There are many people who can train your dog to do tricks such as sit, lie down and roll over. But what if you want to teach a dog not to jump? This is where the dog trainer in me comes out and I’ll share a few of my best tips for training a dog not to jump.
It can be frustrating, as a dog owner, when your dog jumps on people and acts inappropriately for the given situation. You know that saying about teaching a old dog new tricks? That’s not actually accurate … and in fact, it doesn’t fit with anything else in the English language according to Merriam-Webster. But the classic expression does have some truth behind it. Dogs can be taught — but even if you’ve had yours for a while, it can take time before many of the new behaviors stick .
The first step in teaching a dog not to jump is to make sure you’re using the right approach. The goal is to get your dog to stop jumping on people, so it’s important to understand why dogs do this in the first place.
Dogs jump for two reasons: one, they like being up high (it makes them feel safe); and two, they want attention from their owner. Most dogs are very social animals who crave affection from humans and other dogs, so when they see an opportunity to get attention from a human, they’ll take it!
To stop your dog from jumping on people (and other dogs), you need to give them other ways of getting attention that don’t involve jumping up. You can do this by teaching your dog some tricks or rewarding them with treats for sitting when someone comes into the house. This will teach them that there are better ways of getting attention than jumping up on everyone who walks through the door!
Teaching a dog not to jump can be a tricky task. No matter how well-behaved your dog is, there are some situations where jumping is just not appropriate. This can be especially problematic if you have children or other pets in the home.
To help you get started on teaching your pup not to jump, here are some tips:
- Don’t reward your dog when they jump up on you! This includes giving them treats or petting them when they jump. Your attention will actually reinforce this behavior because the dog will learn that jumping gets them what they want. Instead, ignore the behavior and wait until it stops before giving any attention at all. If using treats as rewards for good behavior works for you, don’t stop using them just because your dog likes jumping up on people; just make sure that you don’t use rewards for jumping!
- Make sure that there aren’t any triggers for jumping around your home—this could mean removing all distractions like toys or food bowls from where the dog spends most of their time. If there are no triggers present, then there’s nothing for them to be excited about and therefore no reason for them to jump up on people in hopes of getting something from them (like attention).
Teaching A Dog Not To Jump
How to Train a Dog Not to Jump
A dog jumping up on people is a common problem, and it is one reason why a lot of people end up ignoring their dog and banishing it to the backyard (where the dog can dig, bark excessively, and try to climb the fence). However, it is something that is easy to deal with, and not a reason to exile a friendly animal.
So Why Do Dogs Jump up on People?
We stand up on two legs and dogs have to jump up to greet us. There is nothing more to it than that. Your dog is just trying to be friendly. She wants to say hello, she wants to say goodbye, or maybe she wants to tell you how excited she is about her new toy.
Some dogs jump up when they want attention.
How to Train a Dog Not to Jump
The most important thing to remember, no matter how you choose to train your dog, is to be consistent. If you let her jump up on you Saturday morning when you are wearing your old jeans, she will think that it is okay to jump up on you Monday morning when you are dressed for that important meeting. Your dog does not own an iPhone with a calendar, she cannot tell the difference between the weekend and a workday. Don’t let her jump up only when you are in the mood.
- Teach Her to Sit: If you have not taught this command you should. It is one of the most basic obedience commands you need to teach every puppy. Every time your dog starts to jump up, tell her to sit and then lean down and praise her. If you do not feel like leaning down to scratch her ears, and tell her what a good dog she is, don’t even bother. Your dog is only going to perform consistently when she knows that you really care!
- Tell Her to Go Fetch: If your dog acts like she is going to jump up and is so excited that she may not respond to a sit command, throw her something and tell her to go fetch. She will burn off some of the excess energy and when she comes back she should sit when you tell her to.
- Turn Your Back on Her: You may need to do this for 10 seconds, you may need to do it for five minutes. All dogs are different, and if she is really excited she might continue to jump. Outwait her.
Note: This is not the best method for kids or the elderly. If your dog is big and might knock someone down, be sure to focus on the “sit” command to calm her down.
Some dogs really enjoy jumping up.
Other Ways to Keep Your Dog From Jumping Up
I will give a list here of several alternatives that work as well as teaching her to sit, distracting her, or just ignoring her. Please keep in mind that—although many of these methods are recommended in dog training books and are even guaranteed to make your dog into a model companion—from a behavioral standpoint, they are likely to make your dog fearful and aggressive.
These methods might keep your clothes clean but they tend to ruin the bond you are forming with her. You might also end up consulting an expensive behaviorist or being sued after your dog bites a neighbor who happens to be carrying a fly swatter or similar item. So always be cognizant of how you shape and influence your dog’s behavior.
- Pop a plastic bag when your dog is about to jump up. This startles her. (Products like the Pet Corrector work well, too).
- Spray your dog in the face when she is about to jump up with a squirt bottle. I have been told this does not work with Labrador Retrievers since they love water and will jump up even more!
- Use your knee to block your dog from jumping up by lifting it diagonally across your body. This is better than using your hands. Never directly knee your dog—besides making the dog afraid of you, this technique may also end up injuring your dog.
This is great, when you have to ask the dog to jump up!
Don’t Send Mixed Signals
My dog seems to have this exercise completely mastered. In fact, I’m sure she has learned this concept, except with an old German neighbor who comes by periodically to visit. He tells me that he is upset by my dog jumping up on him, but then proceeds to scratch her ears when she has her paws on his chest, and then lets her lick him in the face.
He is giving her mixed signals. DO NOT do this to your dog.
Jumping is normal behavior and not something you should punish your dog for. If you don’t want a dog that jumps, you can utilize these training techniques, but they are not going to work for you overnight. Even if your dog is well trained, she might make a mistake. Don’t punish her for it. Just bend down and let her lick your face.