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Jumping on People

For decades it was believed that the only way to prevent your dog from jumping up on people was to jam a knee into his chest or to step on his back toes. This treatment is cruel and unnecessary, but several positive alternatives exist. Many dogs jump up because they have been taught by their owners (knowingly or unknowingly) that this behavior is okay. You must decide when your dog is young if you want him to jump up on you or others.

Why Dogs Jump on People
  • Excitement - When you leave your dog at home for a long period of time he will be very excited to see you upon your return. This is especially common with nervous dogs.

  • Your voice - If you talk to your dog in a high-pitched tone, he will likely respond excitedly and jump up to get closer to you.

  • Affection - If they are encouraged to jump up as puppies by new owners who enjoy the expression of affection, the behavior will continue when they become adult dogs.

  • Playtime - If they are taught to jump during play time to catch balls and other objects, or when they are offered handfed treats as rewards, they are encouraged to jump in other situations.

Proper Training Technique
To teach your dog not to jump up, place him in a situation where it is likely to occur - such as when one of his favorite people greets him at the door. Slip collar and leash on your dog. When he jumps, the leash should be pulled using a corrective jerk while saying no. Use a gentle tone with a shy dog and a firmer tone with a stubborn dog. Continue to repeat this technique until the behavior stops. In some cases, a shake can (a clean, empty soft drink can with a few pennies inside and tape over the opening) or a squirt bottle may be used instead of the leash.


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