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Does your dog always get super excited when you get home? Then it’s high time you learn how to train your dog not to jump.
This is one of my dog Baloo’s biggest issues. I’m completely honest here: we’re having it under control for about 80% of the time. But there are still times where he completely loses it…
However, I’m very glad that it improved so much already. If you also own a small hyper dog, you can probably imagine how it used to be. He just has SO much energy!
But jumping isn’t only a issue for small dogs. And in fact, jumping big dogs are not only annoying but can become downright dangerous!
So, how do you train a dog not to jump? Well, most importantly you first need to understand what his jumping means. Most of the time he wants something, like your attention. In that case, the best way to train your dog not to jump is to simply only give him what he wants – like your attention – once all 4 paws are on the ground.
Let’s look at this question in more detail.
Why do dogs jump on you?
We’ve all been there—every day when you come home from a long day of work, your dog greets you by jumping all over you. It’s nice that your pup is happy to see you, but most people consider jumping unwanted behavior.
Before we get into how to get your dog to stop jumping on you, let’s get into the reasons why your dog is jumping.
Dogs are highly emotional!
Without the right training, they might not know how to properly express their emotions. So, one very common reason your dog jumps on you when you come in through the door because he’s excited to see you.
During playtime, he jumps because he’s having fun! The only way he knows to show you he’s excited is by jumping on you. He’s jumping for joy!
Without the ability to express excitement and happiness through vocal expression, like us humans can, dogs have to rely heavily on body language.
Unfortunately, that body language can be disruptive. That’s why training your dog not to jump is important, especially when it comes to visitors (we’ll get to that in a minute).
They Want to Lick Your Face
Another reason why your dog is jumping up on you is to lick your face.
Dog licking or kissing is learned behavior from thousands of years ago. Puppies are licked by their mothers as grooming, and this becomes part of socialization for dogs.
Face licking is also instinctual. When wolves hunt, mother wolves will eat the meat and then regurgitate it for the young pups. The pups will then eat it and lick the sides of the mother’s mouth to clean up any leftovers.
If your dog is especially interested in licking your mouth, this thousand-year-old instinct could be why.
If your dog is kissing your face, it can also be a sign of submission. In packs, dogs of lower rank will lick the faces of those with a higher rank.
Have you ever tried to give your dog a kiss on his face, only to have him turn away from you? That’s because you’re a higher rank than your pooch, and he’s uncomfortable with you try to kiss his face.
Guess Baloo and I are having a bit of a ranking issue. He loves to kiss me back… 😉
Another common reason for dog jumping is if he’s trying to get your attention.
Dogs are social animals, and it might be frustrating for your pup if he thinks you’re ignoring him! This is particularly obvious if he wants something from you, like food, and you don’t give him any attention.
So, your dog thinks, what better way to get you to notice him than to make himself bigger by jumping up?
The Behavior Has Been Encouraged
Maybe when your dog was a puppy the jumping was cute. It was endearing when you came home and your fur baby was just so excited to see you he couldn’t help himself. You may have inadvertently encouraged jumping by petting and talking to your dog when he jumped on you.
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Even with older dogs, if your response to jumping is to pay attention to him and pat him, that teaches him jumping gets him what he wants!
And it’s not just praise. Any attention is good attention, so you telling him “no” is still the attention he wants…
Stress and Lack of Confidence
Jumping isn’t just a way for dogs to express their happiness. It can also demonstrate negative emotions, like stress.
If a stranger comes into your house, this might stress your dog out, and make him feel out of control. Your dog might then run and jump all over your visitor.
In this case, your dog isn’t jumping because he’s happy to see your visitor. He’s jumping because he’s trying to feel in control in a situation where he feels stressed and uncertain.
How to Train a Dog Not to Jump
Alright, now that we’ve covered the reasons why dogs jump, let’s talk about ways to get them to stop.
There are plenty of ways to help you train your pup, but with any method, consistency and patience are key!
How Do I Get My Dog to Stop Jumping or Nipping?
Most dog trainers will tell you that the first step to training your dog to stop jumping is to ignore him until he settles down.
If you give your dog attention when he’s jumping, even if it’s telling him “no,” that teaches your dog that jumping gets you to notice him.
Since that’s the case, it’s best to ignore him.
Lots of people will use a “four on the floor” rule when it comes to door greetings. This basically means that your dog gets no attention unless all four feet are firmly on the floor. Your dog will learn that he gets no attention unless he is standing politely, and not jumping.
Zak George shows a slightly different technique:
Teach Your Dog Not to Jump Up on You
Let’s get into the specifics of training.
If your dog jumps on you while playing, Rover recommends turning around and ignoring your dog. Continue ignoring your dog until he’s settled down. Now you can reward your dog’s good behavior with more playtime!
If your dog is jumping when you walk in through the door, you’ll follow the same basic rules. Ignore your dog and, if that doesn’t work, leave and shut the door again. Wait about 30 seconds or a little longer, then come back in.
This’s where your patience and consistency really has to come into play. You’ll have to keep doing this until your dog doesn’t jump on you when you enter. After that, you can give him all the attention he wants, provided all four paws stay on the floor.
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Train Your Dog Not to Jump on Guests or Visitors
Jumping on you is one thing. But your dog jumping on guests is another problem entirely!
To train your dog not to jump on guests and visitors, you’ll need their help.
You’ll apply the same basic ignoring rules. Tell your guest to ignore your dog while they’re jumping. They should only pat or greet your dog when all four feet are on the floor.
The Humane Society of the United States offers other tips. One is to tell your dog to sit. Your guest can come and greet your dog, but if your dog stands, get your guest to walk away immediately.
She has a similar approach:
You can also try something called a counter command. This means giving your dog a command that they can’t do while also jumping. Examples of this include sit, down, or telling your dog to go get something. The goal of this is to distract your dog so by the time your dog has returned from the task you’ve given him, he’s no longer inclined to jump.
Teach Your Dog Not to Jump on Strangers
Training your dog not to jump on strangers is a bit of a difficult task. Strangers don’t know you or your dog and might not be willing to help you train.
This is a situation where counter commands come in handy. Get your dog to sit while the stranger passes and keep their focus on you while the stranger walks by.
It’s important to make sure that you’re proactive about this training. You don’t want your dog to jump and then sit—you want your dog to sit without jumping at all. So, when you see a stranger coming, get your dog’s attention right away and get them in a sit before they can jump.
In case a stranger wants to pet your dog, make sure to tell them that you’re training your dog and that he/she should please wait until your dog sits.
Some people will probably just ignore that or say the jumping doesn’t bother them. So, it’s important that you stay firm! Make a step back and politely tell them again that petting your dog is only allowed once he’s sitting.
Train Your Dog Not to Jump on Furniture
It isn’t just jumping on people that can be a problem—it’s jumping on furniture too. One way to get dogs to stay off furniture is with the use of the “stay” command.”
Sit down on the couch, get your dog to sit or lie down on the floor, and enforce “stay.” Treat your dog for not jumping on the couch. That teaches your dog you prefer it when he’s on the floor, and not on the couch.
If you don’t mind your dog on the furniture but don’t want them to jump up whenever they want, you can also teach them to ask permission to come up.
Once again, while you’re sitting on the couch, get your dog to sit. This is how your dog will ask to come up. Keep your dog in a sit until you say “okay, come up,” and then allow him up.
With consistency and practice, your dog will learn that it’s okay for them to sit on the couch, but only with your permission.
This is what I’ve done with Baloo. He’s always politely asking and only jumps up once we give him a double tab on the couch.
Some More Tips
Start Training When Your Dog Is Still a Puppy
While it’s entirely possible to teach an old dog new tricks, it’s best to start training and conditioning as early as possible! This prevents you from having to get your dog to unlearn behavior picked up in puppyhood.
Invest in a Course Like Braintraining4dogs
In order to really train your dog well, you’ll need some guidance.
This can come in form of a “real-life” dog trainer, dog training school, or a much, much cheaper online course.
When I first got Baloo I went through countless books, courses, dog training schools and even private dog training lessons… While some of those things probably helped a little bit with his hyper behavioral issues, I would have gotten much further by simply taking Braintraining4dogs. And it would have saved me a ton of money!
This is a really great program based on dog psychology and designed to work with your dog’s mental abilities. With Braintraining4dogs you’ll learn force free methods to work on pretty much every behavioral issue ever, not only jumping.
Using Braintraining4dogs before any of these issues arise will also help you be proactive in your dog’s training. That means your dog will be well trained from the start, and the two of you will have a much better relationship!
Starting this program early will also save you hours upon hours of trying to figure out your dog’s behavioral issues!
Seriously, check it out. It’s good stuff.
Jumping is normal dog behavior, but a lot of humans won’t appreciate it. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to train your dog not to jump on you or other people.
The main thing is to stay consistent and be patient. Unlearning unwanted behavior is much more difficult than learning new behavior and takes more time.
But it’ll be well worth it for you, your dog, and all your visitors to train your pooch to stop jumping.
Plus, with so many resources available like Braintraining4dogs, it’s easier than ever to train your dog! So get started with your training today and impress your friends and family with how well-behaved your dog is next time they come over.