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

Favorite Dog Books for your Puppy

the book what its like to be a dog

Dog books are like potato chips, you can’t have just one.

Reading dog training books is a great way to feel more prepared when you bring your puppy home. As first time puppy owners, we wanted to be fully prepared.  We wanted to understand the different stages that our pup would go through and how we could improve his chances of becoming a well adjusted adult.  To account for the different puppy raising ideologies, we read a couple of books. Not all books will align with your dog training methods, but we still found them useful to understand all the different viewpoints.

see all of our favorite dog training books

Puppy Raising Books

Your Labrador Retriever Puppy, Month by Month: This book breaks development up by month so you can quickly refer to specific parts of development as your puppy grows.

The Happy Puppy Handbook: This book has the cutest puppy pictures plus all that you need to know about raising your little pal.

The Art of Raising a Puppy: If you are looking to deeply understand the physchology behind how your dog behaves, this is the book for you.  It follows the training of one particular puppy raised by Monks of New Skete in New York.  The Monks raise German Shepherds and extensive dog training. Their book mixes entertainment with well written anecdotes and is a great read even if you are not currently raising a puppy.

How to be your Dog’s Best Friend: This book, also by the Monks of New Skete takes dog training to the next level by explaining how to develop an even stronger bond with your dog.  This book is great for all dog ages.

Dog Trick Books

101 Dog Tricks : We love being able to open this book to teach new things.  The commands range from sit all the way to dancing, and fetching the newspaper.  We will never run out of tricks to teach.

Puppy Dog Photo Books

There’s nothing like a coffee table of dog photos for those times you want to enjoy cute faces without whipping out your phone.

The Dogist: is a beautiful book to keep around. There is also a new puppy version of the book.

Manny the Frenchie’s Art of Happiness: Manny is the internet’s most popular Frenchie.  We met him at an event and he is just delightful!  He spreads love and happiness wherever he goes.

Underwater Dogs: Derp faces for days.  Have a great laugh with this one.

Dogs and their People: There is nothing better than the bond between you and your furry friend.  Check out this book written by Bark & Co showcasing the amazing bonds between dogs and their people.

Dogs on Instagram: This book was written by @DogsofInstagram and showcases the fun pups they have featured on their page.

The more you read, the more you will know.  The more you know, the more places you’ll go! [Dr. Seuss]
-Your Pal Cal

Raising a Puppy – The Challenges

raising a golden retriever

Tips for a New Pet Parent: The Art of Raising a Puppy

Whether you are raising a puppy or raising a guide dog, there will be many challenges. We have raised a golden retriever and have also raised a lab puppy in the past 2 years. Raising a golden retriever puppy proved to be a lot easier than the lab but we probably just got lucky. We can’t even imagine what it would have been like to raise two puppies at the same time.


The Hardest Part About Raising a Puppy

Raising a Puppy is a Walk In the Park….

Except that the ground is lava, your hands are bleeding, and you haven’t slept in 5 days.

Raising a puppy is hard work. Do you remember the first time you held your fluffy little pup?  It was so cute you could have cried.  So small, so squirmy, so perfect. When it yawned, the earth may have stopped spinning for a moment.  That first day was glorious – let’s call it the Honeymoon Phase: Puppy Edition.  For us, the first night was great too – Calvin was so tired from his day that he made us think he was a perfect little angel.  Fast forward to the next morning, when you wake up to an accident smeared all over the crate.  Welcome to Puppy Parenthood. Here are some fun things to look forward to.  Don’t you worry, it’ll be worth it.

Potty Training a New Puppy: Tips to Help with Housebreaking your Puppy 

Potty Training a new puppy is one of the greatest challenges.  It takes time to fully housebreak a puppy but they will eventually get it. If you live in an apartment with carpet like we do, welcome to a 6 month journey of stains and frustration.  We considered Calvin officially potty trained around 6 months old, but still had a few #1 accidents afterwards.  We were initially afraid to take him onto the street before his shots so he got used to using the pee pads (pee pads definitely slow down the process) –  If we could go back and do things differently, we would have skipped the pee pads and taken him to an outdoor area we knew was clean.  If you do not want to take that risk, the doggie lawn is a good alternative to help your pup associate grass with potty.  How do you know if your dog is fully potty trained? That first time your pup scratches at the door to let you know they need to go potty will have you ready to throw a pawty.  That’s how you know.

Puppy Biting and Teething 

Puppy teething and biting goes on for a few months but hang in there – We considered the biting officially over by about 4 months old.  The day the first tooth falls out is the beginning of the being able to fully enjoy your pup without bloody hands.  There were varying degrees of corrections we used to help stop biting.  The first thing we tried was turning away from Cal every time his mouth touched our skin.  He didn’t care and would just follow us and go for our feet and pants.  Then, we tried walking out of the room every time he mouthed at us.  Also didn’t work.  Turns out, the only thing that worked for us was grabbing him by the scruff on the back of the neck the way his mother would have corrected him and his littermates.  This solved the problem within a week.

Puppy Tantrums and Barking 

Puppies are still learning their way in the world and don’t understand that they can’t always get what they want.  This includes barking when food preparation takes too long, barking for no reason, barking and then lunging also for no reason.  This is cute the first few times, and you’ll want to catch it on camera because you may sometimes miss it when they’re older.  In order to prevent consistent whining and crying, just ignore the barking.  Do not look at the pup, give him attention, or let him get the item he is whining for. Stay consistent and he will eventually understand that crying won’t get him anything.  We were able to get Calvin out of this by about month 4, but have met full grown dogs who still exhibit whining behavior.  Trust me, you don’t want your dog crying every time you eat dinner or go out to the café with family.

Common Puppy Illnesses

Puppies are prone to more illnesses than older dogs. Puppies are fragile and vet visits are frequent – Even though everyone urged us to, we waited way too long to buy insurance.  We had so many questions and were at the vet all the time.  Over $2000 in, we finally got Healthy Paws Insurance (the 90% coverage plan).  The question that finally had us buying insurance was a very grim one from a family member: “If in two years, you are choosing between a $10,000 life-saving surgery or putting your dog down, which would you choose?”  If you would pick the surgery, or aren’t sure, I would recommend getting insurance- find an insurance that works for you.  Unfortunately, accidents and serious illnesses are inevitable, and we don’t want to have to make a difficult and potentially heartbreaking decision too soon.

Raise Your Puppy to Be a Confident Dog AKA Socialization 

Socializing your puppy will impact the kind of adult dog it will become. Socialization may be the most important thing you can give your pup during his first few months at home.  Try to have your pup meet as many new people, children, and other dogs as possible.  Our goal was for Calvin to meet at least 100 new people by the time he was 12 weeks old.  This was difficult since he was still under vaccinated, but we found ways to make it work – carry your pup in a bag, bring it to your friends’ homes, visit friends with older (puppy friendly) dogs.  We also took Calvin to puppy “socials” to play with other under-vaccinated puppies.  These were helpful, but not as much as learning from older dogs – puppies don’t understand social cues and so it is difficult for them to learn from each other.  Older dogs were great at teaching Calvin when enough was enough or when he was overstepping boundaries.  He had a few not so pleasant experiences in her early days at the dog parks, but from those he was able to learn how to stay away from dog fights, and when to back off from a potentially aggressive dog.  There is a small window of time where older dogs have patience with young puppies, but once this window closes it is more difficult to learn social cues.

Puppy Chewing on Furniture

Puppies love to chew on things – Table legs, chair legs, the wall, the carpet – if it was in reach, it will be chewed.  We tried bitter spray which was great for the short term – until Cal realized he could chew through it to reveal tasty wood underneath.  By applying it everyday, we were able to minimize chewing.  Friends recommended that we try tabasco sauce, but our white carpet would not have been ok with the experiment.  Needless to say, we hid the furniture in the closet until the chewing phase was over.

Who Me? I was just the easiest pup!
-Your Pal Cal

Family Engagement Shoot

With the human wedding right around the corner, I have finally accepted that I will forever be sharing the bed with both Mom & Dad, and that I must share Mom for the rest of my life (it’s ok, Dad gives me treats).  Since raising me to become such a well adjusted young pupper has taken lots and lots of love, the humans figured I belonged in their photoshoot.  The photos were taken by the pawsome Scott & Dana (Weddings by Scott & Dana).  Check them out here if you are getting married any time soon. Here were some favorites from my glamour shoot…..sorry I mean the human’s love shoot. I hope you enjoy my commentary about love.

You see those things that Momager is holding? Those are called balloons and let me tell you about them – they are the worst things you will ever meet. Don’t you even think about putting your teeth on them.

Glad to see the balloons go bye bye, but sad to see the humans walk away.

The best part of the night was releasing them into the sky.  They will not be missed.

Here is my super cool rocket ship.  It has the power to bring me wherever I want – specifically the beach, or on hikes. This red rocket ship means that adventure is coming.

Somedays the thought of having to share Mom forever doesn’t seem like much fun.  But then I remember that dad gives me all the great things in life like kisses, belly rubs, and potty breaks at 4am. I think I can come to terms with it.

If dad agrees to love mom as much as he loves me, this wedding thing is going to be pretty cool. Because his belly scratches are really good.

As long as I get to be the star of the show.

But can someone please tell them to STOP with the kissing.

I mean ALL types of kissing.


I like my little family.

I get to take them on lots of adventures.

I make them laugh when I do naughty things.

And mom likes to pretend to get mad.

But really, how could she stay mad at this face? Even when I shred the toilet paper.

My humans love me very much.

And I love them enough not to jump into this lake.

I’ve heard that dogs are the only things in the world that love you more than themselves.

But I think those people haven’t met my dad.

At the end of the day, all you need in Life is Love…and a Dog.

Love & Kisses
-Your Pal Cal

All Photos by Scott & Dana (Weddings By Scott & Dana)
Hair & Makeup By Quis (Check Her Out)

Whisk & Wag Make at Home Treats

We have had so much fun working with Whisk & Wag during their new product reveal.  Enjoy the video we filmed and produced at home to show how these treats are made!  We had so much fun filming and love making these treats as a family bonding activity.  Find Whisk & Wag on Chewy or Amazon today!

What is it?
Whisk & Wag is a make at home dog treat product – it is available in three flavors: herb & cheddar, apples & cinnamon, honey & oats, and sweet potato & spice.  The treats are quick and easy to make and healthy for your pup.

How does it work?
To make your Whisk & Wag dog treats, add the treat mix, some water, and oil.  Whisk it into a dough ball and scoop it out onto a cookie sheet.  Bake in the oven for 20 minutes and enjoy!

Any other tips?

  • We add 1-2 tbls of unrefined coconut oil – this adds flavor and also helps maintain Calvin’s shiny coat.
  • We use olive oil instead of canola or vegetable oil.
  • We use a bone shaped cookie cutter to make the treats extra cute.

Favorite thing about Whisk & Wag?
We love baking and we love Calvin – combining them led to a fun activity that we could both enjoy.

You whisk and they’ll wag!
-Your Pal Cal

How to Train a Dog to Come When Called


teach your dog to come when called every time

Training a Dog to Come: A Life Saving Command

Training your dog to come is also known as “recall training”. Dog recall training is a potential life saving skill.  “Come” is generally paired with teaching your dog its name but doesn’t have to be. The goal is to teach a dog to come every time you call. Training a puppy to come should be a fun bonding experience as it re-establishes the relationship you have with your puppy.

In all our training classes, recall has been stressed as the most important skill to master with your pup.  When your dog hears “Fido, Come!” you want him to stop in his tracks and run to you.  It is easier to establish reliable recall early, but it is not impossible to develop it later on.  So how can you develop reliable recall in your pup? Follow these steps…

Rules For Good Dog Recall

  1.  Never Call for Something Bad
  2. Always Pay with the Best (Baby Food, Hotdogs)
  3. Never Say Die
  4. Always Act Excited
  5. Reward Check Ins

Never Call for Something Bad 

Don’t call your dog for bath time, nail trimming, ear cleaning, brushing, leaving the park, or any other undesirable activity.  If he associates “Come” with something bad, he will stop responding.

Always Pay with the Best 

To teach dog recall, always treat! It is important to ALWAYS pay when your dog responds to the commands.  Our trainer recommended paying for every single time until at least 1 year.  However, there is more to this puzzle: you want to pay with the BEST treat you have and reserve this treat for recall.  This means hotdogs, wet food, or baby food.  We use hot dogs and baby food as our designated recall treats.  Baby food is the easiest and least messy way to treat your pup for coming back to you – we like to freeze it so that it lasts longer. All you need to do is pop open the container and give the pup one lick for their good behavior.  We use Beef & Gravy and Chicken & Gravy Gerber’s baby food because it does not have any potentially dangerous ingredients like extra sugar, onion, or garlic.  We buy in bulk from Amazon and go through about 2 per week.  There is always a container of baby food in our pockets.  Calvin knows that the ONLY time he gets baby food is when he stops in his tracks and runs to us – it works every time.

Never Give Up 

Our trainer used a harsh saying “Never Say Die” when explaining recall.  In short, never let your dog blow you off with recall.  If they think they can only come when they feel like it, then your recall will not be reliable.  If they do not immediately respond to “Come!” Make exciting noises, wave around your baby food or start running away from them (not towards them) until they follow.  Make sure to PAY very well once they finally respond.  If this becomes a habit, use a 25 foot leash (we used this one) and lure them towards you until they get the concept.

how to train your dog to come when you call

Always Act Excited 

Always act excited when training your dog to come. Recall should be framed as the most exciting thing for your dog.  Remember that first time your pup understood not to soil your nice white carpet? That was the best! Do the same for recall – throw a doggie party every time he comes to you – especially before you have established reliable recall.  Give them kisses, belly scratches, extra treats, extra baby food.  They should view coming to you as the most amazing thing in the world.  This will make them excited every time they hear the recall command.

Reward Check Ins 

When you are training a puppy to come, make sure to always reward check ins. When you let your dog off leash, it feels great knowing that he won’t stray too far without looking back and checking in with you.  Ideally, he will wait for you if he gets too far ahead or turn around and come back without even needing to be called.  To develop this behavior, work on rewarding random check ins.  If he is on the leash and turns back to come by your side, say “yes” and pay up.  If you start rewarding “check ins” this will reinforce that you don’t want him to get too far ahead of you when you are out.  Once you get good at this, you will be able to let your pup off leash and know he will come back EVEN if he goes out of sight.

Remember, Come always means Treats!

-Your Pal Cal