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How to stop your dog from jumping

Updated on October 16, 2010

Teach ''all four paws on the floor'' policy when petting

xandert, | Source

A solution for extreme cases

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The modern approach to dog training is to ignore bad behaviors and praise the wanted behaviors. In other words, the dog is given the opportunity to make good decisions. Since bad decisions yield nothing, the dog will feel compelled to choose good behaviors. For instance, if you own a dog that has found jumping on you and your guests entertaining, you will work on it by ignoring the behavior. 

So let's say Rover came from the garden, just dug a nice hole and upon seeing you, comes running excitedly and puts all four muddy paws on you. As much as you feel like yelling, count up to ten and don't. Yelling will not work because some dogs see yelling as attention, even if it is negative and find it sort of rewarding. You are better off ignoring the behavior. 

Upon jumping on you therefore you must turn extremely boring to your dog. This is accomplished by turning around and giving him your back. Nothing feels worse that having his human companion turn away from him and getting boring. This accomplishes two things: first, by turning around you cause your dog to be off balanced. No dog likes to feel off balance. Second, you dog dislikes seeing your back because by jumping up his goal was come close to your face. 

If your dog still jumps on you as you turn around, just leave without saying a word. This is like a slap in the face to your dog. All dogs are attention seeking  creatures and being ignored and leaving the room is quite aggravating. However, this method is a far cry from the old fashioned method of giving a jumping dog a forceful hit in the chest by bending the knee or a painful squeeze to a paw!

At this point your dog with time will come to realize that jumping up will not yield much so he is starting to grasp the idea that this is a wrong behavior. However, as good leaders we must also guide him on towards good behaviors. So, every once in a while, it would be good practice to teach the dog to sit and give him attention only when he is sitting nicely. If all family members are given the ''pet only when all four paws are on the floor'' policy very likely the dog will learn to stop jumping up fairly quickly. Make sure kids know this well!

This is just an example of one of the many ways we can approach behavior problems in dogs. In our every day interaction we must always try to find out a way to teach our dog the right behavior without relying on yelling, or worse, unacceptable practices such as hitting. It may take some planning, but we will gain much more if we keep our temper out of the way, count to ten and think of a smart solution.

For instance, if your dog keeps on going into your trash can, why not invest in a trash can that cannot be opened? If your dog chews on your shoes, why not just tell him a firm ''no''  (with no need to show anger) and toss him a toy he can chew on instead? If your dog begs at the table, why not keep the kitchen off limits with baby gates? Humans have the big advantage of having superior cognitive capabilities, why not use them rather than relying on primitive behaviors such as yelling or spanking? Our dogs will trust us more, and as humans, we will not have to deal anymore with showing our frustration. 

7 Golden Rules for Dogs Who Jump on People

  • Never pet your dog or give attention when he is jumping.
  • Have all your family abide by the ''all four paws on the floor'' policy. In other words, pet the dog only when sitting.
  • Never engage in games that encourage jumping up at people.
  • Never toss balls or fetching toys high up encouraging the dog to jump.
  • If you are training your dog, feed the treats low under the chin rather than high which encourages jumping.
  • Tell all your guests to abide by the same rules of turning around when the dog jumps.
  • If your dog keeps on jumping on guests, get him from the collar and close him inside a crate showing no emotions. Take him out later and try again. The same goes on? Time to crate again... eventually he will learn...


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    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Great help for dog owners It is very annoying to have someone's dog jumping all over you.

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 7 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Now this is an important hub for me, I have a toy poodle and she has always had this jump like a ping pong ball. She doesn't jump on people she just jumps high in the air and back down again. It's really quite funny to watch, now she is nine years old and I worry about her hurting her back legs and she always does this when we have visitors. I will try your advise thank you for this outstanding hub

    • jcales profile image

      jcales 7 years ago

      I agree their paws can hurt people especially if the nails aren't clipped.

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      ...must be consistent. Thanks. Good information.