Training your dog to stop jumping up on people

Jumping up is dogs' way of greeting people. Although this behaviour is completely inoffensive, jumping up on children or seniors can become unsafe. Here are some tips to train your dog to stop jumping up on people.

The basic rule

Dogs tend to repeat behaviours when they trigger rewards, such as your/your visitors' attention.

Therefore, ignoring your pooch's enthusiastic jumps can sometimes be enough to discourage them, as they are no longer rewarded.

But you'll most likely have to teach your dog an alternative greeting behaviour, such as sitting.

Teaching "Sit" to greet

The aim is to teach your dog that when they sit, they get attention. If they jump, they lose it.

Teaching sit at home:

Step a few feet away from your dog and ask them to sit. When they do, slowly get closer.

If they stand up again, immediately turn around. If they maintain their sitting position, congratulate and pet them. As soon as they start sitting up, walk away.

After a few short training sessions, your dog should understand that sitting is the rewarding behaviour. You can then reproduce the same training but with other people.

It can be hard to prevent your dog from jumping up to strangers outside when you've just started teaching them a new behaviour. It can be helpful to carry a squeaky toy with you, which you can use whenever your dog seems ready to jump up to someone.