4 Tips to Stop a Dog From Jumping

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stop dog's jumping - Copy

Dogs love to greet their dog friends by jumping on one another. It’s a way for them to show affection. However, this is not exactly a polite way for dogs to greet people.

If you have a dog with a jumping habit, the following tips should help teach your dog a more appropriate way to greet his human friends.

Tips to stop a dog’s jumping

1. Don’t engage with a dog who’s jumping.

It’s best not to respond to a dog who’s jumping up on you, said dog trainer Dave Fitzpatrick, owner of Celtic-K9. He said the three most important forms of communication and rewards for a dog are visual, physical and verbal.

By not giving your dog any of these forms of communication and rewards until he stops jumping, you’re letting him know his behavior is unacceptable, Fitzpatrick said.

“Once he stops jumping, you then can reward the dog with one of the above.”

However, he warned that giving the dog too much attention soon after he stops jumping can trigger the dog to jump again.

2. Teach the dog a new skill.

Rather than correct a dog for jumping, dog trainer Amy Robinson of Amy Robinson Dog Training likes to teach the dog a new behavior.

“I teach ‘back up!’ so I can apply that command at the right moment, and only then reach down to pet the dog,” she said.

To teach the dog to back up, Robinson said she drapes the leash down in front of the dog and places a foot on the leash with plenty of slack. She stands up straight and cheerfully and says “back up” while stepping towards the dog and sliding her foot and the leash forward at the same time.

She also puts one hand out like a stop sign as she moves into the dog’s space, as the dog moves back.

“Works every time because if he jumps in the process, the leash inhibits his quest to be airborne,” she said. “Then I like to follow up with ‘watch’ or ‘sit’ before petting him.”

She said once he knows “back up,” you can apply it in situations when he might jump, before it even happens.

Then, of course you’d use treats or praise to reward your dog for appropriate behavior.

3. Don’t lean over or push on a dog who’s jumping.

Often, people will lean over and try to stop the dog from jumping by pushing on him, Robinson said.

“This touch feels like approval to the dog, and he leans in against the pressure.”

4. Stand ‘like a tree.’

If your dog insists on jumping regardless of what you have tried, Fitzpatrick said you should stand like a tree.

He said to “cross your arms, look to the sky and freeze.”

When the dog has stopped jumping, he said to try taking a step. If the dog starts jumping again, you should stop and stand like a tree again.

“The dog will come to realize that if he wants to communicate with you, he must not jump,” Fitzpatrick said.

Do any of you have dogs that jumped? What has worked to stop the behavior?

Want more training tips? Check out these blogs.

How To Stop a Dog From Counter Surfing

Tips To Stop Your Dog From Marking In The House

About Lindsay Stordahl

Lindsay Stordahl is a blogger for dogIDs.com. She has a black Lab mix named Ace and two naughty cats named Beamer and Scout. Lindsay owns a pet sitting business called Run That Mutt and also maintains the blog ThatMutt.com. ... Add Lindsay to your Google+ circles at . You can follow Lindsay on Twitter @ThatMutt.

  1. i use the tree method but lately my 7 month hold is jumpng and digging in claws. This has ruined two sweaters so i am pushing him before he touches me. Hope it will work because i am sick of being mauled.

    • For dogs over 35 pounds I am concerned they may push a frail person to lose balance.
      Have easily trained 3 joyous to meet new people dogs by stopping the jump when greeting me. I simply and without force lift my knee toward Fido while saying a stern but not angry NO. It does not
      have the force to hurt them — simply sets up an unpleasant reaction to the jump. As your dog
      steps down, say “good dog” and move on. No petting, no reward, less fuss the better. Three times should stop this forever.
      Some dog lovers carry treats for dogs and don’t have a clue that doing so can create a problem. The dog may lurch unexpectedly at the sight of the treater may cause leash holder to lose control or balance. The treater usually will reward your dog for expressing joy by jumping. Young people are most likely to do this. Break the reinforcement by explaining to the treater that you want to be safe and make certain your dog doesn’t jump on people.
      Ask them to stop offering treats to your dog. They may feel offended. Not to worry. You set the rules.

      • My friends’ 70 pound puppy will not stop. She had scratched my arms and legs open, and no amount of ignoring, kneeing, or telling her to sit even slows down the behavior. We’ve tried having her on a leash so I only approach when she’s sitting, but that only works briefly. Sometimes I step on the leash so she can’t jump, but that only works while I’m stepping on the leash. When I can, I go outside with her and throw a ball, which sometimes helps keep her off me. Any more ideas?

        • So frustrating! I’m thinking more exercise in general might help burn off some energy and also taking some obedience classes to work on a foundation of sit/down/stay, etc. I know that’s not an easy answer but I think that will help. That, and time and patience. I’m not sure how old she is but she should mature eventually! I’m dealing with the jumping too with my weim so I completely understand.

  2. Hope this works for me I have an 11 month old German Sheperd who jumps and has me all scratched up in the arms.she sits when I tell her too.butcant seem to get her to stop jumping on me.

  3. My ex was a police dog handler and we had a fabulous German Shepherd who was a loving well-behaved pooch. The trick when he was a puppy & jumped up…to very gently apply pressure with your feet onto his back paws and I do mean gently this soon stopped him in his tracks…..hope this helps?

    • What about a shiz zue who barks and bites at your feet. Mine does that when we come in a door or when we walk up the hall and he also jump up at people when they come in the door.

  4. We have adopted a chocolate labrador who would have been pts. She is almost 3yrs and also jump on everyone. We have tried all of the above but as soon as we stand still she would begin to nibble our bud or anywhere she can find a spot. She was being trained for the association for the blind bit did not pass.. so we dont know if the nibble part is how she was trained or why she does that. Please help with some more advise!!

    • Sorry to hear that. I don’t know why she is doing that behavior. Sounds like it is to get your attention. What do you think? Have you found any highly valued treats she will work for? That way you could get her to sit calmly (with her leash on) when people come through the door and give her treats for calm behavior. Keeping the leash on for now while you’re working on training would be key.

    • Try some training, it can work wonders. By training I mean teach the dog the difference between, sit, stay, no and still. They a good start. Reinforce with positive rewards and eventually the dog will click!

  5. The “Lucky Dog” trainer uses a plastic water bottle with a few pennies inside to shake to get the dog’s attention. I tried it and it worked on my German Shepherd.

  6. Aw, I don’t know how I could resist the cute hugger in the featured pic. That said, Cow was an awful jumper as a puppy. I taught her to sit, then ignored her jumps and asked her to sit as she settled. The moment her butt went down, I gave her the love and hugs she wanted. Now, she sits every time because she knows that’s the fastest way to get her hugs. When I want her to jump on me, I say, “hug!” and encourage her to jump. So, she knows to wait for an invitation.

    I’ve heard of dogs getting their paws stepped on or being disciplined with cans full of pennies for their happy greetings, and while it stopped the jumping, they also started to fear-pee every time their owners came home.

    • That’s what I’m trying to do with our puppy right now. As soon as he sits I give him attention and praise.

    • I like your compassion based training Shall try a version with my blind 15 month old Pyrenees/Siberian Sable as he likes to jump when excited greeting new or not daily visited people We have tried the treat & sit method with occasional success & worry he may knock someone down @ 74lbs Thanks Susan

  7. I have 4 dog greeters and the chief jumper is the one I put a leash on before opening the door to guests. I make her sit, and the other 3 follow suit. When I go out and come home, I have 3 sitting and 1 jumper who is the one and same leashed dog. I ignore her till my hands are freed, after petting the behaved ones. The jumper gets to see my back, which is a blanton rejection. I have put my knee up to stop her from knocking me over a time or 2. Which seems to work. But she is the pack leader when I’m away, so reminding her who’s the boss is always a challenge.

  8. My dog doesn’t jump on me or my family members, but she jumps on guests and strangers at the dog park. How do I train a behavior that only happens with annoyed strangers??

    • Oh how frustrating! That is a hard one. Jumping is one of the most difficult problems to stop as I’m learning with my new pup. He also obsessively jumps on new people. How old is your dog? How is your dog’s overall obedience? I think it all comes down to working on solid basics so you can get your dog under control, coming when called the first time, sitting next to you when told in order to take a break at the dog park, etc.

      I would practice in lots of controlled scenarios with “strangers” in non-dog park scenarios where you and the “stranger” have treats so you can reward your dog for sitting or standing vs. jumping. It’s a hard habit to break but comes down to lots of practice and patience and rewarding the right behavior. You could also try taking an obedience class that focuses on Canine Good Citizen training. One of the skills the dogs learn is to politely greet friendly strangers (not jumping). Good luck!

  9. what I do with my dogs when they jump is to completely turn around a full 180 degrees and I do not speak to them, look at them or touch them. When they are calm, I turn back around to face them again. I repeat this process for as many times as it takes for them to learn that when they DO jump, they get NO attention or praise. I also instruct guests in my home to do the same so that there is at least an effort of consistency.

    • Hi Andrea. Ignoring my puppy seems to be the only way to stop his jumping. One problem we have though is when we’re tying to sit at the couch or out on the patio. He tires to jump on or paw at guests. Any ideas on how to stop this?

    • After trying for 3 mo after moving my 84 yr old mom in with us I tried that only she continued to jump on my back. I swiped my arm around to knock her off and she moved but the brick on my porch didn’t. Ended up with a broken hand!!! She was sent to doggie boot camp and the trainer called me after the first week saying how big of a handful she was and instead of keeping her 10 days it took 3 wks

  10. Yeah my dog when I come home she runs out the door and tries to jump and get attention so I just put up my knee then she stops jumping then I give her attention so hopefully she will learn me and my family won’t tallerate the jumping

  11. Note that women more than men tend to be afraid of reasonably disciplining their dogs. Dogs are very smart about this since they are pack animals. Remember you must be the alpha of your pack. Dogs will challenge your authority. Never give in and allow a dog to win and to sense your fear. They want a firm leader to set boundaries which are consistent, as does a child. No waffling. If you are afraid your dog will hurt you if you correct them, you have the wrong dog.

  12. Hello, I’m not sure if this is the correct forum for this question but here it is, I have a 5 month old cockapoo and she jumps up on my 3 year old grandson, (who lives with me) The standing like a tree doesn’t work with him because the pup is as tall as he is and when she jumps she scratches or play bites at his face! What can I have him do to make her to get down without giving her “affirmation”? Thank you so much! The puppy trimming is not for the impatient!

    • Oh gosh, that can be so challenging since they are both so immature at those ages! I’m sure your grandson loves to run around and that only makes the puppy want to run and jump even more! Might be best to have her on a leash when she’s in her “wild” moments so you can give her a firm “no” when she jumps but also have the ability to stop her. How does she do with basic training like being able to sit on command or lie down and stay (also challenging at that age, I know). Working on all of these things, plus providing her with plenty of exercise so she’s less “bouncy” should help in the long run.

  13. I have an interesting situation. I have tried many of the techniques outlined above, and none have worked with my 10 month Olde English Bulldogge/ French Bulldog. When i try to ignore him, he will start biting at my shoes and pants, ripping the seams and untying my shoes. I have tried kenneling him until he behaves then letting him out, and he goes back to that behavior, which lands him back in “doggy jail.” If the jumping wasn’t bad enough, he also bites at your hands and arms if you’re trying to get him off. I have had nothing but trouble with him :/ any suggestions? I don’t really have the spare money to take him to a trainer 🙁

    • Hi Kaylee,
      Have you read our additional posts about dogs behaving? We’ve had a few troublemakers in our office so please let us know if you need more advice besides what you can find in our blog.

    • Use the spray bottle with water. Have two or three setting around, so it’s easy to get to one. They learn pretty quick to back off as soon as you pick the spray bottle up. We have a dog that used to love play biting our’s and our guess’s hands. After we used the spray bottle he would stop as soon as we picked it up. You just need several bottles setting around so it’s easy to grab one.

  14. I have a shep/lab mix that starts jumping, and will keep jumping , until she sees me stand straight and clench my fists up to my chest. She sees that, and sits, and waits to be petted…. Shes still a pup, so I am sure she will get better…..

  15. It’s almost impossible to expect someone who you’ve welcomed into your house to stand like a tree while the dog jumps on them I guarantee it will be the last time they come to your home.

    • What I do is leash my dog (so he can’t jump) and ask my guests to ignore him. I explain what I mean by that ahead of time. I ask them to please pretend he is not there, don’t look at him, talk to him or pet him. It’s very hard for people to do so I have to explain exactly what I mean.

  16. I rescued an adult dog from the SPCA. She came with the bad habit of jumping on people as a greeting when they came in. I fixed this by gently grabbing her front paws and make her dance with me whenever she jumped up. I asked everyone who came to the house to do the same. She hated dancing so she quickly changed her habit. It only took about a week for her to learn to come to the person for a scratch but no jumping.

    • Hi Lee, that sounds like it would work well for some dogs. With my guy, it just makes him more excited and he bites at my hands and then wants to jump even more! But I can see how this could work well for some dogs. It is worth trying.

  17. When you get a new pet, make sure you supervise it closely during training, and restrict its access to a small area of your home until properly trained. This is just for a while then.

  18. You can also hold their paws until they try to pull them away and when they do you slowly put their paws on the ground. Works very well.

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