How To Stop Your Dog From Jumping Up On People
Does your dog love to jump up on you and/or other people?
If the answer is yes—don’t worry—you are definitely NOT alone.
And for those of you who are thinking: “Yes Fluffy just loves me so much and is so excited when I get home that she jumps up on me to give me a hug”...
..Did you know that jumping up on people is actually a behavioral issue that you should not encourage?
In fact, this behavior is one of the most common behavioral issues we see with the clients that we work with who want to have a well-behaved dog.
Owners often have a lot of trouble with getting dogs (of all ages) to stop jumping up on them and other people. Often, I get asked..
"Is there anything really wrong with this?"
Like I referenced earlier, some puppy owners tell me that they don’t mind that their puppy jumps up on them. If this is you, you need to think about this:
It may not seem like that big of a deal now and you may even think it is cute, but will you mind when your 80 pound dog is jumping on you? Chances are good that you will care when your dog knocks you down to the ground and causes you to have an injury.
Or, if your puppy will only grow to be a smaller adult dog, do you want your dog jumping up on every person who walks through your door or every person who greets your dog?
Also, chances are good that you will have your dog out in public at some point (unless you are a hermit that lives a reclusive life in the depths of the jungle).
There ARE people in this world that don’t like dogs (they are absolutely insane, I know), and definitely don’t want a dog jumping up on them.
Why does my dog like to jump on people?
Aside from excitement, dogs may also jump up on people to assert dominance as the pack leader.
Whenever you come home, your dog wants to make sure you know that he is the pack leader.
The same goes when guests come over—your dog wants them to know the home is his territory, and he is the dominant one.
Being dominant over you or any human is NOT a trait you want your dog to possess.
A dog who believes he is dominant over his owner is bound to have many, many issues and can also become aggressive with the owner very easily.
So what’s the solution?
The most important thing that you can do when trying to correct this behavior is to NEVER allow your dog to jump up on ANYONE, EVER.
Often times we see people allow their dog to jump up on them sometimes, and then other times scold them for it.
Maybe one day you get home from work and are so excited to see your dog that you don’t mind him jumping up and “hugging you,” but the next day you are not in the mood for his jumping and scold him for it.
This does absolutely nothing but confuse your pup.
You MUST be consistent with what you deem as an appropriate behavior, and what is not appropriate, and strictly enforce it with your dog.
The other common issue is owners telling us that they don’t care if their pup jumps up on them, but they don’t want their dog jumping on other people.
This is too confusing for dogs to understand!
They don’t comprehend that they are able to jump on one person, but not others. What dogs do comprehend is that they are not allowed to do something or that they are not allowed to do something altogether.
"So what should I do when my puppy jumps up on me?"
If your puppy attempts to jump up on you:
- Tell him/her “OFF”.
- Turn your body so that your back is facing your puppy.When you move your body this way, your pup will automatically put his paws back down to the floor (where they belong).
- Turn to face your pup again and repeat the steps if he continues to jump on you.
- Practice this routine until it becomes a habit for your pup to not jump up.
What should I do when my puppy jumps up on guests or strangers?
When you have house guests, I suggest putting your puppy on a leash if you know that he is going to want to jump up on them.
Inform your guests that you don’t allow him to jump up and instruct them to turn their body and tell him “OFF” if he does.
Often times, dogs jump up on people out of excitement when their owner is just getting home.
If this is the case with your pup, the steps above may not be enough to calm your pup down and get him to stop jumping up on you.
To find out what else you can do to get your overly excited puppy to stop jumping up on people so you can feel comfortable about bringing them in public, check out the “Solving Behavioral Problems” section in “The Puppy Training Handbook” for an incredibly detailed solution to this problem!