Dogs jump on people to greet and to seek attention. Jumping behavior is very common, especially in puppies and young excited dogs. Your response to your dog’s jumping will determine how quickly you can redirect his behavior into something much more preferable. Redirecting jumping behavior can seem like an endless commitment to work, but with consistency on your part, it will get better!

Greeting jumping:
Stand up straight and do not use your hands to push your dog away. Using your hands will be seen as an interactive game to your dog and is as rewarding as the jumping itself.

Use your body to claim your space. Step slightly forward and turn around at the same time, ending up with your back to your dog. Do not try to stop the jumping with your voice. Many times a loud “NO” makes the dog more excited. Wait until your dog sits and mark that moment with a “YES!” and then offer a treat.

Do not hold the treat up high and entice your dog to jump again. It’s better if the treats are completely hidden. The dog only gets the treat if he remains in the seated position. This then teaches your dog to do a default sit and also that sitting will get him good attention in multiple situations. If you work hard enough at teaching your dog that a sit is always appropriate if he is confused, he will default to it. You can then say “SIT!” when he is jumping and have him slam his butt to the floor rather than jumping.

Keep a bowl of tasty treats by the door when you are expecting guests. Explain to your guests that you are training your dog to be polite and ask for their help. Many people will say that they don’t mind and will pet the dog while they are jumping. This, of course, reinforces the jumping and that is definitely not what you want.

Ask your guests to only interact with your dog when he is NOT jumping and make sure they understand the method that you are using to redirect this behavior. Giving treats is something that most people enjoy doing for dogs so your guests get a reward for assisting with the training too! If you have guests whom you know will not comply with this or you have service people working in your home, put your dog in another room with an interesting diversion rather than be inconsistent with their training.

You can also set up jumping training by placing your dog on a leash and either tethering him to something or having someone hold onto the leash. Walk towards your dog and if he jumps, immediately stop. When he either stands with all four paws on the floor or sits, then proceed forward towards him again. If he jumps back up, stop again. Repeat this process as often as possible. Reward polite dog behavior with a treat and petting!