Black dog jumping up on a woman

How to Stop a Dog Jumping Up?

Your dog jumping up at you when you come home might make you feel special at first, but it can quickly become problematic when your dog is jumping up at strangers in the park. While this can be annoying for you, it can also be unsafe if your dog is jumping up at vulnerable people, such as small children, elderly people or people with disabilities. The good news is, there are ways you can improve their behaviour and train your dog to stop jumping up! In this article, we help dog owners understand why dogs jump up and advise how to stop your dog jumping up with our step-by-step training guide. 

Understanding Why Dogs Jump Up

It’s important to first understand why your dog is jumping up, in order to stop the behaviour. This way, you can learn the trigger and manage the situation accordingly.

While there are various reasons why dogs jump up, the main reason is that they’re showing excitement at your presence and trying to get your attention in return. The repeated action of jumping up and down is a way for dogs to express their enthusiasm and release their energy. Also, if you’ve allowed this behavior to continue for a period of time, your dog has learned that by jumping up at you, they will receive the attention they are looking for. This is why your dog will need retraining with our guide.

In some cases, your dog may be jumping up if they feel nervous, overwhelmed or threatened. By jumping up and down, they are trying to cope with their anxious state and seek reassurance from you. Read here on how to calm an anxious dog.

How do you train your dog not to jump on you or guests?

You can train your dog not to jump on you or your guests by not giving them any attention to this behavior. By ignoring your dog when they jump up, they will learn that they don’t get any attention by doing this. Then, you can teach them an alternative behavior which you can reward them for instead.

There are various training techniques to stop dogs from jumping up. This includes ignoring the behaviour completely, distracting them on the ground with toys or treats, using verbal commands such as ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ instead, or using a lead for better control (make sure never to yank on the lead). Positive reinforcement training is the best way to stop your dog from jumping up, and you can use treats to reinforce desired behaviours.

Train your dog not jump on people - step by step

  1. Start with a controlled environment

    When beginning any new training with your dog, you should do so in a calm and quiet space with minimal distractions so your dog can focus. Choose a time when your dog is most receptive to training. 

  2. Stop rewarding your dog’s jumping up behaviour

    You then need your dog to understand that jumping up will not get them any attention. Ignore your dog when they jump up at you by turning away. Stay quiet, without eye or physical contact with the dog so they understand that they will not get any attention by jumping up.  Continue to do this until they stop jumping, then give them attention and a treat.

  3. Avoid telling your dog off

    While this behaviour can be frustrating, try not to shout at your dog. This can cause confusion, stress and anxiety. It may also count as enough attention for them to continue the behaviour - even though it’s negative.

  4. Find an alternative behaviour to reward

    Decide how you want your dog to greet people instead. You may want your dog to ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ when people approach them. Whatever you choose, tasty treats are a way to reinforce the alternative behaviour. 

  5. Reinforce with the help of family and friends

    Make sure everyone in the household understands to ignore your dog’s jumping up behaviour and to only reward them for desired behaviours instead. You can also inform guests or strangers you meet whilst out with your dog.

  6. Practice whilst on walks 

    If you see somebody approaching you, stop and ask your dog to ‘sit’. Reward them for listening and continue giving them treats whilst you’re speaking to another person. Allow them to greet the person once they’re calm.

  7. Consistency and reinforcement

    The key to training your dog is consistency and reinforcement. Your dog will learn behaviours better when they clearly understand the outcomes, otherwise, they may get confused.

How to stop puppy jumping up?

Puppies have tons of energy and love to express their enthusiasm with their owners, which is why it's no surprise your puppy is jumping up at you. Try to understand puppy energy levels so you find this easier to manage. 

While you may enjoy this behavior when they’re small, it can become much more difficult with an adult dog jumping on you and others. To prevent this from becoming a problem in the future, you’ll need to stop your puppy jumping up from the beginning - this will be easier than retraining an older dog too. However, because of a puppy’s high energy levels, this may also require more patience on your part. Learn how to teach a puppy to stay and consider training your puppy with a clicker.

Managing Dog Jumping Behaviour 

The key to stopping your dog from jumping up at people is to be consistent in various contexts. Informing anyone who interacts with your dog about your training is essential, as you’ll need their help to reinforce desired behaviours. 

If you know you’ll be having visitors, ask them to ignore your dog’s jumping up behaviour and only give them attention when all four paws are on the floor. You can also prepare your dog by keeping them in the other room or behind a gate when guests first arrive to help minimise their excitement and bring them in for greetings once they’re calm. 

Since you’ll be using a lead whilst out on walks anyway, you can practise more controlled greetings with people you meet. If you see someone approaching you, ask your dog to ‘sit’. You can also use the lead to gently guide them into a sitting position. Reinforce this behaviour by rewarding them with treats for listening.

How to Stop a Dog Jumping Up: FAQs

What is the best command to stop a dog jumping up?

The best command to stop a dog jumping up is to tell them to ‘sit’ instead. When they listen, reward them with a treat and give them love and attention. This way your dog will learn to sit in order to receive attention from you.

Should you say down or off to a dog?

You shouldn’t say ‘down’ or ‘off’ to stop your dog jumping up at you. This is because they won’t understand that you want them to stop jumping, and instead will accept this as some form of attention which will only reinforce their behaviour.  

Will my dog ever stop jumping up?

Your dog won’t ever stop jumping up at you as long as you keep giving them love and attention when they do so. However, with consistent, effective and reinforced training, your dog can learn other ways to get your attention - as well as treats - and will eventually stop jumping up!

It’s important to remember that this behaviour is natural, and you can train your dog to stop jumping up. Consistency to the training is key, everyone who interacts with your dog needs to follow your training rules for teaching your dog not to jump up. If your dog’s behaviour continues despite the above measures, or you notice that their behaviour is due to anxiety, you should inform your vet and consider working with a dog behavioural therapist. However, in most cases you can stop your dog jumping up with consistent training - the real secret is finding the best treats to reinforce desired behaviour. Luckily, James Wellbeloved dog treats are made with high-quality ingredients and come in a variety of flavours for your dog to enjoy. What better way to promote good behaviour, than with extra tasty treats?