When our puppies jump at us after a long day at work, it is consoling and exciting. However, we forget that it might lead to other undesirable behaviors in the future. Well, puppies are all cute and loving but it won’t feel the same when your adult dog jumps at you. It can be scary to you and more so your guests. Therefore, you will need to stop your dog from jumping at you and others.
Why is your dog jumping up and down?
The way your dog behaves has a lot to do with the way you respond. Unfortunately, dogs will adopt certain behaviors in their puppyhood and may not drop it. This means that your dog will have the same habits even in adulthood.
However, we cannot forget to mention that you will be the one to mold and teach acceptable and unacceptable habits. Jumping is no different in that puppies love to jump at us, which is all nice and consoling. You should not condone the behavior as it might lead to other deep-rooted issues later in the future.
In order to stop your dog from jumping up and down, you will need to understand why he is doing so. This will give you a good approach to curb the habit. Some of the reasons why dogs jump may include:
When you get home from work, and so is he. In response to your arrival, your puppy will come to you, over-excited, and wagging his tail because he is extremely happy. He might also jump at you to greet you, after all, dogs greet each other by touching each other’s nose. Your puppy treats you as if you are one of his kind, and will want to greet you the same. However, since you are taller than he is, he will jump at you to try and reach your face in efforts to greet you.
To express control and dominance as well
This is especially when your dog wants something that you are holding in your hand. Well, since we cannot communicate using a common language, jumping will be a way to tell you that he needs it. He takes control and goes for what he wants.
For instance, if you are eating your food and he wants some, he will most probably jump at you to get some. Well, he is not going to exactly request you for some food, rather he is going to take it by force. Therefore, we can attribute the habit of jumping to a sign of control and dominance.
Another example of your dog jumping to exhibit dominance is when he jumps and pushes you backward. This is mostly when he feels like you are standing on his way. Unlike greeting you with kisses, a dog trying to show dominance will not kiss you or be friendly when he jumps.
Your dog needs to understand that you are in control and not the other way round. Spend some time training your dog that he does not need to jump in order to get something. For instance, you can command him to sit down as you serve him his food rather than jump at you.
If at all you and your dog engage in rough play such as wrestling, jumping up then becomes a habit. This goes way back to his nature of a scavenger. In the wild, dogs chase, hunt and feed on prey. They will put their prey down by jumping at them and pinning them to the ground. In addition, dogs also wrestle with each other when playing.
However, once you bring your new puppy home, it means that you are his only family. This is why he might engage in rough play and wrestling with you. Rough play will most often involve jumping and wrestling all the same.
You will, therefore, need to teach your dog how to play nice with you and with others. If you have children, you should get some time and teach your kids how to play with the dog. In most cases, encourage a non-touch form of play such as using toys and tug-of-war
Fear is also a possible cause for your dog jumping at you to alert you. However, to be able to identify this as the possible cause for your dog jumping, you will need to pay attention to his behavior and overall demeanor.
Look at how he is behaving around the house to detect any signs of stress or even fear itself. Fear may be as a result of another dog trespassing in your home or even strangers. In fact, other dogs are afraid and startled by the doorbells leading to him seeking refuge in you. Therefore, it is important to make sure that your dog is comfortable and safe in the house.
Unfortunately, fear is not something you stop in dogs. Instead, you need to examine your dog closely and get to the bottom of it. Identify the element causing fear in your dog and eliminate it to make it safe for your dog. For instance, if another dog came by the house, ensure that you have appropriate measures to keep foreign dogs out of your home.
Most dogs will jump as a way to greet you and your visitors. However, you will need to teach him that it is not acceptable to jump at people. Below are some of the tips that will help you get rid of this dog jumping completely;
Teach your dog how to greet
Well, as we have mentioned above, most dogs jump at you or your visitors as a way to greet. However, your guests or child might not understand that. In fact, it can turn out to be very traumatizing when a big dog jumps at you with all his strength. The good news is, puppies are pretty easy to train than adult dogs are. Therefore, invest some time to teach your dog alternative greetings.
You can be able to do this with the help of another person, perhaps a family member or a friend. However, ensure that your dog is not scared of the other person for easier training. Put him on a leash and let the other person hold him while you approach.
If he starts jumping, stop coming towards him and instruct him to sit down. This is going to take you some time before he can get used to the whole idea. Your friend should be holding him on a leash this whole time so that he does not run towards you.
In addition to the above, offer him a treat once he obeys your commands. You will have to do this severally until he gets used to sitting down. This way, you can now train him how to shake hands. Once he sits down, offer him your hand instead. He is also going to learn how to give a handshake using his front limbs calmly.
At other times, your dog will jump at you in efforts to initiate play. I mean, you might be seated at home or walking around and he will jump at you abruptly. If he does so, ignore him completely as he is trying to get your attention. This is unacceptable as he will make it a habit to keep doing so even during his adulthood.
Deny him all your attention and stand still until he stops. Well, dogs love attention and will do literally anything to get you to react. However, you should not encourage this. Once he stops jumping, you can offer him a treat to reinforce good behavior.
Always carry a toy in your hand
Invest in entertaining toys for your puppy. This way, you can always offer it your dog starts jumping at you or others. The goal is to redirect his attention to something better and more productive. For instance, you can get a tennis ball and throw it every time he is about to jump. This works because they are thrilled to chase and fetch it.
If you have a dog that loves to jump at you in the house, ensure that you have a toy in your hand. When he comes running towards you, produce the toy in your hand. Of course, it is going to be more enticing than jumping.
Walk it off
Your dog might also jump when he is extremely excited about something. It might be an over-exciting play or he is excited to see you around. However, it could also be as a result of pent up energy your dog may have, especially if he is under-exercised.
This is why we recommend that you walk or exercise your dog prior to leaving the house in the morning and also inclu8de evening walks. This will get rid of the extra energy your dog may have resulting in jumping.
In addition to this, ensure that you stimulate your dog both mentally and physically. Even though long walks will do this for you, do not shy from invest in rope toys that will help you initiate non-touch play.
This is especially recommended to play tug-of-war games that will also assist in getting rid of the pent up energy. Your dog will want to relax instead of jump up and down throughout the day. This is an effective method to stop your dog from jumping.
One of the most common and effective ways to train a dog to stop jumping is through desensitization. This involves exposing your dog to the stimuli for jumping but from a distance until he settles down. For instance, in order to stop your dog from jumping, you can have your friend, preferably family member, stand with your dog at least a hundred yards away.
You can start approaching their direction, making sure that your dog can see you.
Of course, your dog will start jumping at the first sight of you. In this case, turn back and start walking away. This way, your dog will no longer feel excited since you are not coming his way anymore and thus settle. Once again, approach him and immediately he starts jumping, starts walking in the other direction.
Through exposure to this practice, your dog is going to understand that he will not get to see you at all whenever he starts jumping. In addition to this, ensure that your dog is on a leash so that he doesn’t run after you. Reward him whenever he does not jump in order to encourage good and acceptable habits.
Alternatively, if you are doing this alone, you can refrain from entering the house when your dog is still excited and jumpy. For instance, when you get home from work, your dog is going to jump at you. However, you can desensitize this habit by opening only a little bit to let him see you.
Once he starts jumping, close the door for a few seconds and open again. Do this until he settles and then enters the house. This will let him know that you do not appreciate it when he is jumping all over you but you reward him when he is calm and collected.
Counterconditioning is best used together with desensitization. This is because it involves giving your dog an alternative behavior rather than jumping. For instance, when you are using the desensitization method to stop your dog from jumping, have your friend instruct your dog to get involved in another behavior like sitting down or actually fetching a ball.
Another example is telling your dog to maintain eye contact. For instance, when you have guests coming over to your house, your dog will definitely run to the door when they know or at the doorbell. Before you open the door, have your dog sitting still and probably holding a toy in his mouth.
Chew toys will definitely come in handy when you are looking to use the desensitization and counterconditioning method to stop your dog from jumping.
If your dog comes at you with the aim of jumping at you, it is important that you remain calm. This means that you do not shout or yell at him. For instance, your dog might jump at you with the intention of initiating play. When you yell, he might actually take that as a response to his actions and thus motivate him to keep jumping.
Instead, remain calm and instruct him to sit down. Look at him sternly and command him to sit down. This will give him the sense that you are not interested in his play. You should never encourage your dog to play when he is jumping. This is where you actually ignore him completely.
If you are sitting down, do not allow him to come to your thighs. Instead, bring your knees to your chest slowly in order to avoid knowing him down. This leaves him no room to play with you by engaging in jumping.
Get down to his level
When your dog jumps at you when you finally come back home from work, he wants to greet you. It is the same way a child runs after its parents when they come home. However, if you have ever watched dogs greet, you would know that they do so by touching each other nose.
Now, since we are part of their packs, they want to do the same thing with us, only that we stand taller than them. He might actually be jumping at you in order to reach your face.
To make it easier for him, get down to his level whenever he comes running towards you. He will not need to jump in order to greet his owner.
Put your dog on a leash
When you have people coming over to your house, ensure that your dog is on a leash. This way, you will be able to control all his movements and thus stop him from jumping. Not only is it scary to have your dog jumping at strangers but it is also embarrassing.
In addition to this, have your dog hold something in his mouth while meeting visitors.
Train your dog to go to his crate (See crates on Amazon)
In the event you are having guests over, you can train your dog to go to his crate, where he feels safe. Once you adopt a puppy, you definitely get a bed for him and train him to use it. From that day, he understands that his crate is the safest place for him to be and that nothing can hurt him from there.
This brings about a sense of confidence in him, whereby you will always go there when he feels threatened or stressed.
Whenever the doorbell goes off, instruct your dog to go to his crate. This way he does not get to jump at the guests at the door, which can be very embarrassing as well as worrying.
Ensure that he has his toys near his crate so that he can get involved and stop thinking about your guest instead. Toys work well when you want to distract your dog for some time.
In conclusion, dogs are all cute and loving until he is big enough to put you or children down while jumping. Even though we have trained our dogs to be friendly to us, it does not take away their natural instincts.
Therefore, it is up to you to train him out of the habit of jumping at you or other people for whatever reason. Instead, train your dog alternative behaviors such as a handshake or use the desensitization method. It is my hope that the above guide is going to help you stop your dog from jumping.