into the pets and pals we need and want. A very useful book to have on the bookshelf of any dog owner. This book is a good reference to have around to keep your dog happy, friendly, and fun.


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