Picture this–you're walking through the park with your furry friend when suddenly, they jump up on you and start licking your face. It's adorable, right? But what happens when it's not just you but your friends and family, who are being accosted by your excitable pup? One question that comes to mind in such a situation is, “How can I stop my dog from jumping up?”
You can stop your dog from jumping up by ignoring the behaviour, training the dog, teaching the “off” command, and using a dog lead. These tactics discourage dogs from jumping on people by sending them a clear message. You don't have to be aggressive for your furry friend to get the message.
In the rest of this article, I'll discuss the different ways to stop your dog from jumping up. From behaviour management to training, you'll soon have the pup coming to you with all four paws on the ground. Let's get started!
Reasons Dogs Jump Up
Everything happens for a reason; the same applies to our canine counterparts jumping up.
The following are the main reasons dogs jump up:
According to San Francisco SPCA, dogs are social creatures that crave attention from their owners.
As intelligent as they are, dogs know that jumping up on people is an easy way to get attention.
If your pup jumps up on people, it's likely because they want extra love and affection. It’s one of the reasons dogs lick you.
Dogs may jump up on people due to over-excitement.
Whether you've been gone all day or just stepped out of the room for a few minutes, your pup might be so thrilled to see you that they can't resist jumping up. This is especially true if the dog is young and full of energy.
A Form of Greeting
Some theories suggest that dogs jumping up on people is a leftover behaviour from when dogs were wolves–where they would jump up to greet their pack leader.
Regardless of the origin, it's essential to remember that our furry friends may still be trying to display dominance by jumping up.
A dog jumping may be a sign of displaying deference or respect.
In a pack, the lower-ranking members often jump on higher-ranking dogs to acknowledge their position.
It could be that your pup is trying to tell you they understand and respect your role as the pack leader.
This behaviour is usually seen in dominant breeds, such as German Shepherds, trying to show their owners that they acknowledge human superiority.
Finally, some dogs jump up as a form of play. This is more common in puppies that are still learning to interact with people and other animals.
It's important to address this behaviour early on to prevent it from becoming a problem later in life.
Adopting the tactics below can help prevent your pup from jumping up, ensuring a safe, fun experience for everyone.
How to Stop Your Dog from Jumping Up
Now that you know why your pup might be jumping, it's time to address the behaviour so they can learn to be a polite family member.
1. Ignore the Behaviour
As mentioned, dogs jump to attract their owners' attention. The worst you want to do is fall into the trap of giving your pup attention when they jump.
Instead, remove yourself from the situation and ignore them until all four paws are on the ground.
Once they calm down and stand still, you can reward them with positive reinforcement, such as a treat or verbal praise.
It's worth mentioning that eye contact is crucial when trying to ignore the dog. You want to avoid eye contact as much as possible; otherwise, you'll be rewarding the behaviour.
2. Train the "Off" Command
Training your dog to understand basic commands can go a long way to stopping unwanted behaviours.
Teaching your canine friend the “off” command will help them learn that jumping up is unacceptable and should be avoided.
Here's how to train your dog the "off" command:
- Start with the basic obedience training: Before teaching the "off" command, make sure your dog has mastered basic obedience commands, such as "sit," "stay," and "come." This will help your dog understand the concept of following commands.
- Start inculcating the "off" command: With your dog on a leash, have a family member the dog loves approach you. When your dog jumps on them, say the "off" command in a firm but calm voice, and gently pull your dog down by the leash.
- Reward good behaviour: As soon as your dog responds to the "off" command and stops jumping, reward them with a treat and praise. Positive reinforcement is an effective way to encourage good behaviour.
- Practice regularly: Practise the "off" command regularly with different people and in different situations. This will help your dog understand that they should not jump on anyone, regardless of the person or place.
- Be consistent: Consistency is key when training a dog. Make sure everyone in your household uses the same command and training techniques. This will help your dog understand what is expected of them, making the training process more effective.
3. Redirect the Behaviour
A dog that jumps up has a predetermined mind to do so when in certain situations.
The best way to prevent this behaviour is by redirecting their energy and focus on something else.
Whenever you see your pup getting ready to jump up, give them a toy or have them practise obedience commands. This will help shift the focus away from jumping and onto an acceptable and enjoyable activity for both of you.
4. Employ Dog Jumping Management Tactics
Dog jumping management tactics entails creating an environment that makes it impossible for the dog to jump up.
Employing jumping management tactics means the dog will never have the opportunity to jump up, as it will not be able to reach the target.
For this approach to work, you must use the tactics consistently until the dog is adequately trained not to jump.
Some management tactics to get you started include:
- Using a dog crate: Ensure the dog is always in the crate whenever there is an opportunity to jump. Such opportunities include when you come home from work or meeting the dog for the first time after many hours.
- Installing a baby gate: Install a baby gate at your door’s entrance to make it impossible for the dog to jump up on people entering.
- Using a harness: A no-pull harness is a great way to control your pup and stop them from jumping whenever they pull or lunge. The harness is padded to help calm them down, giving you more control over the situation.
- Confine the dog in a room: Have the dog confined when you have visitors. If the pup gets too excited, calmly take them to the room and close the door until they calm down.
If you've ever asked, "How can I stop my dog from jumping up?" The answer is clear – ignore or redirect the behaviour, train the dog, and use management tactics.
Remember to be consistent with the training, reward your pup for good behaviour, and don't forget to have fun!
With patience and some elbow grease, you can teach your dog not to jump up on people.