How to Get Your Dog to Stop Jumping on You

dog training

How to Get Your Dog to Stop Jumping on You 

We have had a few travel blogs in a row, so I thought I would write a doggy article for a change of pace.  One of the number one problems I get called as a dog trainer to fix is jumping.  So I will go over a few things that either do not work or only work some of the time.  Then I will tell you how I correct the problem quickly and effectively.


Kneeing your dog in the chest.  You might end up having to do that to protect yourself from an pouncing pooch, but the action does not solve the behavior.  It seems like if a dog gets kneed in the chest enough times, he or she would stop jumping.  But they do not.  It does not work.

Stomping on your dog's foot.  Just don't.  Not only is that pretty terrible, but there are tons of tiny bones in your dog's foot you could damage.  I have heard of dog trainers prescribing this method but thankfully over the past couple decades with humane training methods becoming the norm, this heinous practice is becoming rare.

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Totally ignoring your dog.  One school of thought in training dictates your dog WANTS your attention, which is why he or she is jumping on you.  If you do not give them what they WANT until they are behaving the way you WANT, then it's a win-win.  They usually turn away and refuse to acknowledge the undesirable jumping behavior.  You might have to turn a lot.  Because some dogs are pretty persistent.

I have seen this method work on some dogs and not on others.  It has merit.  Dogs should not DEMAND your attention, whether it is through barking profusely, pawing at you, or jumping on you.  Giving them any sort of attention, good or bad in return, could exacerbate the behavior because they are getting something from you...even if it is not the cuddles they desire.

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What I recommend

Reward good behaviors.  Correct and replace bad behaviors.  Reward, correct, replace.  Sun, moon, truth.  This is the mantra.  Okay, Sammy, so jumping is bad.  So we correct, then replace.  How do I correct jumping?

That is the million dollar question (the dog trainer wishes it was actually a million dollar question).  There are lots of humane corrective tools in the tool box.  The trick is finding one that works on your dog, i.e. your dog hates.

Here are a couple corrective measures I like for jumping:

1. Empty metal soda can with pennies in it.  Shake it and say NO (we always say no at the same time we administer a correction).  Shake it like you are going to bite him in the face (but don't actually smack your dog in the face).

2. Pet Corrector or Compressed Air.  This stuff works really well.  Give it a go!  It makes a really loud hissing sound.  Think Cesar Milan sound on steroids.

3.  Doggy Don't.  This makes a crackling sound like a taser that dogs hate...without the risk of your toddler tasing his siblings.  It's expensive but man, the dogs hate it.

4.  Squirt Gun.  The more powerful the stream, the better.  This only works if your dog does not like water.  Usually not an option for the Labrador owners.  I aim for right up their noses.

5.  Boat horn.  If your dog is unusually bull headed you can try an air horn.  Just make sure you are in a place where you won't give your neighbors a heart attack  (and warn the people around you because if you don't they may pee their do I know this?  Don't ask...).

6.  Whatever else your dog hates.  Dogs are weird.  They have weird proclivities and weird likes and dislikes.  My dog HATES those snake-y tongue party favors.  They do not even make a sound!  But he finds them oh so it becomes a training tool.  Use your dog's weirdness for your benefit!

Okay, Sammy, I said "NO" clearly and administered a correction.  Now what?

If your dog keeps jumping:  either keep correcting until he gives up, or pick a better correction.

If your dog stops jumping:  Replace immediately with a better behavior.  I like "Sit" instead of jumping.  It is easy, your dog usually knows how to do it on command, and if they are sitting, they are not jumping.  Reward with luvs and treats and praises and all the good things your dog wanted when he or she greeted you for sitting.  If your dog gets overly excited with the praise and jumps, repeat the cycle: correct then replace.  You may have to go back and forth a bit (it tends to feel a bit bipolar but dogs are in the moment, so you have to let them know exactly in the moment which behaviors are good and which are not).

By showing your dog what he should be doing, you are empowering him.  He now knows exactly what to do to get rewards and all the attention he wants.  He also knows if he does certain other behaviors, he gets that nasty correction.  Educating your dog empowers your dog.  Dogs tend to relax once they have a clear understanding of this picture and it builds confidence.  The world is no longer random, but makes sense.  This is how we build happy, healthy, confident dogs.

Sammy the Dog Trainer

Note: If you buy products by clicking on the links in this article, I may receive a small (really small) commission but it is at no cost to you.  The price is the same as if you went straight to the seller's website.


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