How to Stop a Dog From Jumping

An enthusiastic greeting from your dog can be flattering. But too much enthusiasm can frighten some people or mess up a nice outfit just as you're heading out. Owners and visitors alike hate it when your dog unexpectedly jumps up on you, knocking you down, getting you dirty or spilling your packages. Here's how to stop that unwanted jumping.


Ignore Method

1. When the dog's feet first leave the ground, quickly turn your back on the dog.

2. As the dog paws at your back or legs, ignore it completely. Do not even look at it. If it circles around in front of you and jumps up again, turn your back again.

3. Continue doing this until the dog chooses a more desirable behavior, such as sitting, standing still, or even turning to leave. The instant this happens, immediately turn your attention to the dog and praise and pet them.

4. If the attention causes your dog to stop the desirable behavior and begin jumping again, immediately withdraw your attention and turn your back again.

5. Continue this cycle until the dog is calm and no longer jumping. This method is based on the idea that any type of attention, even negative attention, reinforces that jumping on you gets your attention. Therefore, to get your dog to stop, teach them that jumping on you does NOT get your attention.

Stop Method

1. When the dog starts to jump up, hold out your open hand and when they jump up push your open hand downward against their nose/face, while at the same time pushing them down towards the ground and commanding "DOWN". Dog's noses are sensitive and after repeating this method several times, they will not want to get pushed back down by their nose/face with your open hand. This method is successful, if you consistently do this every time they jump up.

Holding Paws Method

1. Know when to make the correction. The right time is when the dog jumps on you of his own volition. You should never encourage the dog to jump on you for purposes of training, then correct it for having done exactly as you asked!
2. Grab the dog's front paws the next time your dog jumps on you.
3. Hold their paws at a height that just keeps them upright and standing on their two back paws. A dog walks on all fours and has a hard time balancing on just two legs. Make sure you are not pulling up on the dog.
4. Hold this position for about 5 seconds and notice that the dog will try to squirm away since they are having trouble supporting themselves.
5. Say "no" and let their paws go.
6. Repeat this each time the dog jumps up. Soon they will learn that they don't want to get into this position and will no longer jump up on you.

Sit Method

1. Teach your dog how to sit if you haven't already. This will give your dog a replacement behavior for greeting you.
2. When you are leaving or returning to your house (or whenever it is that your dog normally jumps on you), give the "sit" command before your dog starts to jump.
* If your dog sits, praise him. Give him lots of pats and tell him how good he is.
* If your dog ignores you and is still going to jump on you, do one of the following, follow one of the other methods listed in this article before proceeding to the next step.
3. Once you have stopped your dog from jumping on you, repeat the "sit" command if necessary. Praise your dog when he sits.
4. Keep doing this every time your dog starts to jump on you. Gradually, your dog will learn that he should sit if he wants you to greet him.

Leg Method

1. Wait until the dog starts to jump at you.
2. Bring your leg up sideways so it connects with the dog's chest and pushes him back. Do this gently.
3. Praise the dog when he stops jumping.

Leash Method

1. Put a collar with leash attached to your dog.
2. When he jumps on you, tell him in a semi firm voice "no" don't be too harsh because you have let him do it for a long time and he will wonder why you are suddenly so angry.
3. With him facing you at your feet, step on the leash and keep your foot on it. Next time he jumps, he will get only inches off the ground.
4. Give the dog a treat and say "good boy" (or girl). You may have to repeat this for a couple of days.

Choke Collar Method

1. Know the right way to put a choke collar on. With the dog at heel position (on your left side), the lead end of the collar (attached to the leash) should go over the dog's neck, not under.
2. Make connections with short, quick snaps and immediately loosen the tension. This loosens the collar. The snap should be just hard enough to place your dog is the desired position or correct the offending behavior. If the lead end is under the dog's neck, the collar will not loosen. Once it is loose and the dog is in the correct position, praise.
3. Don't allow the dog to get so far out of the correct position that you must drag the dog and therefore have constant tension on the collar. This accomplishes nothing.

As in any animal training, there are many methods which will achieve the desired result. You should research all suggested methods and pick the one which most fits in with your training philosophy, without damaging the dog-handler relationship as you see it. Any dog training regimen will be more successful if the dog and handler have a strong relationship.

In addition to finding which method works for you, figure out which one works best for your dog. Every dog is different and has different motivations. For example, some dogs may think the "Holding Paws" method is a fun game and a good way to get you to give them physical attention. If the training seems ineffective after a period of consistent work, try something new.

Make sure your dog is getting a consistent message. If you are trying to teach your dog not to jump on you, but someone in your family, one of your friends, or anyone else who comes into your house gives him praise and attention for jumping up, your dog will never learn to sit politely to get what he wants. Make sure everyone who comes into your house knows that the dog is not to be acknowledged until he is sitting calmly.
As an alternative or in addition to the steps listed above, crate train your dog. If your dog is crate trained. You can simply send him to the crate when you leave and let him out when you come back.

Keep your comings and goings low key. If you make a big fuss every time you enter or leave the house, your dog is more likely to get excited and start jumping. Try ignoring the dog for 5 minutes when you get home. That takes the excitement out of your arrival.

Never hit your dog or use other abusive behavior to make him stop jumping on you. Remember that your dog is most likely jumping up to greet you because he is glad to see you. Hitting or yelling at your dog will make him afraid of you or more aggressive.

Avoid kneeing your dog in the chest to make him stop jumping. This could cause accidental injury. The side of the leg is much safer.

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To Your Success,

Chad Thompson
Canine Behavior Expert



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