Jumping up on a human is a dog’s quickest and most efficient way to let you know they’re there. It’s hard to ignore a dog who’s jumping on you, especially when your arms are filled with groceries or you’ve had a long day and want to lie down. The act of jumping can be frustrating from a human’s point of view, but — for a dog — they don’t realize it’s wrong until you teach them.
Some people don’t mind when their dog jumps on them because they find it endearing and cute, but watching your dog jump on an unsuspecting victim is not so much fun. It can also become a hazard if your dog leaps up on older people and young children. The risk of knocking someone down is quite high, especially with larger-sized breeds.
If you’re looking to stop your dog’s jumping behavior, there are ways to go about training them to properly greet a person. Keep reading to learn more about the reasons a dog might jump on you and how to stop it.
Why Do Dogs Jump on You?
Dogs are much closer to the ground than they are their favorite humans. Many dogs want to get as close as possible to their human’s face, usually to give them some slobbery kisses.
After a long day at work, your pup has missed you greatly, and all they want to do is shower you with love. This is something that you will want to train out of them to avoid injuries in the future.
To Say “Hello”
The most obvious reason for your dog to be jumping on you is for a greeting. Imagine that every time they pop up, they are saying “Hello, Human!” excitedly. If you’ve said “Hello,” back and consequently pet them after each hop, you reinforce their behavior so that they think it’s okay. This means that they will continue to leap up on you or other people when they are trying to greet them, as they know they will get a response.
To Get Your Attention
A dog might jump onto you randomly during the day because they want your attention. This might be because they want to play, are getting hungry, or need to go to the bathroom.
If you haven’t trained this behavior out of them, it might not immediately alert you to one of their needs, and you might think that they are just being playful. This kind of jumping might be your dog trying to communicate that they need more attention, and though you should tend to their needs, you don’t want to continue reinforcing this behavior.
Four Ways To Get Your Dog To Stop Jumping
Training your dog not to jump can protect people from injury and help contain their excitement. The best way to stop the behavior from becoming normal is to train it out of them as puppies. Adult dogs can also be taught to stop the bad behavior, but it might take a bit more reinforcement.
1. Turn Away From Them
The first thing to do is to physically turn away from your bouncing pup. This shows them that you are not reinforcing their behavior and that you won’t give them the attention they desire until they behave appropriately.
Eventually, your dog will realize that when they jump, they don’t get what they want. Then, they’ll keep their paws on the ground instead.
Sometimes even pushing your dog off is considered attention and might reinforce the behavior without you realizing it. A turned back is an obvious sign of ignoring your dog, which they will soon pick up on.
2. Train Them To Sit
You can train your dog to sit whenever they greet someone by having treats handy. When you see your dog, start by turning your back to them if they jump and tell them the command, “Sit.”
Once they sit, you can turn back towards them and praise them with both pets and a treat. You must maintain this behavior on your end to teach them properly, so a pocketful of treats when you leave the house can preemptively save you from being pounced on.
3. Put Them on a Leash
If your dog is struggling with keeping all of their paws on the ground, consider leashing them before they go to greet someone. This way, you have the most control over their bodies and can help them to sit down and relax. When your dog doesn’t catapult up, reward them with a treat and have the person they are meeting reward them as well.
4. Try a “Place” Command
Your dog might have a lot of pent-up energy if they know they are about to see a new person or dog. Teaching them a “Place” command where they go and run somewhere to relax, usually a bed or specific area in the house, can divert their energy into performing a task.
It takes a lot of mental power to present the correct behavior and wait to greet someone, so not only does this curb the jumping, but it also burns up some energy and encourages impulse control.
Jump for Joy With AskVet
When questions come about in regard to your dog’s behavior and health, AskVet is there to provide you with answers. Reach out to one of our Certified Pet Coaches™ (CPC) and set up a virtual consultation to learn more about how we can benefit you and your dog. With 24/7 access to our experts, you can access support from veterinary experts and certified pet trainers at any moment during the day.