Jumping Up

Jumping up for attention is cute in puppies, but not in an adult dog. Sadly, we often reinforce this behaviour in puppies so they continue doing it into adulthood. They do it for reward, because they are result motivated – they are closer to your face, get some much wanted attention (even if it’s negative attention) and release their excitement and frustration at wanting to greet you.

1. Ignore

  • When the dog’s feet first leave the ground, quickly turn your back on the dog.
  • As the dog paws at your back or legs, ignore it completely. Do not even look at it. If it circles around in front of you and jumps up again, turn your back again.
  • Continue doing this until the dog chooses sitting, standing still, or even turning to leave. The instant this happens, immediately turn your attention to the dog and praise and pet them.
  • If the attention makes them jump up, start all over again.

2. Stop

  • When your dog jumps up place your open hand against their nose and say down. Dogs noses are sensitive and they don’t like them being touched. Repeating this will cause the dog to eventually stop jumping up.

3. Sit

  • When you are in a situation, like coming home, when your dog would normally jump on you, give the sit command before they jump up. When they sit, reward them for doing so.

The key to this being successful is making sure that no one is inadvertently rewarding bad behaviour. If everyone in the family is keeping it up, but then big brother comes home and has a big jump up and wrestle session at the door, all your hard work is undone.

When people come to the door, have your dog in a different room or tied up at first so that you can control the situation and educate your visitors before they allow him to jump up. When he is out and about on lead and you stop to greet someone, ‘park’ your dog by placing your foot over the lead at a length so they cannot leap up on them.

With a little time and patience, your dog will learn that jumping up isn’t the way to get any attention and that all four paws on the floor is a much better option.