How To Make Your Dog Stop Jumping On People

How To Make Your Dog


Jumping On People

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Coming home from a long day at work to your happy and excited furry friend is a rewarding experience. If you have been away from your dog for a while, she is probably eager to see you. She greets you by jumping on you. You don’t think much of it because she is so small since she is just a puppy. You reward her by praising her and giving her cuddles. 

With time she grows into an adult dog, and the jumping that once was cute isn’t so cute anymore. It became uncomfortable and even a bit risky. And she even knocked over your 5-year-old daughter last week.

You might have now realized that this is a problem that needs to be solved!

But what can you do?

Where should you start?

Don’t worry! I’m here to tell you what you need to do to make your dog stop jumping on you and others!

 Dogs jumping on people is a common behavior problem that many owners face.

If you are one of these owners your goal probably is to teach your dog to greet you calmly when you arrive home.

If your dog jumps on you, it is reasonable to think, among other things, that

  • why is my dog behaving like this
  • what is rewarding this behavior
  • how would I prefer my dog to behave
  • is it possible to influence the dog’s environment in such a way that it reduces the behavior

Before we can start looking for ways to change your dogs behavior for the better and make her stop jumping, let’s look at the reason why your dog might be jumping on you.

Some dogs jump up on people because it’s their way of greeting us or seeking attention.

By jumping they also show affection. It’s natural for dogs to use their body to communicate. Therefore, jumping on us is their way of trying to get our attention or to reach our faces.

Your dog might have started to jump on you because she has learned that by doing so, she gets what she wants, and often it’s your attention.

Also, dogs might do it because they are just excited or anxious. By jumping on you or other people she might be releasing energy because she is overstimulated or anxious or it’s her way of expressing her emotions.

Dogs can learn this behavior pattern to be acceptable because we rewarded our dogs for such behavior when they were puppies.  We might have even found it cute. 

But it becomes a behavior problem once they grow up, for example, if the dog is too large or jumps too high.

You may not like the behavior but you may still accidentally reward her for it without knowing it. 

When you reward your dog for a behavior, she’ll repeat it. And when you have been doing it for a while for a certain behavior it can be a bit tricky to interrupt it.

Your dog jumping on people can be dangerous, not only for the person she is jumping on but for herself too. 

Your dog might scratch or hurt people or even knock someone over.

It’s important to train your dog to greet people in a way that is polite and safe.

So now that you know the possible reasons behind her behavior, let’s look at steps you can take to teach your dog to stop jumping and instead to greet you calmly:

1. Make the rules clear with others

Start by ensuring that everyone interacting with your dog are on the same page with you.

 When other people also know how the dog should behave, it’s easier for your dog to learn the desired behavior.

With this, your dog learns that she must not jump on you or anyone else. Because if your dog is allowed to jump on some people and not others, it can be confusing for her and make it harder to break the behavior.

2. Only greet her when she is calm

When you arrive home, avoid greeting her unless she is calm and all four paws are on the ground. 

If she jumps on you, immediately turn your back on her and don’t give her any attention, not even eye contact.

If she still keeps jumping on you, it may be best that you leave the room.

 When she has calmed down and no does not jump, you can greet her. 

The goal of this is to teach your dog that if she jumps on you, it results in not getting any attention. When your dog has cooled off you can reward her with your attention, praise, treats, and affection. Calm behavior can be sitting, or having all four paws on the floor.

It would be good to have a baby gate in the doorway so that when she starts jumping, you can step over the gate away from her reach. 


The gate also works well when she meets a new person. When your dog is behind the gate, she can view the new person from afar first, and if she is calm the guest can greet her.

3. Teach alternative behavior

The next step is to choose an alternative behavior you want your dog to perform.



Perhaps you prefer that she sits when greeting you. 



Start by teaching your dog the command ‘sit’



Once your dog has learned the command, start practicing the behavior when you arrive home.



When you approach the door, tell your dog to sit and wait until she sits down.


If she jumps up, turn away and leave the room. Then try it again.


 When she stays calm when you approach her you should reward her with praise and treats or with something that she finds rewarding. 


This training technique is called positive reinforcement which reinforces good behavior. Your dog will most likely repeat the rewarded behavior and stop jumping because she attaches positive stimuli to the rewarded behavior. 


Practice the alternative behavior frequently.


Practice it with her inside the house and on your yard so your dog learns that the behavior is good in different situations. 


Every time your dog approaches you calmly, you should reward her for it. Also, inform other people that when your dog approaches them calmly, they should reward her.


4. Remember to be patient and consistent

Remember that being consistent is the key to any training.


Be aware that it takes time and patience. So don’t get frustrated if your dog won’t immediately learn the desired behavior.


Keep up the training and reward her for her good behavior. Eventually, she knows what is acceptable.


Every time you interact with your dog, it is a training session. So you must be aware of your actions. 


It’s best that you don’t reward your dog for jumping on you on any occasion. Not even if it’s just once in a while. This way a desired good behavior can become a habit and it’s easier for the dog to learn it, and eventually stop jumping onto people.

5. Don’t use positive punishment

What is positive punishment? Positive punishment is a training technique, where the use of aversive stimulus is utilized to decrease a certain behavior. This can be a use of physical force, such as pushing or hitting your dog or yelling at your dog.

Even if your dog stops the behavior when you pushing her away, it can still reoccur in the future. 

It can be harmful to your dog and it’s a cruel way to train your dog. It’s recommended that you don’t use it as a training technique.

The use of positive punishment in training can damage the relationship and bond with your dog, causing her to fear or avoid you. It can also increase her stress levels and make her more anxious.

 Also, when the punishment isn’t associated with the behavior your dog might continue jumping on other people when you aren’t around so, it’s ineffective in the long run.

So, instead, use positive reinforcement where you reward the wanted behavior and leave the unwanted behavior without any attention.

6. Turn to a professional

Your dog jumping against you or other is annoying. It might be hard to make your dog stop jumping against people.

You don’t have to do all of the work on your own. If your dog has behavior problems, contact a professional dog behaviorist or a dog trainer who will help you with the process.

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