Free Consultation


How to Stop Your Dog From Jumping Up On People

How to Stop Your Dog From Jumping Up On People

Managing the Jumping Junkie

Ahh, the age-old problem of the excitable pup who can’t seem to control their enthusiasm when greeting new people. If you’re anything like me, you’ve experienced the struggle of trying to keep your furry friend’s paws firmly on the ground when guests arrive. It can be downright maddening, not to mention potentially dangerous, especially for small children or the elderly who could easily be knocked over by an overenthusiastic canine.

I remember when I first brought home my energetic Dachshund, Bella. She was a jumping machine, bouncing up and down every time someone new walked through the door. No matter how many times I scolded her or tried to block her access, she’d find a way to get those little legs up and in people’s faces. It was enough to make me want to put a “no dogs allowed” sign on my front door!

But I refused to accept defeat. I was determined to teach Bella some manners and nip this jumping habit in the bud. And you know what? With a little patience and the right training techniques, I was able to transform her from a jumping junkie into a polite, well-behaved greeter. If I can do it, so can you!

Let’s dive into the strategies that can help you stop your dog from jumping up on people for good.

The Root of the Problem

Before we jump (pun intended) into the training, it’s important to understand why dogs jump up on people in the first place. As the American Kennel Club explains, jumping up is a natural canine behavior. Dogs get to say hello face-to-face when they jump, and they’re usually rewarded with attention – even if it’s negative attention like scolding or pushing them away.

The problem is, what’s rewarding for a dog isn’t necessarily polite or safe from a human perspective. Those muddy paws on our clothes, or the potential for knocking over a small child, make jumping a big no-no. We need to teach our pups a better way to greet people.

Redirecting the Jumping Impulse

The key to stopping jumping is to eliminate the reward that reinforces the behavior. That means no more attention, positive or negative, when your dog jumps up. Instead, you need to redirect that energy into a more appropriate greeting.

One of the most effective methods is the “four on the floor” approach. The idea is to reward your dog with treats and praise whenever all four paws are planted firmly on the ground during a greeting. This teaches them that keeping those feet down is the surefire way to get the attention and affection they crave.

Here’s how it works:

  1. When someone comes to the door, have your dog on a leash or in a designated spot (like their bed or a mat). As the person approaches, start tossing small, high-value treats on the floor near your dog’s feet.
  2. As long as all four paws stay planted, keep feeding those tasty morsels. The moment your dog’s feet leave the ground, stop the treats and have the person turn away.
  3. Repeat this process until your dog learns that standing calmly gets them the goods, while jumping gets them nothing.

It may take some time and consistency, but eventually, your dog will realize that good things happen when they keep their paws down. And the best part? You can use this technique anywhere – at home, out on walks, or even when meeting new people at the park.

Sitting for Attention

Another great option is to train your dog to sit for greetings. Similar to the “four on the floor” method, this teaches your pup that a polite, seated position is the ticket to getting pets and praise.

Here’s how to get your dog sitting pretty:

  1. Start by practicing the sit command in a distraction-free environment until your dog has it down pat. Remember, you want this to be a solid, reliable behavior before moving on.
  2. When someone approaches, ask your dog to “sit” before allowing them to greet the person. Reward with treats and affection as long as they remain seated.
  3. If your dog tries to jump up, immediately stop the interaction and have the person turn away. Then try again, rewarding for that perfect sitting position.

Consistency is key here. The more you reinforce the sit behavior during greetings, the quicker your dog will learn that this is the new, appropriate way to say hello.

Manage the Environment

While you’re busy training your dog’s greeting manners, it’s also important to manage their environment to prevent jumping opportunities. After all, it’s much easier to teach a new behavior when your pup doesn’t have the chance to practice the old, undesirable one.

Some handy management tips:

  • Use baby gates or crates to keep your dog separated from visitors until you’ve had a chance to work on their training.
  • Put your dog on a leash whenever guests arrive so you can quickly correct any jumping attempts.
  • Stash treats and toys by the door to distract and reward your dog when people come over.
  • Teach a strong “go to your place” or “go to your mat” cue, then send your dog to their designated spot when the doorbell rings.

The key is to set your dog up for success by preventing jumping in the first place. That way, all their energy can be focused on learning the new, polite greeting behaviors you’re teaching.

Putting it All Together

Stopping your dog’s jumping habit takes time, consistency, and a multi-pronged approach. But I promise, it’s so worth it to have a well-mannered pup who can greet guests without causing chaos (or bodily harm!).

Start by understanding the root of the behavior and why jumping is rewarding for your dog. Then, use positive reinforcement training to redirect that energy into more appropriate greetings, like keeping all four paws on the floor or sitting politely.

Don’t forget to manage your dog’s environment to prevent jumping opportunities in the meantime. With a combination of training and management, you’ll be well on your way to transforming your jumping junkie into a model canine citizen.

And remember, I Have Dogs is here to support you every step of the way. Wishing you the best of luck in your quest for a jump-free home!

Tags :
Share This :

Get Updates with our



Join our passionate community of dog lovers. Embrace the journey of companionship with Ihavedogs, where every dog gets the best of care and love.