Photo by J. Nichole Smith | www.mylittleandlarge.com

Most dogs jump on people because they are excited and it is an effective means of getting attention, but some dogs jump because they feel uneasy when someone new comes through the door, and jumping is an effective way to cope with that discomfort.

Regardless, it is an unacceptable behavior for any dog, and, luckily, one that can be prevented and managed using positive training techniques.

How Do I Stop My Dog From Jumping Up?
The best way to stop your dog from jumping is to ignore her while she is in the act of jumping.

  • Each time she jumps up at you, turn your back.
  • Do not look at, talk to, or touch her at any time and fold your arms in front of you so that you become boring.
  • When she stops jumping, wait for three seconds of four paws on the floor and reward the self-control with your attention.
  • If she jumps again, repeat the exercise.
  • Practice this with friends and family members for consistency.

Problem:  When I try ignoring my dog’s jumping, it gets worse!

Solution:  This is known as an 'extinction burst.' The behavior that previously got your attention is no longer working for the dog, so she will try even harder to get what she desires for awhile before finally giving up. Persevere with the technique and take solace in the knowledge that it is working, because she will eventually give up.

Problem:  My dog only jumps on guests and I am having a hard time stopping the behavior when they come over.

Solution:  Manage your environment by putting your dog in another room or keeping her behind a baby gate until she is calm. Then walk her up to your guests on leash and teach her to sit in front of them instead of jumping on them.  When she is good at greeting appropriately on leash try the same technique off leash.

Related Reading:

tweet it post it Share It Plus It Print It

14 thoughts on “Jumping

  1. Sarah

    Hi Victoria!
    Great post. We've had some jumping issues lately with our 7 month old pup (who also weighs about 70 lbs, so it's no joke to get jumped on by her). Mostly the behavior occurs when we're outside greeting people--she knows better than to jump when people come in the door, and distinguishes between those who will tolerate being jumped on and those who won't. However, when we're out and about and people want to greet her she will pull towards them and then when she's asked for the sit will hold it until the very last second and EXPLODE with love (even when I have really, really high value treats.... people > bacon)! What's worse, is that most people love it, and even will try to encourage it when I ask them not to greet her if she isn't sitting. My usual solution would be to practice with people who we know will follow the exercise of giving her attention only when she's being calm, but she so quickly learns who will tolerate it and who won't that it's almost impossible to recreate the situation of meeting a stranger!
    I would really appreciate any thoughts that you have.

  2. Helena Russel

    What can I do about jumping up onto things like benches or jumping up at the fence? Advice will be hugely appreciated!

  3. robynglen

    I have been practicing this with my foster pitty. But, she is now jumping with an open mouth and has bit my belly and hips several times. It is not a constant behaviour. We have not been able to figure out why it starts. She has other dogs to play with, has a yard, toys, walks. I could be when she is too excited, but sometimes it's out of the blue. Weeks could go by without her jumping, then it goes on for a full day. We use a squirt bottle, which does work, but hasn't gotten rid of the behaviour.

  4. A Better Dog

    While the tips noted in this article (ignore the inappropriate
    behaviour, then follow up by rewarding the subsequent appropriate
    behaviour) are solid, sometimes it's easier said than done with some

    If it's not a "constant behaviour" try figuring out what types of situations/environments are in common when the jumping does occur. That way you can better predict when jumping may occur, and then be prepared in advance to employ an alternative strategy that still fulfills her motivation for getting your attention.

    Other strategies include not giving your dog the opportunity to jump up (ie: don't wait for the dog to get its paws on you before you react), training an appropriate alternative behaviour, redirection, creating a target for her to move towards, lowering yourself to your dog's level so she doesn't have to jump up to interact.

    Unfortunately alternative strategies are a bit difficult to discuss in necessary detail in this type of forum.

  5. Phyllis Fernandez-McCarthy

    This is all good advice but I can't always get my co. to comply. They tell me "oh, it's ok" and even tho I've told them not to reward my dog's behavior they don't listen - and the training opp is lost. I won't ask that we spend too much time on it.

  6. Karen

    HELP!! My puppy is 7 months old and 90 pounds and jumps to say hello and when he's excited and wants to play. When I give him my back to discourage, he jumps up on my back. He does this with me and anyone who also turns their back to him. He's so strong he can now knock me over. I'm at a loss, he's stubborn and not learning. I have consistently been doing this for 4 months and it's not working. What else can I do to stop the jumping?!

  7. Denise

    We recently rescued two amazing 3 year old pittie brothers. We were very fortunate in that these boys came to us incredibly well trained in just about every aspect but this one......
    We live in the suburbs of CT & have a fenced in one acre yard. On 3 sides the fence is a private cedar 6ft high. On the front side is a 4 ft cedar picket and chain-link combination - hence they can "see" who and what is coming and going on the street.
    We have watched as one of the dogs tries to jump over the front fence when he sees other dogs (not all - but most) walking by. The two of them become so excited they ignore any command completely and race at full speed back and forth across the fence. They bark & also growl at each other - it sounds horrid - and the people walking their dogs get concerned about "what if he makes it over"?
    He really gets up pretty high off the ground!
    From our experience with these guys, they are good with other dogs when they have been out of their yard. They travel well and don't bark at anyone or anything from the car.
    The BIG concern is if he gets caught on the top of the fence!!! He could get seriously hurt or worse.
    We work on "avoidance" by watching if we see someone starting up the street & bring them inside.
    We work on "Quiet" and "Off" and rewarding when they calm down, but there are times when they are just mentally "GONE".
    I am now keeping the leashes close by to use when they act up and will try to remove them from the situation.
    Some one told me about using an air horn when he jumps! But don't think that is fair to the others.
    We LOVE these dogs and would be horrified if something happened.
    I have to believe others have had this experience, but I have yet to find a post or video about how to stop the behavior.
    Advise appreciated.

  8. Brenda Williams

    I got my dog to stop jumping on guest, now she pees on their feet. now what.

  9. Jenny H

    Do NOT turn your back we our dog is jumping on you 🙁 I tried that and got a German Shepherd who thought it was lovely to run and jump onto my back when I was walking around the yard. 🙁

  10. Jenny H

    To stop unwanted jumping, teach our dog to jump on cue.
    With the German Shepherds, I teach them to stand up and hold my hands. Then I can bend and breathe into their faces -- which is what the want. (Doggy equivalent of asking "how are you?".)
    With smaller dogs I cue them to jump into my hands. Beats bending down to them 🙂
    If you really cannot do this, then bob down so the dog can greet you properly 🙂

  11. Jenny H

    For those with ongoing problems, teach your dog to shake hands, People LOVE to shake hands with dogs, so you'll virtually eliminate the "Oh, I don't mind," people.

  12. Positively

    I recommend a consultation with a qualified trainer to give you some tips on how to manage or change this behavior. It is impossible to give you good advice without seeing your pup's behavior, I'm afraid.

    For immediate help, I recommend that you visit our website and plug in your zip code or city to see if there is a VSPDT local to you. If there isn't, there is always the option of doing a phone consultation with one of them.

    Here is the link to search for a VSPDT:

    Here is the link to request a phone consultation:

    Either way, you should be able to get some very much-needed help.

    The Team at Positively

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Instagram Instagram Instagram Instagram

Episode 838 - Nicky Campbell

What do the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Long Lost Family have to do with dogs? BAFTA winning radio and TV presenter, Nicky...

Episode 837 – Beyond the Operant

Obedience training has long been the accepted path to teaching dogs’ manners, but the concept of obedience might be doing dogs a...

Episode 836 – Free Work and Adolescent Dogs

What is Free Work and how do dogs benefit? Dog behaviour expert Sarah Fisher joins Holly and Victoria to discuss how Free Work is...

find a vspdt trainer
Schedule a consultation via skype or phone