Teaching Your Dog Not to Jump Up on People


apl-smDogs greet one another face to face, and they try to do the same with humans.  The problem is that our faces are up high, so our dogs jump to try to reach them.  Most visitors do not appreciate being jumped on by an excited dog.  So, the goal is to teach your dog that you will greet her only when she has four paws on the ground.  The way to do this is to keep your attention off your dog and your hands away until your dog has four feet on the floor.  Then, give her attention the instant that her front paws touch the ground.

The principle of teaching your dog not to jump is simple: ignore your dog when she jumps on you, and give her attention when she has all four paws on the ground.  You don’t need to say anything or push your dog away.  In fact, talking to or pushing your dog will cause her to jump more because she will think you are playing a fun game.  If your dog knows how to sit or lie down, you can ask her to perform one of these behaviors when greeting people.  For very excited dogs, it is sometimes easier to ask them to grab a toy in their mouths before saying hello.  You can also turn your back to your dog as she jumps on you to emphasize that you will not give attention to a jumping dog.  It is very important that you are consistent when teaching your dog not to jump.  If you sometimes allow her to greet you by jumping, but become annoyed if she jumps on you while you are wearing your work clothes, you will only confuse your dog and she will not learn not to jump up on people.

The key to helping your dog remain calm when greeting people is to remain calm yourself.  The more excited you are, the more excited your dog will become.  So, keep greetings low key.  Do not shout at your dog when she jumps, or she will get more aroused.  Also, do not grab or push your dog away, because this will seem like a great game to your dog.  Finally, do not knee your dog in the chest, step on her toes, or grab or pinch her front toes.  Doing any of these things will not teach your dog to stop jumping, and they may cause her to become fearful of people.