Stop dog from jumping on people!

Stop dog from jumping on people
Stop dog jumping on people

A dog jumping on people might not always seem like a problem, at least not  as long as it is a small and cute puppy. A little puppy jumping up to greet you and your guests is adorable, isn’t it? Well it might be as long as it remains small but  when a German Shepherd or labrador has grown to her full size then this can be more than just annoying. A dog jumping can be scary to a lot of people and a bigger dog can even knock them down. This can put you on bad terms with your friends and neighbours so teaching your dog to greet you and your friends calmly and without jumping is important.

Why do dogs jump on people?

There are actually two reasons why dogs are jumping up on people. One is the search for attention and the other one is dominance.  Contrary of what a lot of people think jumping is not a display of affection. A young puppy is constantly searching for attention and if even if it seems really cute and irresistible you should not encourage it jump. In the case of a bigger dog, jumping is a way of asserting dominance. This is something you should never accept. Remember, YOU are the Packleader and your dog must know it.

In the wild a dog jumping on another dog is trying to dominate and if the dog being jumped on submits to this, he is accepting the dominance of the jumping dog. Your dog is using “dogs language” even with you so if he is jumping on you he is trying to dominate you, he is not displaying affection.

Affirming yourself as the Packleader is the basis of all dog training and therefore you must never allow your dog to show dominance over you or any other member of your family. If you need to learn more about asserting yourself as the Packleader you can find more information HERE.

Jumping is a way of asserting dominance
Jumping is a way of asserting dominance

When dogs are puppies, they usually jump up to sniff the older dogs noses and breaths.. This is completely normal behavior  for a puppy and something it will usually grow out of when it gets older. and becomes well socialized to the older dogs. Dogs greet each other this way: by sniffing each other in the face.

Now, puppies don’t just jump on other dogs but also jump on people. what happens next is that when a cute little puppy jumps on someone then that person willl usually start petting talking to or playing with the puppy. This means that the next time the puppy wants attention (which puppies want most of the time) it is going to jump again. Soo if jumping is encouraged when the puppy is young it will continue to jump as it gets older and bigger. A very good rule is that you should discourage behavior you don’t want the puppy to display as an adult.

What to do about it – How to stop dog from jumping on people

To avoid problems with jumping, the best thing is to discourage it from an early age. If the puppy is discouraged from jumping at a young age it is most likely to stop this behavior before it grows into a big and heavy dog. Like already mentioned, this goes for all unwanted behavior: Don’t encourage your puppy to do anything you don’t want it to do as an adult.

There are a few things you can do to teach your dog or puppy not to jump. First of all you need to be consistent. If you reward and pet your dog when it is jumping on you when you are wearing jeans and a t-shirt and then get annoyed when it does the same thing when you are wearing your office outfit then it simply won’t make any sense to your poor dog. Your dog won’t be able to tell the difference and it will be confused as to why you suddenly get angry when it jumps. Soo if you want your dog to stop jumping, then don’t accept this behavior at any time.

For some dogs, attention is attention. With this I mean that for them, negative attention is still better than no attention at all. So even if you yell at your dog and push it away, the dog still gets attention. A good rule in any dog training is to encourage good behavior and ignore bad behavior.

Stop dog from jumping on people by ignoring it when it does
Stop dog from jumping on people by ignoring it when it does

You do need to show your dog that jumping isn’t acceptable so just gently push her down, then firmly say No and turn your back on her. Don’t give her any attention, do not give her any eye contact, don’t speak to her or touch her. Wait until she has settled down. When she has calmed down then reward her by patting her and calling her a good girl. If she still hasn’t calmed down after 5 minutes, then isolate her in a crate or room until she has calmed down.  It is important to be consistent and that everyone in your household does the same thing, otherwise this is not going to work.

If your dog/puppy is trained to follow other commands then it is often possible to “redirect” your dog’s jumping into doing something else. If your dog is jumping you simply give it the “sit” command.

When your dog is sitting down reward her. Everytime she jumps, firmly say no and then give her the sit command. If she is too exited to follow this command turn your back on her and wait until she has settled down before trying again. This basic command is very important in situations when your dog is exited and needs to calm down so it should be trained early on so your dog knows it really well.

Dogs quickly learn what actions brings them the most attention and therefore by ignoring her when she does something wrong and giving her lots of praise and attention when she does the right thing you can quickly teach your dog to stop jumping on people. The same method works for any unwanted behavior you want to stop.

Now there is one third method that might be usesul if your dog gets too exited to follow any commands at all or if it takes to long to make her settle downYou could use a toy to divert your dog’s attention on to something else. Just keep the toy near the door and when your dog starts to get exited and begins to jump toss the toy to her so that she gets busy with that instead of jumping.

Common mistakes people do is to sometimes give a jumping dog/puppy attention and sometimes ignoring it. Remember Consistency, always act the same way otherwise the dog will not understand. Another common mistake is to give eye contact, This will invite the puppy/dog over to you soo avoid eye contact.

Cocker spanielTo summarize:

Jumping on people should never be considered acceptable behavior for a dog and if your puppy or dog does this you should take action immediately. Having a calm, well behaved dog is a joy and will make your daily life with your dog much easier. It will improve your relations with others and last but not least your dog will also feel better as it will be calmer and feel less stress when it feels that you are in control.

If you would like to learn more on how to get a calm, friendly and well behaved dog I suggest you check out the Online Dog Trainer.

You can get a free  5 day video dog training obedience course by Clicking Here.


I hope you enjoyed this post on how to stop your dog from jumping on people. If you have any comments or tips to share, please leave them below.





Comments 4

  • In my opinion the most difficult thing about this is to get ‘everyone in the household to do the same thing’ Sometimes it is so hard to convince other people that what you do with your dog makes sense and that consistency is really important. ‘Oh I let the dog jump on me jus this once. What’s the big deal? It won’t remember it anyway’
    Sometimes dogtraining isn’t only about training the dog, but also about teaching people. Do you have similar experience? 🙂

    • Yes absolutely. I think adopting a dog is project where everyone must be involved. Every one in the household must act the same way otherwise it is not going to work. So it is very important that whole family sits down and discuss how to act and what things you should allow/forbid your dog to do.

  • I love this article so much and I feel like you wrote it just for me! Getting my dog to stop jumping on people has been an ongoing battle. But turns out I may have been doing it wrong. I like the idea of turning your back if the dog doesn’t calm down. Great tips! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

    • Thank you Katie. Often when we try to teach a dog something we give it too much attention and this will cause the dog to continue acting the way he does. Dogs love attention and hate being ignored and when you turn your back on him he will learn that if continues to jump on you that will get him ignored instead of getting attention. Jumping is more than anything a way to get attention and if jumping does’nt get him attention then he will stop doing it.

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