Training Tips: How to Keep your Dog from Jumping
Updated: Apr 26, 2019
By Emily Schultze
It’s a pretty familiar situation for most dog owners. Someone comes over to visit, or you are just getting home after work, and you can hear your dog run up to greet you as you open the door. Then, the second you or anyone else steps inside the house, your dog launches themselves into the air with a direct course to you and your guest. While it is nice to be greeted with such excitement (you love seeing them too), it can be a bit tiring to have to be on guard every time you step inside. Plus, you don’t want any of your friends and family who aren’t as used to man’s best friend to be scared or intimidated when your dog is suddenly in their face. So, the question is, how do you let your dog know that jumping isn’t the best way of saying “Hello!”?
In this training video, Thousand Hills Pet Resort manager Kate and New Life K9 educator Nicole talk about some potentially surprising effects of traditional methods to deter jumping and which practices are the best to use with your own dog.
When a furry animal is flying at you, your first instinct might be to turn around or move further away. Some training techniques will even suggest turning your back to your dog or gently pushing them down with your knee to teach them that jumping on you is not a good idea. However, Nicole and Kate touch on how these actions can have a negative impact on you and your dog’s relationship.
When your dog comes to greet you and is jumping all over you, they have no malicious intent- they are just super happy and excited to see you. They are wanting your attention and love since they care about you so much. However, if you immediately push they away or turn from them when they are seeking this love, they might end up feeling hurt or rejected. Nicole compared this situation to moving away from a small child every time they wanted a hug; the child will not understand why you don’t want engage in this act of affection and will feel sad as a result.
Instead, Nicole and Kate recommend an approach that focus more on working with your dog’s body language. When you are starting training, showing your dog that being on all fours is better is the goal. The next time you greet your dog, you can go down to their level so they learn they don’t have to come up to you. Another way to reinforce the idea that they do not need to jump is to give them attention when they are bending down. If you can see that your dog is about to jump, get down next to them and pet them before they go through with it. Also, praising your dog when they don’t jump always helps to let them know that you like what they are doing.
After practicing these steps, coming into your house might no longer mean that you also have to prepare for a leaping pup. However, it is important to keep in mind that every dog learns at their own pace, so these changes won’t happen in a day.