6 Easy Ways to Stop Your Puppy From Jumping on People
Puppy jumping can seem so cute when your puppy is small. Who doesn’t love feeling that there’s someone in this world who is super excited to see them?
Puppies are small, curious, and excited to learn about EVERYTHING! So they often jump up to get a better look at things that are out of reach. Puppies also thrive on attention and will jump up to make sure you know there’s something they feel you need to pay attention to… particularly if that something is them!
Whether it’s for food, a dog treat, toys, affection, or just to get picked up so they can have a better view of the world, puppies learn quickly that jumping can be very rewarding.
Heck if you're dishing out treats, attention, and acts of affection, I might start to ask for a little myself. Who doesn’t love to be loved?
But you may not realize that attention is a form of reward in dog training. So each time your puppy jumps up and gets your attention, you’re actually rewarding unwanted behavior or telling your puppy that you like it when they jump on you. After all, you pet them and give them praises when they do so.
What happens when the love becomes a little (or a lot) more annoying though? You come home only to be greeted by wet kisses and paws on your pant legs. You lean down to pet your super excited pup who thinks it’s been an eternity since you’ve been home. No problem there, right? Well…..
The problem is that when they get to be an adult… larger, bigger, stronger…it feels as if you’re going to get knocked over when they jump on you. This is a bad thing and is considered bad manners. Your adult dog is now demanding attention since they learned early on that jumping is what works to get them that attention.
Maybe you don’t mind your dog jumping on you, but not everybody else is going to love it. Your neighbor might not like to be greeted with jumping while you’re out walking your pup. Your grandma might not like to be greeted with sharp nails and paws when she comes to visit you.
It’s better to stop your puppy from jumping when they are young so that they become well mannered as an adult.
Here are 6 pro tips to stop puppy from jumping on you and your guests:
1. Teach your puppy to keep all 4 paws on the ground in order to get some lovin’.
This means you’ll use the “sit” command, to get your dog to sit first, and only pet them after they are in the sit position. If they start to jump, take your attention away. Attention is given for good behavior only!
2. Avoid eye contact, verbal communication, and petting if your puppy is jumping.
Instead, cross your arms, ask your pup to sit and avoid eye contact until your puppy sits. Once your puppy is sitting, you can then give a positive reinforcement like praise or a pet.
3. Don’t drop your body posture when you approach your pup.
Dropping your posture is an invitation to come closer and jump.
4. Keep your puppy on a leash when meeting and greeting people or when guests arrive.
That way, you can step on the leash to prevent your puppy from being able to jump. This helps teach your dog that jumping on people is not ok.
5. Take back your personal space.
If your puppy is jumping on you, make sure you take a step toward them instead of stepping away from them. Don’t give up your personal space as this is an invite for your puppy to come closer and jump on you.
6. Teach the “off” cue.
You won’t use the phrase “get down” if your puppy is jumping. “Off” means put all 4 paws on the floor, and “down” (or any version of it) literally means go lay down.
More than likely your puppy has not learned what the word “off” means so you cannot ask them to perform the command just yet. If you say “off” to a puppy that doesn’t know what you’re saying, you’re actually teaching them that jumping = off.
Then, every time your puppy hears “off” they will think you want them to jump…Yikes, that’s not right!
Puppies learn new words by association. This means that in the beginning, you can only say the right word with the right action.
Instead, make sure that puppy’s 4 paws are on the floor first and then say “off.” Soon the puppy will learn the word association – that “off” means 4 paws on the floor – and then it can become a command to be used later down the road.
Stop Your Puppy From Jumping
If your puppy is jumping, remember, they will soon be a bigger dog that can easily trip you or accidentally knock you or other family members over. Teach your puppy from the start that jumping is a no-no. Reward only for the behavior you want otherwise you’re sending a conflicting or confusing message to your pup.
You might enjoy these other training tips.
Does your puppy jump on your or guests? In the comments below tell me when your puppy jumps the most.
About the trainer
After spending 20 years helping families with their dogs face to face as a professional dog trainer, Michele realized that so much of what she knows could be shared with families everywhere - in a way that actually works. People sometimes think their dog is just SUPER difficult because the advice they’ve gotten was incomplete, confusing or just wrong. So she set out to help. Michele loves training dogs because of the impact that it has on the families she gets to help. The peace and joy they get from being able to enjoy their dog LISTENING. Besides teaching classes, helping private clients and running seminars, Michele is also a foodie and fantasizes about being a food critic or secret shopper for restaurants. Talk to her about food and your instant best friends.