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How to Stop Dog Jumping Up (on people)



How to stop your dog from jumping up on people

Why Does My Dog Jump up?

• Many dogs jump to get closer to a person’s hands and face. People interact with animals with their hands and face by petting, talking, and kissing.

• Many dogs jump because they are excited. The term “bouncing off the walls” is often accurate for an excited dog. When you come home from work or a guest comes to the door you may see this excited jumping.

• The most important reason a dog jumps is because they have a strong reward history. While we may not mean to, we often interact with our dogs, negatively or positively, when they jump. This interaction is inherently rewarding to the dog. The more a dog is rewarded for a behavior, even inadvertently, the more likely it is for the behavior to repeat.


How do I stop my new puppy from jumping up?

• Prevent your puppy from developing a history of inadvertent rewards for jumping up. To do this, always turn away and ignore your puppy when they jump.

• You can prevent jumping in a new puppy by teaching them good habits from the beginning. Always have your puppy sit or have all four paws on the floor before interacting with them.

How do I stop my dog from jumping up and putting their paws on me or mouthing me?

• Consistency is the key. Remember that your dog has a long, long history of being rewarded for jumping up on you. You now have to be 100% consistent with your response to jumping. You must have the same response every time.

• Most dogs that jump up on you respond well to the person crossing their arms across their chest and turning away. The faster you are at turning away (turning before the dog makes contact), the more effective this will be.

• What if my dog keeps jumping on me? If your dog still jumps at your back, immediately leave the room and ignore your dog for 5 minutes. You may need to place a baby gate or go into a room with a door that closes. It is important that your dog cannot get close to you. If your dog jumps when you go back to it, leave again. The first few times you use this method may be trying, but if you stick to your guns you will see success.

• If you are very quick, you can also ask your dog for an incompatible behavior before they jump up. An incompatible behavior means the dog cannot possibly jump up if they are doing the behavior. A common choice is a simple sit, where the dog’s rear and front paws are on the ground. The dog may be petted and talked to while they are sitting. If they get up, all interaction ends. You can even turn your back as described above. Go back to the dog and ask for the incompatible behavior again. Reward the dog in that position. You can use this same method for your dog greeting guests. Placing your dog on a leash while greeting guests can help with management and preventing them from reaching a guest to jump on them.


How do I stop my dog from jumping up in the air without making contact with me?

• Try stepping back from your dog and staying silent when they jump up. This removes any potential rewards from contact or interaction with you. You may step back and turn your head away if even watching your dog is rewarding to them.

• Ask for an incompatible behavior as described above.

How do I stop my dog from jumping on children?

•  Many dogs find children particularly tempting to jump on for a number of reasons:

• Children often make high-pitched noises which excite dogs

• Children often have jerky motions enticing dogs to play

• Children’s faces are closer in height to the dog’s heads


Because a dog jumping on a child can inadvertently cause injury, it is essential that jumping is prevented. Keep your dog on a leash around new children for safety.

Teach your dog to sit politely on leash when around children. Teaching your dog good impulse control around moving children will make for a good canine citizen. You may need to seek professional help to teach this difficult skill.

Ask children approaching your dog to do so quietly and with a still body. The less arousing the child is, the easier it will be to keep your dog calm. Have your dog sit politely for petting. Ask the child to pet your dog’s chest and chin, never reaching over your dog’s head.

If your dog jumps on a child, ask the child to turn away and stand very still. Go and get your dog and put them on a leash.


If you have children in your home, teach them to turn away and be still with their own pets. The calmer your children behave, the calmer your dog will behave. Place your excited dog safely behind a barrier while your children play exciting, animated games.

Other methods you can try for Dogs Jumping up

Time Out:

Removing your dog from an exciting situation can help defuse excited jumping. Take your dog gently by the collar or lure them with a food treat. Place them in their kennel or another room. Allow 5-10 minutes for the dog to calm down before allowing them back out. Like young children, sometimes dogs become overly excited and cannot control themselves. A time out is a good method to counteract the high arousal level of the dog.


Combining a loud yelp with turning away can help deter a dog from jumping up on you. If your dog jumps and mouths, yelping can be particularly helpful in showing them the mouthing hurts.

No Jump Harnesses:

A variety of harnesses can be used as a training aid to decrease jumping. These are most useful for dogs that jump on guests or other people on walks. Using a no jump harness requires you to have time to place the harness and leash on before your dog is put into a situation in which they may jump. You can use a harness that has a hook in the front (used to reduce pulling on leash). With this harness you can stand on the leash, preventing enough slack for the dog’s front legs to get off the ground. There is also a no jump harness that wraps around the dog’s back legs. If the dog goes to jump up, it is prevented. You can use a head halter similarly as long as your dog does not struggle against it.

Physical punishment for Jumping up on People?

Kneeing the dog in the chest:

This method requires the person to knee the dog in the chest every time the dog jumps. While this works for some dogs, it is not generally recommended because some dogs can become afraid of approaching people. Small dogs can be easily injured by this method.

Stepping on the dog’s toes:

This method requires the person to step on the toes of the dog’s back foot. This method requires the person to have a great deal of agility to consistently administer the correction. The person must do it every time the dog jumps for it to have an effect. This method can be extremely hard to do properly, every time. Similarly to the kneeing method, it can make dogs afraid of approaching people. It is also easy to injure a dog’s toes. Since many dogs are already sensitive about having their feet handled, this dislike can be worsened by using this method.

Conclusion: Evaluate why your dog is jumping and select the safest possible method to end the behavior. Be aware of the potential negative outcomes of using a forceful punishment. Remember that your consistency with the method you select is the most important part of ending jumping behavior.


Author Jackie Nelson



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