You know how embarrassing and annoying a dog jumping up on your visitors can be? You’ve told her off a hundred times or more, but still she jumps up on everyone who comes around. You’ve tried everything to stop her doing it. Nothing has worked. Can anything stop her unwanted behavior?
Yes! Dog jumping can definitely be stopped:
All dogs can be trained to act in a certain desirable way in any situation. Your dog jumping up on people is a natural reaction for her, but she can be trained to stop doing it. And it’s easy to do. You can do it with your dog!
This article will lay out the necessary steps you can take to train your dog to stop jumping up on everyone she meets. You will learn that chastising her every time it happens is not the way to train her. This article will show you the most effective way to change her irritating habit. And she will be perfectly happy to change her ways too.
Why do dogs jump up on people?
Dogs love attention. When you have a dog jumping up on you, or on a guest, the dog gets attention. The attention may be you sharply telling the dog not to jump up, but it’s still attention. That’s all the dog cares about.
Generally speaking, a dog jumping up on people is her way of showing affection. She is being friendly. If you have nice clean clothes on, and she has muddy paws, you will probably not see the action as a friendly one. But she will still get that all-important attention.
She has no reason to stop doing what works, for her at least:
It often starts when she is a puppy. Puppies especially love attention. They quickly learn which actions get them the most attention, and a little dog jumping up and yelping is kinda cute, after all.
Before long the puppy knows that jumping up is the best way to become the center of attention. Exactly what she likes most. By the time she is no longer a puppy, her actions are a nuisance. But no one knows how to stop her doing it.
Here’s how – 7 proven steps to stop your dog jumping on guests:
1 – Let your dog know YOU are the leader of the pack
If your dog is unsure of exactly who is the pack leader in your household, she will likely try to fill the role. The results will be a disaster for everyone involved, including your dog.
This is one of the reasons why your dog is jumping up on you, and jumping up on your guests too. She is telling everyone that she is the top dog and asserting her authority.
She may not want to be the pack leader, but she needs a leader, and if you are not filling that role, she will try to. You therefore need to become the undisputed pack leader in your household.
Ideally, all the rest of your family should be under you, in your dog’s eyes at least, with her at the bottom of the pack. She will be perfectly happy with this situation if it is obvious to her.
You should be assertive when dealing with your dog. Stay calm, but project an assertiveness towards your dog that says, ‘I’m the boss!’ Remember, she doesn’t really want to be the pack leader. She’ll be very happy to have you fill the role.
2 – Stop rewarding your dog jumping up on people
Yes, you may be telling her to get down, but she most likely thinks you are cool with what she’s doing. When guests arrive and you and several other family member get on to the dog for jumping up, guess what? Your dog will love the circus atmosphere you and your family have created!
She will see it as a kind of reward for what she does. Yes, you may well talk sharply to her, ordering her to ‘get down,’ but it will still come across as fun for her. Chastising her will only confuse her, and won’t stop her doing it.
Maybe you have a dog jumping up all over you when you get home from work. If you then make a fuss over her, for after all, you haven’t seen her all day, she will think she is being praised and rewarded for jumping up!
When she jumps up, take a step forward and say, ‘off’ in an authoritative and firm tone of voice. If that doesn’t work well for you, try simply turning your back on your dog saying nothing. She should then learn that jumping up gets no reward.
When you have a behavioral problem with a dog, encouraging a more desirable behavior, while suppressing the unwanted behavior works. It is the most effective way to deal with the situation.
3 – Praise her when she gets it right
As soon as your dog has all four paws on the floor, after you say ‘off,’ praise her. She has to know that she is doing the right thing. Remember, she loves good attention, and if her as a dog standing gets her the same attention as a dog jumping used to do, she will quickly change her habits.
The reward or praise you give your dog must be immediate. Your dog will associate your actions with the last thing she did. If she does what you want her to do, and then your ‘phone rings and you answer it, don’t praise her afterward. She will have no idea why she is being praised.
This is why a dog who raids the kitchen trash bin when you are out should never be chastised when you get home. She may have turned over the bin hours earlier, and if you shout at her hours after the event, she will only get confused. Praise your dog IMMEDIATELY after she correctly does what you tell her to do.
4 – Train your dog to ‘sit’ for everything she enjoys in life
When your dog associates everything good in life with sitting, she will no longer jump up on people. This training works best if started when she is a puppy. However, old dogs can learn new tricks. It may take longer, but it can be done.
This training works best with just one person and the dog. That way there are no distractions or confusing commands. With more than one person present the dog will try to please everyone. She only needs to please her trainer, so one person training her only.
You should start by getting her attention. Do this by holding a small morsel of food in front of her nose while she is standing still. If she jumps up for the food, firmly tell her to stay down until she stops.
Move the piece of food in your hand over her head to the back of her head in a smooth, but not too fast action. This should cause her to naturally sit down in order to see the food better. As soon as she is sitting, give her the food and praise her.
Before long she will associate getting the treat with her sitting. You can phase out the part where you move the food in your hand towards the back of her head as soon as it is practical to do so.
The ‘sit’ command can’t be left hanging:
You should not tell your dog to sit and then leave her there. As soon as she sits, and when the reason why you want her to sit is over, tell her to ‘come’ to you and praise her for getting it right.
Doing the same things with your dog consistently is one of the keys to success. Use a flat, neutral tone of voice when telling her to ‘sit.’ When you praise her, use a higher-pitched tone of voice, but don’t sound too excited.
When you encounter a situation where your dog would jump up on people before the new training, just give her the firm command of, ‘sit’! Your guests will be impressed and grateful, and you and your dog will be happy.
5 – Be the leader of the pack 24/7
The key to making your dog do what you want her to do, when you want her to do it, is to be the leader of the pack ALL the time. You can’t lead occasionally. You have to be consistent. That doesn’t stop you having fun with your dog. It just tells your dog who is in charge.
In the wild, the pack leader never bargains with the other dogs. The pack leader is always the leader and commands respect all the time. When this is done properly, the pack leader always gets respect.
If you are unable to become the all-time pack leader, then you will probably not be able to have an obedient dog who respects you and always does what you say. But that is your choice.
Remember, dogs are conditioned to be led by the one they know is the leader of the pack. They want that to be the situation. It is important to a dog that she has a clear direction in everything. Then, and only then, will you truly get to enjoy being with your pet.
There are many dog training courses available online if you really want to take this a few steps further, and you should. Find one that works for you. Your dog will be so glad you did – and you won’t have a dog jumping anymore!