No Jumping

Dogs jump for many reasons. Don’t we like to see people’s faces when we say hello? Jumping while greeting is a great way for a dog to get your attention. Some dogs will jump from sheer excitement. Ever feel so excited that you just want to leap around? Excitement produces physical energy and this energy has to go somewhere. On the other side of the coin – some dogs will jump because they feel uneasy when someone comes into the house. Jumping becomes a controlling/coping mechanism that allows the dog to deal with the new intrusion.

There are a number of ways you can control your dog’s jumping.

  • If your dog is jumping from pure excitement then it is wise to manage your environment by not allowing the dog to greet people when they first come through the door. Keep your dog behind a baby gate and don’t allow him to greet until he is calm.
  • Be consistent. Don’t allow the dog to jump up on you when greeting and expect him not to jump up on guests when they come into the house. Mixed messages are confusing and unfair.
  • An effective way to stop some dogs from jumping up is to ignore them while they are jumping. Each time the dog jumps up at you – turn your back. Don’t look, talk or touch the dog at any time it is trying to jump. Fold your arms in front and be boring. When he stops jumping wait for four seconds of four paws on the floor then reward this with your attention in a calm manner. If your dog jumps again, repeat. Sometimes the dog jumps harder and higher to get your attention. This is known as an extinction burst. What has worked before is no longer getting attention so the dog tries harder. Be persistent because eventually he will give up! Remember ignore the crazy and reward the calm.
  • One of the best ways you can teach a dog or dogs not to jump, especially when people come through the front door, is to teach them to do something else instead of the jumping behavior. The energy has to go somewhere, so if it can be redirected into another behavior such as teaching the dogs to go to a mat or area and stay there until guests have entered and everyone has calmed down, then allow them to greet in a calm manner, this still allows the dogs to expend energy, but in a controlled way.
  • If your dog is unconfident around guests and jumps to be controlling, do not allow your dog to greet your guests. Put him in a place where he can be calm and confident. When guests are seated allow your dog to come in and say hello. If your dog is aggressive in any way to strangers it is your primary responsibility to keep your guests safe. If this means your dog is away while guests are in your home, so be it. You will have a happier dog and happier guests.
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14 thoughts on “No Jumping

  1. Diane Powers

    I have a 3 yr old Havanese who is sometimes aggressive towards men, not all men, especially when they come into the house. I have had 2 behaviorists come to the house to assist me with this issue but, after all the suggestions given, the only solution that has worked for me is picking up and holding my dog in my arms where he stays interested but calm until I feel he is ready to be put down and remain calm. Of course, he is small enough to do this and couldn't be done with a large dog. However, I womder if having your dog/s on a leash beside you until the guest has settled in or in their designateed place as Gloria has suggested. My dog always does calm down and after checking out a "boring" guest be be becomes comfortable and rather pesty with his affection!! I also have a Golden Retriever rescue whom I adopted when he was 4 yrs old and he has now learned to sit when guests arrive but this took months of training....sometimes I send him to his place close to the entrance and tell him to stay until I release him if there is more than one guest entering.

  2. Cristal Spidell

    My two shelties (who are 1.5 & 5 years old) go crazy when anyone comes into the house by jumping and barking and I have tried all the tricks but they still do the same.

    When I leave the house there is a war between the two and they bark and growl at each other. When I return home whether its 10 minutes or 4 hours, they go crazy again barking and growling at each other, and sometimes the little one will pee a little and cower and roll on her back....I have started ignoring her when I return and she runs outside by herself and then comes back in and she is much better. She taught herself this so will they eventually figure out that my leaving and returning shouldn't be such a big deal??

  3. Gracie

    every u said to do i did it. It did not work for my dog Shea, she is almost 2yrs now. Got her when she was 11 wks old what else can i do. please help

  4. Emma

    In reply to Gracie's comment.
    I do not know what the detailed problem is with Shea, but i'm guessing it's just very excited behaviour when people come to visit.

    What have you already tried??? it sounds as though you have tried lots of things so my advice would be to stick with ONE technique such as the 'getting Shea to sit on a mat/a specific place when people enter your house.

    You need to be CONSISTENT and calm when training your dog to do this, if you get agrivated with Shea, then he picks up on your fed up body language and he will react to that realising that you are not in control.

    First, you need to teach him to sit if you have not already done so.
    Secondly, find a mat/a specific place that you want your dog to sit on whilst people are entering your house. Point to the mat, and tell him "mat"/or anything else suitable. then get him to sit. When he goes to the mat and sits, give him plenty of praise. A special treat that he never usually gets like a little piece of cheese.
    Then practice the 'stay' command. Start of with a small stimulus of just a couple of seconds not moving back. Once he's got it, start lengthening the time of the stay command and move back still telling him to stay and giving lots of eye contact. A hand signal is also good for this. When he understands the stay command you make it harder by Telling him to sit and stay on the mat and open the door. He will probably get up, but all you need to do is quickly close the door and tell him to go back to the mat. Keep repeating this with nobody at the door until he is comfortable and give lots of praise once he has completed the task. A release command is helpful for this like "ok". You can give this command once the people are in and sat down.
    Finally, get one person to knock on the door and practise the exercise. remember to stay calm always, even if your dog takes a while to get it. Once he is happy with this, increase the numberof people visiting but only when he is completely confident with one person at the door.

    Good Luck

  5. amanda

    It is best for us to have her outside when someone comes in. The door is the trigger. If you are already in the house she has no real interest other than to see who you are. But if you go outside and have to return she is not having it.

  6. Niki Tudge

    Teach an incompatible behavior like sit. The dog cannot jump if it is sitting.
    Determine what the dog is trying to access, if it is attention then make the controlled sit work to gain the attention. That way you make the problem behavior ineffective and inefficient.

    When you first start don't teach the sit in the problem area, it will be too much. Teach your dog a solid sit in another area and then gradually strengthen the behavior. When you have a solid sit/stay with distractions then practice and proof the behavior in the area where it was a problem

  7. daniela

    What if even if i ignor my 1.5 year old labrador she keeps jumping at everyone? You cant even go to the backyard because she will jump at you and put her dirty paws in your clean clothes 🙁

  8. DoninRichmond

    I went to Home Depot in March. Entered the nursery. Left the sun roof open for Rolex The Watch Dog to get air. Was in the nursery department 15 minutes when Rolex came in and tracked me down. Two different people watched her jump out the sun roof and head to the nursery.

    I found a "seat belt" for dogs. It attaches to the cars seat belt then snapsonto her collar. She can no longer jump out.

    Some watch dog. If you broke into my house she would help you carry stuff out or hold the flashlight. However, don't come too close to the Volvo. That she protects and doesn't want anyone near the car.

  9. Kelli

    i have a 17 month old Old English Sheepdog. She is high energy, very friendly and out going. But she has the jumping problem, we have tried and tried to correct this. Not so much on us, her family, but on people she meets, be it in our home, or out and about. I'm out of ideas.

  10. Emma

    For dogs that jump, use the removal technique. Put your dog on a lead and just casually walk into a room with your dog until he/she jumps up on someone.
    As soon as the dog jumps, use a sharp correcting word like "ah!" and immediately remove the dog from the situation, either from one room to another, or the garden to inside until the dog has completely calmed down and then take the dog into the situation where he/she jumped.
    If the dog jumps again, do the same. remove them, then whilst calmed down (if the jump was initiated by excitement), then bring them back in.
    This does work with persistence, and don't give up.
    the dog realises that if he/she jumps up, it gets no attention (which is what they are seeking) and gets the total opposite, boredom.

  11. Maria

    I have trouble with my 3yr old German Shepherd. She is a big girl which is intimidating to visitors and she jumps up people. She also continually barks at everyone. If we have visitors I have to lock her out in my extension and she sits up on my chest freezer looking back into the living room but still constantly barking. She won't stop until the visitors leave. I have tried to bring her back into the room to meet the visitors but she still won't stop barking and jumping or leave us alone so always ends up locked out again. Now I just leave her out there till the visitors have gone which is a shame.

  12. Pingback: Victoria’s Tips for Keeping Your Dog Stress-Free Over the Holidays | Victoria Stilwell Positively

  13. Michelle Kelly

    This may be a stupid question, but how do you know if it is from excitement or being controlling?

  14. Elaine Jaworowski

    This works very well; - but I find it needs to be done consistently by everyone. My dogs do not like to be ignored so they very quickly learned attention means behaving

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