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Training Tip Tuesday With Jodi

How to teach your dog to stop jumping up on people.

By DCSPCA Canine Lead Trainer Jodi

Dogs want our attention and are guaranteed to get it when they jump up on us to say hello!

Jumping up on people is a natural canine behavior but for humans it can be annoying or even dangerous. Dogs repeat behaviors that earn them rewards and few things are more rewarding to your pet than getting your attention.

Yelling at your dog for jumping, pushing them off of you with a stern "off" command, or grabbing their paws are all part of a game they think we are playing with them. All of these things give them the attention they crave, reinforcing the unwanted behaviors.

It’s when we ignore the behavior that it eventually stops.

How to teach your dog to stop jumping up on people

  1. When your dog jumps up on you, turn your back and completely ignore them. Fold your arms in front of your body. Don’t say anything. Do not make eye contact.

  2. Be patient. Wait until all of their paws are back on the ground.

  3. Face your dog and reward them with positive attention/treats.

  4. Pet them and use your hands to encourage them to keep all their paws on the ground.

  5. If they jump up again, turn your back to them again.

The more consistent you are, the quicker your dog will learn that jumping up doesn’t get them what they want. Instead they will realize that they are more successful at getting your attention when all paws are firmly on the floor.

PRO TIP: Before someone else says hello to your dog, ask your dog to sit, and ask the person not to give them attention until they do it. When your dog sits, reward them with treats or attention.

Keep practicing and your dog will soon learn that sitting gets attention and jumping up doesn’t!

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