5 Easy Steps To Teach Your Dog to Stop Jumping on People

5 Easy Steps To Teach Your Dog to Stop Jumping on People

Author WDF Staff | Last updated: May 05 2023


Dog jumping on people while greeting them is an entirely natural and expected canine behavior. However, it is not that practical nor safe. The elderly and children could easily get knocked over by an overly enthusiastic and large dog. The safest thing you could do as a dog owner is to teach your dog to greet people slowly and politely. Stick with us, and you will learn how how to stop your dog from jumping on people.

Why dogs jump on people? 

Most interactions dogs have with us are to gain our attention. They will jump on people because that is nearly a sure way to achieve some sort of reaction and interaction with their owners. Even pushing your dog away or yelling can be interpreted as a part of the game. That type of human behavior will reinforce the behavior.

The best way to eliminate that behavior is to ignore your dog while jumping on you or other people. Deny them the very thing they want from you. Instead, focus on something else and ignore them until they calm down. However, that is only the start when it comes to teaching your dog to stop jumping on people.

Alternative behavior

Dogs can easily get confused by opposing human behaviors. You - their owner, might ignore their jumping, and they won’t have any reward for that behavior. If you were the only person to interact with your dog, the jumping behavior should eventually stop. However, family members, guests, and other people on the street will not know what you know. They will interact with your dog if your dog starts jumping on people.

pug jumps on man

Your dog will receive mixed signals; sometimes, their behavior is rewarded and sometimes ignored. That can be very frustrating, and dogs will get confused. Ignoring the dog is a way to teach them that behavior will NOT get them any rewards. Instead of only teaching your dog what NOT to do, teach them what they should do. If you follow this short training guide, you will quickly let your dog know what type of behavior is expected. They will forget all about jumping on people, and you will end up with a happy and polite dog.

If you want to find out all the reasons why your dog could start jumping on you make sure to check this article - 4 Most Common Reasons Why Dogs Jump On You

Keeping the paws on the floor

Teaching your dog to keep all four paws on the ground is very clear. Your dog won’t get any mixed messages. They will know exactly what is expected of them, and if you do enough repetitions, the dog will learn the expected behavior. Follow these steps to teach your dog to stop jumping on people;

1. Approaching your dog

If you can, it would be best to train your dog in a neutral area. They can be easily distracted at home or in a dog park. While your dog is on a leash, have a friend approach them. Make sure your dog notices them, and you should notice your dog is preparing to jump on people again.

2. Including a distraction

Before the person approaching your dog completely approaches them, toss your dog’s treats on the floor. That should redirect your dog’s focus from a person approaching them to the treats on the floor. While your dog is eating, have the person pet your dog and greet them. However, before your dog finishes their treats, have the person move away from your dog so you can repeat the process.

Some dogs misbehave when they meet other dogs. Check out this article for more information - How to introduce dogs.

3. Increasing the time

After a few successful repetitions of the first and second steps, start increasing the greeting time with the person by tossing additional treats on the floor. That is usually more than enough for the dog’s attention to remain focused on the floor full of treats.

4. Switching the reward

Your dog should be focused more on receiving treats than it should be on the person approaching them. If they keep their paws on the ground and your dog has stopped jumping on people, start switching the time and reward. Let your dog greet the person before they get their treat. If the greeting happens without your dog jumping on people, give them a treat. However, if your dog starts jumping on people, resent it and start this step from the beginning.

5. Removing the treats from the equation

Feeding your endless amounts of treats every time someone greets them or you is not really practical. They will gain weight and become obese. Eventually, as your dog stops jumping on people, you should start giving them fewer and fewer treats. The goal is to stop giving them treats upon greetings, and the only reward they get is the interaction with the person they are greeting.

dogs love learning new things. Here is a cool trick you can teach your dog - How to teach your dog to shake.

Preventing jumping on people at home

Completely controlling the environment might be hard when you are at home and you have people coming over. However, it is possible to keep the dog from jumping on people. You can do a few things when you have guests coming over, and your dog wants to jump on all of them. Try one of these tactics;

  • Teach your dog to wait in their crate or bed when guests arrive.
  • Put your dog on a leash. It will help you prevent them from jumping while you’re training them.
  • Keep their toys or treats by the front door, so you can easily distract your dog while guests enter.
  • You can get dog gates that will prevent your dog from getting close to your guests while they are entering your home.

Following these 5 steps will teach your dog to stop jumping on people in no time. Make sure you take your time. Training will require your time and effort, so make sure you have plenty of patience and goodwill for your dog’s training process.

World Dog Finder team

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