I imagine that everyone has experienced the Jumping Dog. They range from little ones that get dirt and hair on your clothes to big ones that threaten to topple you over. While sometimes this is sweet or cute or funny, many times it ranges from annoyance to actual danger.

Why Do Dogs Jump?

WebMD Veterinary Services tells us that when dogs greet each other they touch noses and they want to do that with humans, but those noses are WAAAAAAY up there! They first start jumping to try to reach our noses! Then they get the impression it is something we want them to do because they get reactions they interpret as positive. Many times, people allow and even encourage their dogs to jump to show affection and excitement. As hard as this is, don’t let your pup practice jumping. She won’t be able to understand why you laugh when she jumps for a treat, but are unhappy when she jumps on your new slacks. Bend down to say hello so she doesn’t need to jump. If you’re out walking and she starts to jump on someone going by, step on her leash so it’s too short for take-off.

Reasons to Stop Your Dog from Jumping

Scratches. Bruises. Tripping and falling. Getting knocked down, especially small children or frail adults.

How to Stop Your Dog from Jumping.

The Humane Society states that you have to control the situation so your dog can’t jump up. If you have visitors to the home, keep the dog restrained, in a crate, or in another room.  Next, don’t give the dog any attention for jumping. It can be hard to be consistent with this, since every member of the family has to do it every time the dog jumps. For instance, let’s assume you dog

knows “sit”. If not, go to my article on teaching your dog to sit. Tell the dog to sit, and then have someone come into the room that he may be tempted to jump on. If your dog gets up, have the person turn and walk away. Have Fido sit again, have the Exciting Other Person come back in, and repeat until Fido keeps sitting when the Exciting Other Person comes in. Treats and praise for everyone! Of course, this will take more than one session to become permanent, but your dog will probably get this pretty quickly.
Don’t yell at your dog for jumping, or knock him down. I had heard to knee the dog in the chest. Yikes!  According to a study of 1276 questionnaire conducted in 2010 by Christine Arhant et al, (“Behavior of Larger and Smaller Dogs: Effects of training methods, inconsistency of owner behavior and level of engagement in activities with the dog.”) people who train dogs using punishment rather than rewards have animals that are more aggressive and more easily excited. Training with rewards or calming or distracting the animal results in more satisfactory obedience. Inconsistency and use of fear tactics promotes fear-based behaviors. The results found no difference in whether the dog is large or small.  So don’t push her away. Just stand and look over her head, giving her the silent treatment. Oh, the agony! As soon as all feet are on the ground, look down and give pets and loves. If she gets excited at the attention and starts to jump, stand up again and leave or ignore her and walk away. She will have to drop to all fours to follow along. Even if you’re irritated, give that affection as soon as the feet drop. Let her think its doggie magic to get pets when not jumping.
If your dog jumps when you come in the door, keep your greeting calm and low-key. If your pooch starts to jump, ignore him and turn around and go back out the door. Try to come in again. His feet will be down again and he should get the idea pretty fast that he will only gets attention and pets if all of his feet stay on the floor.  At any time, ignore your good boy or good girl unless all four feet are on the floor, then give lots of praises and pets.
If you don’t want your dog to jump up when you are sitting, simply stand up. Keep doing this until he understands your lap is off limits. Then again, some people like having their dogs jump onto their laps for snuggling. Your call.
In another blog I wrote, “Your Dog DOES Understand What You Say!” I told everyone that the average dog can retain about 167 words, most of them commands!  So telling her to “Sit”, “No”, “Off”, or “Down” can all work to make your fur baby behave. Don’t use entire sentences, but stick to the same words for what you want her to do. Be sure to have a stern tone of voice, but not upset or angry. Remember that your dog wants to please you, but stopping the unwanted behavior gently and then rewarding the good behavior will result in a much better pet. Remember Pavlov’s dog?  He got a dog to salivate by associating food with a ringing bell. You want your dog to associate the opportunity to not jump with your approval. Crazy how that can work out!
If your dog is more about toys, use it to redirect their attention from jumping to running after the toy. Keep a favorite toy or ball by the door and as soon as you come in, toss the toy. When Fifi runs to get it, come down to her level, and praise her for bringing the toy, making her completely forget about jumping. Recruit other family members and friends to do the same thing until she doesn’t even think about jumping when someone comes home. But then your guests may wonder why your dog runs to them with a toy when they come to visit …

Last Words

The Animal Welfare League reminds us that it’s easier to teach your pet to do something that to not do something. Makes sense, right? Don’t teach her not to jump – teach her to sit or fetch a toy or just stand. Be careful that she doesn’t get the association of if she jumps and then sits, she get praise. Make a complete

break from the jumping, such as going back out the door and coming back in, then only praising her for sitting. If your dog is too young or too hyper to sit when you come in the door, settle for just keeping all four feet down. If that is asking too much, go for getting her to “Get the toy!”  As she runs off to find it, jumping goes right out of her head. But get used to being greeted at the door with a toy that gets praise, no matter how much spit it has on it.

And one final rule . . .

CONSISTENCY! Don’t train one day, then forget and let her jump the next. Just like training your kids, you have to always react the same way to both good and bad behavior. Don’t punish. Just reward the good and give bad behavior disapproval. Your dog is a lot smarter than many people think. Also, pet and love on your dog even when jumping isn’t even being considered. I always say my dogs give me so much more love that I can ever give them – but I can sure try. Happy Training!

 Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that earn me a small commission, at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I personally use and love, or think my readers will find useful.