If you want to stop a dog from jumping on you, before we even proceed with controlling such behavior in them, it’s essential to learn why they jump in the first place.
After a long tiring day at work, when we get home, and our puppy comes running and jumps on us, we feel elated. We think they love us, so they are happy to see us.
It makes us feel exemplary and special. And who doesn’t like to watch dogs jump for joy?
But we don’t realize that it soon becomes a habit, and eventually, it turns into a problem — my dog keeps jumping on me, and I don’t know how o stop it.
If you’re a dog owner, I’m sure you’ve probably faced this problem at some point or are still facing it.
Moreover, you’re tired of your guests complaining about your overly exuberant dog that jumps as soon as someone enters through the door.
Let’s face it. You may find a puppy jumping on you cute, but a 100-pound German shepherd may knock you down or injure you.
Jumping up on people is a chronic problem for puppies, and it only gets more difficult as they grow older.
That’s why stopping this behavior is recommended before it gets any worse. As it is rightfully said, “Prevention is better than cure.”
Why Do Dogs Jump On You
Trust us; you’re not alone. There have been numerous theories about this persistent problem, primarily because of their greeting instinct.
Another theory is that, as we all know, puppies’ most acute sense is that of smell. They like to sniff and investigate everything around them, so they naturally want to check every human being.
As humans, the most potent body smell comes from our genital and mouth areas.
We have all encountered a dog trying to sniff our crotch areas and immediately declared it an ill-mannered dog.
But within the dog world, sniffing genitals is considered good manners. But since we keep those covered with clothes, they automatically jump up to our mouths instead.
Moreover, it’s also because they are trying to get our attention. So when they jump, you may yell and push them away.
But they are still getting your attention, and even negative attention is better than no attention.
They don’t realize that you’re making them out as a punishment but instead interpret your behavior as giving them attention.
In this case, any attention your dog gets from you or others may be perceived as a reward.
How Can They Be Trained?
After getting my first dog a few months, my friends and family complained that it was always over-excited and constantly leaping at them.
Like you, I would sit down and try to find a solution — my dog keeps jumping on you. What do I do?
After months of training and certified dog experts’ help, I could finally control my pet’s behavior. The jumping and leaping whenever someone entered through the door stopped.
Getting straight to the point, I’ll tell you all the tips that have helped me, and I hope this turns out well for you too.
But before we discuss how to train your dog, let’s talk about what not to do while teaching them.
What Not to Do While Training Your Dog Not to Jump on you
1. Don’t Scream or Yell at Your Dog
Remember this basic mantra — negative attention is still attention for your dog.
You’re mistaken if you think pushing your dog away or yelling at them will stop them from jumping.
When you tell your dog, “Down! No! Stop jumping,” you often look at them and push them away. Instead of taking the signal as a no, they would do it again after a few seconds.
For a dog that has been isolated from you all day, being merely looked at or talked to is a reward for them. They don’t differentiate between positive and negative attention.
Also, scolding may not work for all dogs. It may instead intensify their behavior. Of course, a shy dog may suppress it in the long run, but there are better ways to train your dog.
2. Don’t Let Them Jump in Select Circumstances
It’s either do it or don’t do it — there’s no in-between.
You can’t be angry with them for jumping when you come home from work but reward them when they stand up on their feet, distracted by the things you throw at them. It confuses them.
Some owners assume that it’s OK for their dogs to jump on neighbors who know the dog, but not when they do the same to strangers or random people.
You can’t teach them to discriminate between who can be jumped on and who cannot. It would help if you were consistent with your rules so that the behavior disappears completely.
In a nutshell, don’t reward your dog at certain times and not others.
3. Don’t Move Away from Them
You’ll notice that they try to do it again when you move away when they jump.
Or if you’re petting the dog and suddenly withdraw your hand playfully, this only attracts them to take a leap at you instead of simply settling down.
This is because they automatically assume that you’re calling them for action when you move away, so they start chasing after you.
It also explains why babies are jumped on, as their fast pull-out movements urge dogs to action.
So remember that suddenly moving away from a jumping dog will only make them jump more.
4. Don’t Knee Them In The Chest
I agree that ‘why my dog keeps jumping on people can get on our nerves sometimes. But you wouldn’t believe what many of them are prepared to do in an attempt to control their dogs.
Some of those include kicking them every time they jump, squeezing their front paw until they yelp, pulling or yanking them on a leash, kneeing them in the chest, flipping them over backward, blowing an air horn in their ear, and much more.
But such harsh and abusive treatment may hurt your dog physically and permanently damage your relationship with it.
The level of trust required between the owner and dog will be gone.
The above ways are entirely wrong. This won’t teach them not to jump; instead, they will only start fearing you and avoid coming near you.
Their jumping behavior can be controlled in a well-mannered way, which we will discuss.
What To Do…
My dog keeps jumping on people can become a huge problem. Getting rid of it before your dog hurts or injures someone is essential.
Now that you know the drill of what not to do when teaching your dog not to jump on people let’s move on to how you can do it right.
1. Ignore Your Dog’s Behavior
In other words, withhold from giving attention to the dog.
As soon as you see your dog jumping, freeze your arms by folding them on your chest. Please don’t make any noise; stay that way until it calms down.
If it runs around to jump up again, turn your back away and go on with your errands. Wait for the dog to stop jumping.
This method helps in reducing unwanted behavior and possibly extinguishing it over time.
You can also remove yourself altogether. If your dog jumps on you when you walk through the door, you can briefly walk out of the room.
It’s possible that when you enter back, he might jump again. But keep repeating it until your dog calms down.
2. Reward them for Good Behavior
For a month, I kept crying about why my dog kept jumping on people, and it took a lot of effort to make it stop.
But at the same time, our dogs put just as much effort into that process as we do. If your dog learns that jumping will have no result, you should reward them for alternate and acceptable behavior.
If you see your dog standing in front of you with all four paws on the ground, feel free to slip it treats.
It’s been proven repeatedly that rewarded actions are more likely to be repeated over time.
So praise your dog when it doesn’t jump, but make sure you don’t do it too much. Elevated excitement and attention will again stimulate another round of jumping.
3. Reinforce the ‘Sit’ Command
Another method that can help you train your dog is reinforcement training.
If your dog doesn’t already understand the sit command, it’s time to teach it.
If it can keep its four paws on the floor for a few seconds, start ordering it to sit. As you walk through the door and it sees you, say the ‘sit’ command.
Eventually, it will learn the drill, and your dog will start sitting as soon as you enter the room. You won’t even have to command it.
4. Get down to Your Dog’s Level
One way to control your dog’s jumping behavior is to stoop down to their level. Some dogs want to complete a proper greeting by sniffing a person’s muzzle.
Lowering yourself to the dog’s level allows them to greet you by coming near your face while discouraging their jumping behavior. Isn’t it a win-win situation?
However, ensure you don’t bend over the top of your dog. Because if they still try to jump, you can suffer a facial injury or a chipped tooth.
So always keep your upper body upright and lean from the waist. Greet them with a ‘hello’ or ‘hi’ when you kneel.
If you aren’t comfortable kneeling every time, the alternative method is to get a chair and position your hand lower toward the ground for petting.
This will help divert the dog’s attention from your face, and they will still be able to take a sniff at your hand.
5. Involve Everyone Around You
The point here is to be consistent.
The training can’t be practical if you don’t involve your friends and family. Otherwise, your dog may think that it’s only not okay to jump on you.
If you have help from other people, it will teach your dog to stay down no matter who enters the room.
Before your friends arrive at your place, you can tell them not to encourage your dog’s jumping behavior and directly ask it to sit instead.
And once they’re sitting comfortably and the dog is not in the mood, your friends can pet the dog.
This not only discourages the dog’s jumping activity but also feels rewarded for its good manners and self-control.
My dog keeps jumping on people’s problems that can only be solved if everybody around you participates.
It is also seen that organizing training sessions with friends, family, and other pet owners can be helpful.
Have them approach your dog turn by turn and teach them how not to encourage your dog to jump. Moreover, ask them to give your dog a treat if it doesn’t bounce.
6. Practice Is Key
I was tired of complaining about how my dog kept jumping on people. It needed to stop, and I knew a straightforward formula for it.
The more practice, the better.
It helps if you find several locations where your dog can have opportunities to greet people, such as taking them out for a walk in the park.
Make your dog practice with as many people as possible.
Moreover, you should also be persistent if the jumping occurs more often when you walk through the front door.
Please spend a few more minutes with your dog coming and going so that it gets the hint.
However, could you not make a big fuss over it? If you suddenly try to change your dog’s behavior and ignore its jumping, the chances are that it might try even more complex.
It’s more likely thinking that it’s done something to upset you. So it’ll jump more to get your reaction.
But don’t just give up. Stay firm on your training program, and you’ll see your result soon. It’ll slowly start fading.
So give your dog an alternate behavior to learn and reward them for doing it.
7. Other Ways to calm Your Dog
There are a few other techniques that you can try to stop your dog from jumping.
A canine anti-anxiety wrap is available on the market that calms dogs down by gently squeezing pressure points on the dog’s body.
Or you can also try extensive exercise; taking them out for a walk twice a day might leave them panting with little energy left to jump on people.
But consult your vet before you make any changes in their exercise routine.
What Are the Benefits of Training Your Dog
Of course, when I complain about my dog jumping on people, I’m worried about getting injured.
However, besides injury prevention, there are other benefits to training your dog not to jump as well:
- If you have a friend or relative who isn’t so fond of dogs, they will be less likely to get scared.
- When you take your dog out for a morning or evening walk, you constantly don’t have to worry about its jumping behavior.
- This is the most important one. You won’t have to worry about facing a lawsuit because your dog hurt a child or scratched somebody’s suit.
- Your dog will learn to have better control over its behavior.
My Final Thoughts
My dog keeps jumping on people doesn’t have to be a problem anymore as long as you follow these simple training guides.
However, if you think that even after tremendous patience and practice, you’re not going to be able to get it under control, you can always turn to an experienced dog trainer for help.
To conclude, I would like to emphasize trying to prevent this behavior from your dog’s puppyhood.
If you can train a puppy not to jump on you from day one, you may not have to go through the trouble of preparing them when they are all grown up.
Start by performing the simple rules of no touch, no eye contact, and no talk when you first greet your puppy.
This will help it stay focused on its nose and keep it calm. Its nose will keep it on the ground.
So what are you waiting for? Start your training immediately, and see how it works for you and your dog.