all about jumping up

Why does your dog jump up on you or other people?

Despite some beliefs, your dog is not trying to dominate you or make their way to the top of your pack. Instead, your dog finds jumping up to greet you rewarding - it's usually the reaction from people that reinforces this behaviour.  Dogs greet each other by sniffing noses and some dogs want to be close to our face - and it's up to us to teach them that the correct way to greet people is to keep all four paws on the floor!

How can we change this behaviour?

The solution ranges from managing greetings to prevent your dog from jumping up on people through to training your dog to do something different. We want your dog to understand that jumping gets them nothing and having four paws on the floor gets them attention. Decide how much work you want to put into modifying the behaviour and which of the following options will suit you best!

1. Calm Greetings

Ignore your dog 10 minutes after you arrive home and wait until your dog is calm before greeting them. The calmer your dog is when you greet them and the less eventful the greeting, the less likely they are to jump up on you.

2. Manage the Environment

When you know you have visitors arriving or you are meeting people out and about, prevent your dog from jumping by using a leash, baby gates, crate. or a play pen. Wait until your dog is calm before allowing them to greet visitors and keep the energy level low.

3. Don't Reinforce Jumping Up

If your dog jumps up, turn away and ignore them. Many dogs find attention rewarding, even if it's negative. Often people inadvertently reinforce jumping up by patting dogs when they have their paws up on their legs - this response encourages bad habits!

4. Educate

Tell people how you want them to greet your dog - don't let people decide for you! Some options include asking them to greet your dog by kneeling down to their level, turning away when the dog jumps up then turning back to give them attention when they have four paws on the floor, asking them to sit and have the person pat them only when they are sitting, asking the person to toss a toy to redirect the dog's energy away from jumping and walk away from the dog if they are jumping. If your dog is unable to contain their excitement, put them away for a few minutes to calm down then try again

5. Train

At home, teach your dog to go to a Place or Mat when visitors arrive then release them when they are calm to say hello. When you are out and about, teach your dog that to get attention from you or visitors, they need to be sitting

6. take responsibility

It's your responsibility to prevent your dog from jumping on people, even when they say they don't mind.  Be consistent, clear and kind to your dog.  If your efforts fail, apologise and make a note to work on your management and training efforts