How To Stop Your Dog From Jumping on People

by DFS-Pet-Blog on February 14, 2011

dog jumping

Jumping up is a cute behavior in puppies, but it gets old fast, especially when that puppy becomes an 80 lb adult! Jumping is the kind of obnoxious behavior that can make an otherwise great dog a nuisance that visitors and even family members start to avoid.

Look at things from your dog’s perspective. He’s excited, he wants your attention – how can he get it? You dog jumps up on you. You tell him to stop and push him off, he’s gotten what he wanted – and so he does it again, because he’s learned that THIS WORKS. You need to teach your dog that calm behavior will work better than jumping to get him the attention he wants.


The next time your dog tries to jump up on you, turn your body to the side so that he slides back down, and ignore him. Don’t look at him, don’t talk to him, don’t acknowledge his presence in any way. At first, he may think he just needs to jump MORE to get your attention, so you have to stick with this until he stops jumping.

As soon as your dog shows any sign of relatively calm behavior, such as standing with all 4 feet on the floor, immediately give him a treat and praise him. If your dog is trained to sit, have him do this before you give him the treat and the praise. The goal is to make it clear to your dog that sitting calmly is the best way to get the attention he wants.

Breaking unwanted behavior takes time. Expect that you will have to repeat this exercise over and over before your dog “gets it.” Even then, he probably won’t be perfect every time. Be patient, be consistent, and make sure that everyone else in the family is doing exactly the same thing. Different reactions from different people will confuse your dog and undo your hard work.

Products that can help train your dog to stop jumping:

Training your dog to stop jumping can be a difficult task. Chronic jumpers can be a danger to themselves, other dogs, and people. For some dogs, the use of a specially designed harness is required to discourage this habit. You may also want to try offering dog treats for their effort and to keep encouraging their good behavior.

Written by Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

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February 14, 2011 at 12:11 pm

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Rosemary February 14, 2011 at 4:45 pm

I’m fully convinced that Ilka is part kangaroo. I’ve had her since April, and I haven’t been able to stop her jumping yet. She is better than she was, but still, I have bruises on me and pawprints on my clothes.

What really annoys me though, are the people that say “Oh I love dogs. I don’t mind her jumping on me.” Well, she’s MY dog, and I DO mind. What if the next person she decides to jump on is their petite 90 year old grandmother, who has brittle bones? Will they still not mind, or will they want to sue me?

Lucky has learned that he can stand on his hind legs and dance around as long as he does not actually touch his paws to the person. If the paws touch, he has technically jumped on a person, and that is a No-No, and he will get in trouble. It took a while, so there is hope for Ilka yet, but the sooner she learns, the better. She is 49 pounds of solid muscle, and has nearly knocked me down more than once.

kittens are cute February 14, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Aw. But it’s cute when they do… at least the small dogs.

Ellen B. February 15, 2011 at 8:59 am

Once again you brought a smile to my face….”part kangaroo”….love it! Your point about people who say they don’t mind if your dog jumps is a really good point. I guess we just need to express our concerns for future guests that might get hurt if the dog jumps. Thanks for your input!

vanessa February 25, 2011 at 10:37 pm

another great way, is ignoring the dog until they get down on alll fours, at this point praise them unconditionally. they will soon learn that staying down gets them more attenetion. see the problem is that when guests come they dont greet your dog until he jumps up, then they pet him and say down, and your dog learns that jumping gets attention. Try it, you cant go wrong with positive reinforcement, you have nothing to lose. if u dont believe me watch when someone comes into your house, how do they greet your dog? when they bend down and pet them, are they still jumping? or do they only jump to get the initial attention?

darby atler February 27, 2011 at 4:58 am

I have four pomerians an their barking is out of control and I cannot house break them I have pee pee pads everywhere I tell them you pee pee on the paper I let them out very often but they will come in the house and still pee pee I had them in diapers but vowed to train them I can’t do it what works?

Ellen B. February 28, 2011 at 9:23 am

Darby, I’m in the process of house training my 8-week-old puppy so I can relate! Training 1 puppy is challenging, so training 4 has to be an incredible challenge. Here is an article about housetraining that might give you a few tips to try.

I’m using the crate training method, and cannot imagine training without a crate. I decided I wanted to get straight to the goal: going outside. She has never had an accident in her crate, and from what I’ve read dogs do everything they can to not soil their “den.” I know that soon after she eats she needs to go outside, so I take her out whether she wants to or not. To help make this easier on me, she eats scheduled meals only…no grazing whenever she wants. Same with water intake, I pay attention and know she’ll need to go out not too long after she drinks. I remove her water 2 hours before bedtime to help her learn to get through the night.

With 4 dogs, I think a strict schedule/routine is important. If you can get them all to have meals and water breaks at the same time, that would help get them all outside (or on piddle pads) when time is appropriate. It’s A LOT of work, but with consistency for a few weeks (depending on their age), they should be trained.

One last point….please work with your veterinarian. If the dogs cannot be housetrained, there might be a medical condition.

Rosemary March 5, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Well, today (March 5) was Ilka’s CGC test. She failed the meeting a stranger, being petted, accepting grooming, and meeting a neutral dog portions, all by not keeping all four feet on the ground. She didn’t jump on the dog, she jumped on the handler. We can re-test next Saturday, so I will work with her this week on the “IF YOU HAVE FOUR FEET, THEY ALL BELONG ON THE FLOOR” rule.
I plan on entering her in a Beginner Novice class at a trial coming up at the end of April, so we will also need to practice for that. As for picking that class, and not regular Novice, I may be crazy, but I’m not insane. In Beginner Novice, she won’t be off-leash except for the Recall, and there are no group stays.

Melissa March 7, 2011 at 8:48 am

Great job Rosemary on working towards a CGC certificate for Ilka! It takes a lot of work, and sounds like extra for you given Ilka’s penchant for jumping. Does it help at all to try your best to “tire her out” before? I have found I need to do this for Mocca before agility competitions. If we get a good long (hour) walk in, she’s much more responsive to me and not as out of control. Keep up the good work with Ilka and keep us posted! I’ve wanted to get Mocca CGC certified, but certification around here is few & far between. GOOD LUCK!!!

Rosemary March 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I don’t thnk there is such as thing as “wear Ilka out”. A two hour (about 5 mile) walk is nothing to her. I just got a Walky Dog bike leash over the weekend, and used it for the first time today. We went about two miles with her at a flat out 5-7 mph TROT. She only broke into a run once, when I accidently got up to 9 mph. She doesn’t seem tired at all, but I don’t want to exhaust her without realizing it. We will still walk when I have the time and inclination, but I think that roadworking her with the bike will be easier and faster. My knees don’t like to walk that far.

Have you gotten on the AKC website to check for upcoming CGC tests? Maybe some of the area kennels clubs offer them in conjunction with their shows or trials. Also, maybe area dog trainers do the tests. Ilka’s test was part of her training class.

Melissa R. March 8, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Hi Rosemary – Woooooo Ilka sounds like a handful! I like the bike option. Have fun with that! 🙂 Lucky dog.

I have checked out the AKC site. I would think there would be some CGC tests along with agility trials but no go. I am hoping that someday I can time a trip to my brother’s in with a CGC test in his area (about 4 hours away, but larger metropolitan area).

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