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Stop Your Dog From Jumping Up : Important Tips

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Preventing your dog from jumping can be difficult since he must control his excitement. It can be cute to see your dog or puppy jumping up when he’s happy to see his owner.

On the other hand, if you receive guests, we find it a lot more annoying. It could even be dangerous for a child or a fragile person. This is why it is important not to encourage this behavior and to teach your dog not to jump as soon as possible.





Why Do Dogs Jump on People?


Dog jumping is a very common and natural behavior. It is a problem that is defined by the owners and their ability to manage the jumping.

A dog jumps on humans to have contact, express excitement and get attention. It is a behavior that can be acquired, learned, and reinforced.

By letting your dog jump on you, he will get the habit of greeting you that way, so it becomes a learned behavior. If he gets a positive consequence from jumping, then the behavior is reinforced. This means that the jumping will occur more often and it will become more intense. Even if you say “NO!” or push him away, you’re still giving him what he wants: attention.

Many people tend to be as excited as their dog when they arrive home. People let him jump on them because they think he just wants to express the fact that he’s happy you’ve arrived. By having this thought, we create a vicious circle. It’s the same for people who don’t want their dog to jump and try to stop him by talking or pushing him away.

On the other hand, the dog can be so excited that he loses control. This is when he can urinate without wanting to, which is called “excitement urination”. Also, jumping is an effective way for the dog to cope with stress. By jumping, he frees himself from his discomfort and can then relax.





How to Stop Your Dog From Jumping Up?


To solve a behavior problem, one must be able to prevent the behavior from happening.

To stop your dog from jumping up, you have to ignore him completely, turn around when he jumps, and reward him when he has all 4 paws on the ground. When you have visitors, ask them to do the same.

By ignoring your dog, you are showing him that he will never get your attention when he acts like this. In other words, do not talk to, look at, or touch him. By doing this, you become boring to your dog.

Cross your arms to make sure he can’t touch your hands. If your hands aren’t close to your body, your dog might jump up and think you’ve petted him, which reinforces the jumps.

Turn around every time he tries to jump on you. Don’t push him away, because he’ll think you want to play with him. Don’t raise your knee, as you could injure your dog.

When he stops jumping and has all 4 paws on the ground, wait 3 seconds and reward him with his favorite treat. You don’t need to give him a big chunk. Prioritize quality over quantity. The more you have a treat that your dog craves, the more he will be motivated to listen to you and understand the new behavior he needs to adopt.

If your dog still jumps, repeat the exercise. Practice with family or friends so your dog learns not to jump on anyone.






Quick Methods to Stop Your Dog From Jumping Up


You can put your dog on a leash and stand on it to stop him from jumping. Leave enough length for him to sit or lie down. Wait 3 seconds each time he puts all 4 paws back on the ground then give him a treat.

You can also use a fairly high barrier or put him in a separate room. This method can help, but it can also bring disadvantages. For example, if your dog tends to bark, it would be better to do the exercises mentioned above. The methods are similar to teaching your dog to stop barking.

If you use a barrier or put him in a room, make sure he is calm before releasing him by asking him to sit. Never force your dog to enter a room or his crate, so as not to create a negative association, which can have negative effects on your dog’s mental health.





How to Deal With Your Dog Who Keeps Jumping Up?



#1 – Don’t Give Up


During exercises, you may find that your dog jumps even higher to get your attention. This is called the “extinction burst” which is a good sign. This means that your dog is doing everything possible to get what he wants. When the extinction burst ends, the jumping will decrease.

If you see your dog getting even more excited by ignoring him, don’t get discouraged, you almost won! It is a mistake often repeated by owners. They will give in and go back to reprimand their dog and give him attention. They tell themselves that ignoring their dog isn’t working, while they just have to keep ignoring him to see the results.

You will need to be armed with patience. By understanding that it is difficult for your dog to control his impulses, you will be more empathetic towards him.



#2 – Be Consistent


It is very important to be consistent with your dog. If you don’t want him to jump, you should NEVER encourage him when he does. Whether it’s playing or teaching him to jump on command, he should never put his paws on you or anyone else. This means that when your dog meets other people, you should not let them encourage the behavior.

If you allow him to jump on you for any reason, you are creating inconsistency. This has a direct impact on his learning and it will be much more difficult, maybe even impossible, to stop your dog from jumping up. The same principle applies to anyone who interacts with your dog.

Some people like their dog to jump on them when they come home, but don’t want him to do it to guests. This way of thinking is contradictory since your dog thinks “If I have the right to jump on my owners, then I can do it on everyone”. With this in mind, if you let your dog act one way with you, he will replicate the behavior with others.



#3 – Pay Attention to Children and Fragile People


Although your dog is friendly, he could hurt a young child or a fragile person unintentionally. Make sure toddlers or guests are safe by preventing contact with your dog. You can put him in a separate room or use the leash technique to have control over his movements.





Why Punishing Your Dog is Not the Right Option?


Punishment is a consequence that results in a decrease in behavior. Unfortunately, some may think that punishing a dog means reprimanding him. On the other hand, punishment can be done in silence, without the use of force or equipment. Thus, there are good and bad ways to use punishment.

By thinking that you have to dominate your dog or show him who is the “alpha”, you force him to obey and to be afraid of the consequence that follows. Using force or confrontational methods, such as yelling, creates an unpredictable dog. This results in an unbalanced, unconfident, and unhappy dog.

Some people will try to talk their dog into stopping him from jumping up, while others will try to push him away. This only excites and encourages your dog to jump more. Even worse, some people will yell or raise a knee to stop their dog from jumping up.

Many people will yell at their dog and think that he must have understood since he stopped jumping up. You might think he’s feeling guilty since he’s looking at you with his puppy dog eyes. Rather, dogs do not feel guilty about their actions. He stops jumping because your reaction scares him, not because he understands that he should not jump.

By lifting one knee to prevent him from jumping up, you can injure him. It is also a form of punishment similar to the electric collar or chocker. He is taught that jumping will hurt him. With these methods, we don’t teach him how to behave. We only teach him to be afraid of the consequences. It also creates a negative impact on the emotional bond between the dog and his owner.





How Do I Stop My Dog From Counter Surfing?


If your dog has already managed to get a bite out of your meal, he’ll try to do it again since it’s self-reinforcing. This means that by jumping on the counter or the table, he managed to reward himself.

Keeping your dog from jumping up on counters involves managing his environment, keeping him occupied, spending his excess energy, and redirecting his attention.

Manage the environment by making sure you don’t leave food lying around.

Redirect his attention with a toy or treat to an appropriate place like his bed. The goal is to show him an alternative behavior to that of jumping. Over time, your dog will understand that he doesn’t have to jump on the counter or the table.

Spend his excess energy by playing with him or taking a long walk before eating. Your dog will be more tempted to listen to you and will have less energy to jump.

Keep him busy when you’re about to eat by giving him something to do. You can give him a bone or a chewing treat, a licking mat, an interactive bowl, or a frozen Kong. These tools will keep your dog occupied for a long time.





Having a Happy Dog is Our Reward!


Training your dog with positive reinforcement is powerful. Your dog will know that by listening to you, the consequence will always be positive. This way of doing things makes your dog want to listen to you rather than avoid a negative consequence.

Always reward your dog’s good behavior with a treat, toy, or petting. This way, you will get a confident dog with predictable behavior. These techniques will allow him to enjoy social interactions and teach him self-control in any situation. Remember that the dog is not there to obey, but to work with us.





Bibliographic sources:

STILWELL, Victoria (2013). «Train Your Dog Positively», Berkeley, Ten Speed Press.




dresseur de chien

Élodie Roy MCP

Dog Obedience Trainer

As a certified dog trainer and cynologist, I offer an approach based on positive reinforcement to help you strengthen the bond with your canine companion. My methods are based on an approach scientifically proven to be the most effective, without the use of coercion, fear or pain. Through my experience, I have put together several important tips to improve your relationship with your dog.

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