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Tips & Training

Easy Tips to Teach Your Dog Not to Jump On Everyone

Follow these simple tips so your dog can learn to greet people politely, without the drama and unwanted doggie paws!

Copy: Katy & Shell

Photography: Katy & Shell

Does your furry best friend have a bad habit of jumping on all your guests? If you’d love to teach your dog not to jump on everyone who comes to visit, then we’re sure you’ll find the training tips and techniques listed below just as helpful as we have.

Our Ziggy has always had a bad habit of jumping on people, especially when friends and family come through the front door. Ziggy is a loveable boy for sure, but he is a big and excitable boy too – and not everyone wants to be greeted with his paws on their clothes and high-intensity energy levels when they come to visit.

It’s bad manners, it can physically harm people, and as his dog mamas it’s been plain embarrassing at times when he nearly bowls our guests over!

Thankfully, these useful techniques and ways to train commands to Ziggy have been really helpful in teaching him to calm down, and not want to jump on everyone who comes through the front door.

And now that we have our puppy Sunny, it’s more important than ever to get on top of a few of Ziggy’s bad behaviours – we certainly don’t want double trouble on our hands!

Read below the common reasons why dogs jump on people, along with easy-to-implement, positive reinforcement tips to train your dog out of this unwanted behaviour.

For more helpful dog training tips, check out our popular article on tips to stop leashing pulling and our posts on dog training tips.

Black cocker spaniel jumping up - Easy Tips to Teach Your Dog Not to Jump On Everyone | Pretty Fluffy

 

Easy Tips to Teach Your Dog Not to Jump On Everyone

One of the first things that many pet parents like to do with a puppy is to play. While this is fun and helps your puppy become bonded to you and enjoy your company, it can also come with bad habits. The most common behaviour that dogs do naturally is jumping up on people. 

Friendly dogs who want attention usually greet people by jumping on them. While in some cases, when playing with your dog, you might want them to jump and catch a frisbee, or work off some energy by jumping. But when your dog jumps on people, it can cause problems.

Jumping on people for most of us can be annoying and, in some cases, even dangerous. Small children and elderly people can get knocked over all too easily by a jumping dog. And, since you can’t be an expert dog weight predictor, you don’t know if your dog will cause someone injury just from jumping up on them.

So then…how do you teach your dog not to jump on people? 

There are some simple training techniques, methods, and helpful tips that, when utilised, can help prevent your dog from getting too excited and greeting people by jumping.

The first thing to understand as a pet parent? Why dogs like to jump in the first place.

Black cocker spaniel looking up - Easy Tips to Teach Your Dog Not to Jump On Everyone | Pretty Fluffy

WHY DO DOGS JUMP UP ON PEOPLE?

Dogs typically like to assert their dominance within a household. And sometimes when they feel they want to be in control, they will jump on an unfamiliar person who has entered the home.

Dogs also like the ability to be more face-to-face with someone when greeting them, so they have an instinct to jump up to try and be close to greet a person.

At an early age, puppies learn to jump on their mothers, usually for food. They also perform jumping to show love and appreciation, which they will, in turn, do towards people to lick their faces or sniff. 

The jumping can also simply be that the dog is just looking to grab the attention of whoever is nearby. But, on the other hand, the dog might have a lot of pent-up energy and need some release, which they can display by jumping.

Black cocker spaniel jumping up - Easy Tips to Teach Your Dog Not to Jump On Everyone | Pretty Fluffy

 

ENCOURAGEMENT AND REWARDS FOR BEHAVIOUR

Your furry companion likes to respond to encouragement or rewards for behaviour. With this in mind, it is easy to believe that the bad behaviour will stop if you just ignore the dog jumping. However, this is not usually the case since when anybody new walks into your house, they might be susceptible to your dog jumping upon them. 

Likewise, when you are walking your dog, they might want to pull on the leash so that they can run and jump on someone. Again, this kind of action could cause you or your dog injury, and by reacting and pulling back your dog, this can also cause more harm. 

Visitors to your home might reinforce the jumping behavior, too, even if you tell them to ignore your pup. Even reactions such as yelling at or grabbing at your dog’s paws to put them down, only give your dog attention – making them believe they are receiving encouragement to continue the jumping behavior.

If you want to train your dog not to jump and learn that jumping is not okay, you need to actively enforce a different behaviour with your dog, rather than try to ignore or shout when your dog jumps.

Black cocker spaniel looking up - Easy Tips to Teach Your Dog Not to Jump On Everyone | Pretty FluffyEasy Tips to Teach Your Dog Not to Jump On Everyone | Pretty Fluffy

 

TRAINING YOUR DOG NOT TO JUMP

Instead of trying to have your dog “stop” or using the word “no,” you should train your dog to do something else when they get the instinct or urge to jump.

Here are a few simple commands you can teach your dog to do instead of jumping on people:

Lay Down

You can train your dog the command “lay down” by offering treats each time it lays entirely down on the floor. If your dog comes to know this command well, you can use it each time your doorbell rings or someone comes to the door that might cause your dog to get excited. 

You can do this training technique by having the dog lay down and only rewarding it when it is completely on the floor. Then, you can slowly approach the dog when laying down, and if it gets up, you stop coming. This way, your dog becomes aware that each time someone new is brought to the home, it has to lay down in greeting to be approached.

Train your dog to Sit

Using a similar training method with treats, you can easily teach your pup to keep its butt on the floor when attention is brought to them. Provide them with treats and petting as long as they keep their bum down, but the minute they get up, all rewards stop so that they can learn the proper sitting behavior.

You can practice this by having your dog sit before you approach, and going back to a distance once they get up, so that your dog can easily understand they need to sit to get you to come to them.

Paws On the Floor

To prevent your dog from jumping, you can also train them to keep their paws on the floor when approaching or greeting new people.   

Using treat rewards once again, place some treats on the floor before being approached by your dog. Then allow yourself, or another person, to then pet and greet your dog –  but only if they are occupied on the floor and not attempting to jump.

Remember that with all of these commands, your dog will need a lot of practice and repetition so they feel comfortable and will listen every time you provide it. Treats are an excellent reward for helping your dog understand that with good behaviour, they will get food. 

An alternative method to training your dog not to jump is by using a clicker.

Easy Tips to Teach Your Dog Not to Jump On Everyone | Pretty Fluffy

HAVE YOUR FRIENDS HELP WITH TRAINING

If you have friends that come to visit and your dog is constantly jumping on them, have them join in the training techniques to get your pup to cease this behaviour. You can try to anticipate your dog’s behaviour and lay treats down while using one of the above commands.

However, if you are too late and your dog starts jumping on your friend, have the person walk away and create distance again.

When family and friends come to visit, you can also tell them to keep their voices calm and low-key, so that they don’t ignite more excitement from your dog and cause them to want to jump. Likewise, they can keep their greetings quiet so your dog won’t react to an overexcited voice.

When you are walking your dog, it can be challenging to prevent jumping, since strangers who might want to stop and pet your dog are unaware that you do not want them to jump. Therefore, it is more helpful for you to limit those encounters with unfamiliar people, until you have had enough practice with your dog utilising the above techniques to ensure that your dog will not jump. 

While it will take some time, work, and patience, you can effectively help your pup to learn that jumping on people is not ok.

The key takeaway? Encouraging alternative behaviours with treat rewards, rather than scolding your dog, is a much more tried and true approach to all kinds of dog training.

We hope that after reading these tips your pup can greet guests and strangers in a calmer and more polite manner. Good luck, and remember persistence is key!

Easy Tips to Teach Your Dog Not to Jump On Everyone | Pretty Fluffy

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Copy: Katy & Shell

Photography: Katy & Shell

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