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How to stop dogs from jumping on people

Updated on July 28, 2012

Basic steps for a more obedient dog

That little puppy jumping on its owners may appear like an adorable way to greet. Most owners seem to encourage such behavior by praising and petting the cute pup. However, one hundred and ten pounds later, for obvious reasons, that behavior becomes unacceptable. A dog so large may easily knock over an adult and even worse a child, possibly causing even substantial injuries.This is why such behavior must not be accepted from a tender age.

Teaching your puppy from scratch not to jump on people can be a pretty easy task. Teaching your dog to stop jumping once the behavior has turned into a habit, is another story. Behaviors that have not been corrected soon enough may be challenging to wean off, as they remain instilled in a dog's mind. So this is why it can't be said enough that preventing a behavior early is much better than dealing with it later.

In a dog's eyes jumping on its owners has two meanings: an exciting way to greet and another way to be at a human's height so to lick faces and get closer. Here are some great tips to discourage this unruly behavior:

-Praise When All Four Are on The Ground

In other words, praise your dog and pet him only when he has all four feet on the ground. Should he jump, ignore or even turn your back at him. In a dog's world nothing feels worse than being ignored. He may try to get your attention a few times more, but you will need to be strict and stick to your guns. Eventually, the dog will come to realize that when he jumps nothing exciting happens.

-Ignore when coming home

Most dogs are overly excited when the owners come home. You will see them whine, run around and act a little crazy. From now on, you will not greet him when he acts like this. Rather, you will wait a few minutes and praise for exhibiting a calm state of mind. This teaches a dog that he gets attention only when he acts calm and is in a relaxed state of mind. Going coo-coo all over will no longer get him anything. If your dog tends to jump up, wait till he relaxes, once he seems calm, call him to you. Tell him to sit and only once he is still, pet him and praise him lavishly.

-Enforce with Guests

When guests come over let them abide by the rules. A dog may easily think that jumping on its owners is not allowed but they may jump on guests. Let your dog relax in a room for the first minutes when guests are over. Once your dog appears calm let him out and tell your guests to not pay attention if he is starting to jump up. This is a great training tool as it shows consistency and teaches the dog to be calm near guests.

-Unbalance him

Another good approach is to take off his balance. In other words, when he jumps up, step backwards so he will lose his balance and turn around. Dogs do not like to feel unbalanced and they soon will learn that jumping up no longer yields attention. This is known as negative punishment. If you add a command such as "Down" or "Sit" and praise the whole teaching will have more impact and be even more effective.

-Consistency is the key

A main reason why some people are unsuccessful in training their dog is because they are often inconsistent without even realizing it. An example may be owners who teach their dogs not to jump, but then they play rough with the dog and allow the dog to jump on them in a playful manner. This confuses dogs. They will not understand why the owner one day tells not to jump and the next allows it. Dogs will therefore, think that the rules are not strict or that owners are unpredictable. If jumping is not allowed enforce your rules each and every time: your dog will better understand you and respect you.

Finally, should these tips still do not work, you may want to consider enrolling your dog in obedience classes. A well trained dog will respond to various commands such as "sit" "stay" "down" and many more. The secret is to incorporate such commands at home quite often.

As seen a dog with all its feet on the floor is not only safer, but also better under control.It may take some time to stop jumping in obstinate cases, but very likely after a while you should see astounding results.


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    • happydogs profile image

      happydogs 7 years ago from Treasure Coast, Florida

      Great article, very thorough. Definitely important to nip this kind of behavior in the bud. Important information for any dog owner!

    • mogwai2000 profile image

      mogwai2000 7 years ago

      You're right, most of the times owners are the ones responsible for inadvertently train their dogs to jump on them.

    • profile image

      Vickey Jones 7 years ago

      Great advice!! Thank you.

    • tabitha.studer profile image

      tabitha.studer 7 years ago from Erie, PA

      thanks for all the suggestions - our pup is up to 75 pounds now and scares the crap out of anyone who comes to our door with jumping up. He just gets so excited...we'll be trying these out!

    • Doggie Devotee profile image

      Doggie Devotee 7 years ago from Danville KY

      Great information, very helpful. We have a 3 month old APBT puppy who is doing great at keeping 4 on the floor lol not the case with another dog we had, he jumped like a jack rabbit. Like you said early traning is key.

    • profile image

      alva octave 8 years ago

      my name is alva octave and i tried your no jumping trick and it works

    • profile image

      jmansson 8 years ago

      Very helpful and clear

    • Jaspal profile image

      Jaspal 8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Really good advice here! One has to be consistent at all times and let the dog know that jumping up is not liked.