How to Stop Your Dog From Jumping on People

how to stop dog from jumping on people

How to stop a dog from jumping up

We have some tips for how to train a dog from jumping up on strangers! Dogs jump up to show their love but unfortunately puppies jumping can be scary for anyone else so let’s stop dogs from jumping up.  It can be hard to train your dog to not jump up, but you can do it!

Labs (and most puppies) are notorious for jumping – they want to be all up in your face when they say hello.  Unfortunately, it’s not cute anymore once they outgrow the puppy face and become large enough to knock over your 95 year old grandmother. Jumping has been an ongoing issue that we are still working on.  Luckily, we have already seen some improvements.  We have gotten many different tips along the way and are happy to share them for anyone who may be dealing with a similar challenge.  We haven’t tried all of these but have included it all!  Remember, always reward for good behavior!

Steps to success:

Redirect to “Touch”

Redirecting to “Touch” is one way to train your dog to stop jumping up. This method worked for one of our friends in the dog park.  They were able to redirect their dog to “Touch” their hands on the ground every time they came into the room.  Eventually, the dog learned not to jump. The “Touch” command (here) is exactly what it sounds like.  You can teach your pup to target your open hand with it’s snout, instead of your face.  Start by leaving your palm open near your dog – every time you feel his/her snout on your hand, reward! Our dog park friends were able to teach their dog not to jump by redirecting their dog to “Touch” their hands near the ground every time he was tempted to jump.  We loved this method and touch is a great thing to learn!

Ignore bad behavior part 1

Ignoring your puppy can help train it to stop jumping up on strangers. This method did NOT work for us but is the most common advice that we have received.  For many dogs, turning the other way every time they jump is enough to train them to always keep four paws on the ground.  Every time your dog jumps up, say “NO” and turn around so that your back is to them.  You can even walk away and entirely disengage with them if needed.

Ignore bad behavior part 2  

There are other ways to stop your dog from jumping on people.  If you want to take it up a notch, you can leave the room entirely every time your dog jumps up on you.  Chances are your dog doesn’t like it when you leave so they will hopefully catch on quickly.  Leave for a few minutes and then come back.  If your pup does not jump on you when you return, make sure to reward them generously

Designated Time-out Area 

Some swear by putting their pup in “Time-out” when he/she jumps up or misbehaves.  This can be any area that is away from you, another room, an exercise pen ect.  Leave him in time-out for a few minutes and then try again. This also did NOT work for us.

how to stop a dog from jumping

Don’t act excited when you come home to your dog

We couldn’t get ourselves to try this method especially with the look of joy Calvin’s face every time we come home.  However, if you are strong enough to do this one, we have heard that it can work! if you dog is riled up and excited, it is more likely to jump up.  If you teach your dog that your return home (or anyone’s entrance into your home) isn’t very exciting, they may be less likely to jump up.  This method worked for one of our friends – he would not immediately let the dog out of the kennel when he returned home.  Instead, he would take off his shoes, hang up his coat, get himself a glass of water and go about his business for a few minutes before letting the dog out. The dog learned to disassociate his person’s arrival with excitement and stopped jumping.

Rile them up, then push them “OFF”  

Pushing off your dog may help train it to not jump up on people. We received this advice from a former seeing eye dog trainer we met at the beach. She suggested teaching “OFF” training into a game that the dog will come to hate.  Start by riling up your dog and tapping your chest excitedly. When your pup jumps up, use both your hands on their chest to push them down while saying “OFF”.  When they sit down, pat their head and say “YES YES YES.” Then rile them up again and follow the same process.  Soon they will realize that the jumping game is no fun and they’ll just sit down when you try to rile them up.

Walk into your dog or nudge them with your knee for an unpleasant experience when they jump up

We received this advice from a service dog trainer.  Every time that your pup jumps, you can walk forward into the jump. Take a few steps into them (don’t step on them, just push them back with your body). This will push them backwards and they will soon learn that jumping isn’t actually much fun and doesn’t get them pets.

Keep your dog on leash when guests come over  

Jumping is often situational.  Currently, Calvin will only jump when he gets very excited (most of the time with new guests visiting who are very excited to see him).  We have started leashing him during these situations so that we can control his jumping.  Keep your pup on a very tight leash (we use this 1.5 foot leash) so that you can pull him back when he tries to jump.  Have him sit when your guests arrive and do not let him receive pets unless he remains perfectly calm. Reward good behavior.

Explicitly teach your dog “On” and “Off” 

We met someone in Colorado who had taught her dogs to stop jumping by teaching them the difference between “On” and “Off.”  She said that she enjoyed when her pups jumped on her but didn’t want them jumping on others.  To teach them this distinction she worked on rewarding them when they jumped with the command “On” (pat your chest to tempt them to jump up and say “On” when they do).  Then, when they hop down, say “Off” so they can learn the distinction.  She was able to use this to keep her dogs from jumping on strangers while still allowing them to jump on her when she gave them permission to.  We actually use the word “Up” to teach Calvin to sit on a bench, chair, or to get up into the car.

Hope one of these methods work for you! Good Luck!
-Your Pal Cal

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