How to train a dog not to jump up at people is a valuable lesson for you and your dog to learn.
Jumping is a common behaviour in dogs, but can be one of the most difficult to correct. Dogs will often jump to greet their human friends. But all that over-excited, in-your-face leaping is poor doggy etiquette.
Even the most devoted and patient dog lovers can get frustrated by a pooch with bad manners. So it’s important to address the behaviour quickly before it becomes an ingrained habit.
But in most cases, we humans are to blame. We often accidentally encourage the behaviour. Which means you need to change YOUR behaviour and the behaviour of others first.
Here are a few simple tips to help you keep those four paws on the ground and teach you how to train your dog not to jump up
Ignore your dog when they jump up
Any attention you give your dog while they’re jumping is rewarding them for that behaviour. Which means they’ll do it again in the future. So do not pet, speak or make eye contact with your dog while they’re jumping.
The next time your dog jumps up on you, turn your back to them. If they face you again and continue, turn your back again. If they don’t stop, say ‘uh oh’ and walk away, closing the door behind you.
You’re teaching your dog that jumping does not get them the attention they crave.
Train an alternative behaviour
If you have visitors coming around, redirect your dog’s attention onto an acceptable behaviour they’ve previously learned.
Be sure to let your guests know you’ll be training your dog before they arrive. When they knock the door, ask your dog for a sit-stay. Open the door, and if your dog starts to move off their spot, close the door on your guests. Your dog should stay in their spot while you greet your visitors. Repeat this step as necessary.
Then to reward your dog, you can train them to ‘say hello’ politely by giving a paw. This is a lovely way to maintain calmness as well as impress your guests!
Reward positive behaviour
Always reward good behaviour at every opportunity. If you’ve turned your back and your dog sits immediately, shower them with praise and a treat.
If your dog sits calmly while your guests arrive, be sure to offer a well-deserved ‘good boy/girl’ and a treat when you release them.
Rewarding positive behaviour at the right time shows your dog exactly what you expect from them.
Keep energy levels low
If you know you’re having visitors around, try to create a sense of calmness before they arrive. Take your dog for a long walk and settle them down in advance. This way they’re less likely to be filled with pent up energy and jump all over your guests.
The key to this training is consistency. We all love a tail-wagging greeting from our pooches after a long day at work. But no matter how tempting it may be to give into the puppy love, stay strong and ignore any jumping.
Teach friends, family and strangers
There is one big problem when training your dog not to jump… You may be teaching one thing, but other people could be inadvertently teaching another. This can give your dog very mixed signals and confuse the process.
You all need to be on the same page to correct the behaviour, even strangers you meet in the dog park. Other dog lovers and their generous treat-giving-ways can quickly undo all your hard work.
If your dog jumps up on a stranger, ask them politely to turn their back on your dog and not give them a treat. Consistency is the only way your dog will learn.
If you’re looking for a new place to practice your training, why not check out our list of the best dog friendly walking routes in the UK.