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How to Help with Jumping

Jumping is a natural dog behavior. They may be trying to say hi or just too excited to contain themselves. This is especially common in young, energetic dogs that may not have had much training. This behavior can be very frustrating and even sometimes painful to live with. The good news is, there are plenty of ways to help your new family member learn better ways to greet people.

What To Do

  • Prevent the behavior. Use baby gates or a leash to contain your dog in situations where you know he is likely to jump.

  • Think about what you would like your dog to do instead of jumping. 4 feet on the floor? Run to grab a toy? Wait on his bed when guests come in the door? Set up training sessions to practice those behaviors.

  • Reward the behavior that you want and make it easy for your dog to succeed. Be prepared with treats and ask him to sit before he jumps. Have a toy ready to throw for him when you walk in the door. Give him lots of calm attention and praise when his feet are on the ground instead of you.

  • When he does jump, do not respond. Turn, or walk away and then immediately find a different behavior to ask him to do instead.

  • Practice! Jumping is fun and your dog has been able to get attention by jumping up. You must make it more rewarding to remain on the ground instead.

  • Consistency is the key to success. Make sure everyone in the household is on board with the training plan and is prepared to reward polite behavior. Be patient and persistent; often the dog has been successful in getting attention by jumping up for quite some time, and it may take him a while to learn that this method no longer works.

What to Avoid

  • Do not use punishment. Scolding, pushing, or kneeing the dog when he jumps tend to make the jumping worse. Remember that your dog is using this behavior to get attention and even negative attention is enough to reward the jumping.

  • Do not allow roughhousing. You want to encourage your dog to respect other people’s space. Instead redirect their energy to playing with toys, puzzles, or going for a run.

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