Before training your puppy to stop jumping, we need to understand why dogs like to jump in the first place.
It’s mostly high-energy, small to medium-sized breeds that love to jump (Labrador Retriever, Border Collie, etc.) but as
Most dog breeds were bred to perform some kind of work, like hunting or herding sheep. Even today, most of that energy remains in them, especially at a young age. Too much excess energy can definitely a reason for your dog’s jumping.
Puppies get very excited when they are being petted. Human interactions trigger most of that behavior.
They jump so high and greet us in our face because that is where all the fun stuff happens. We speak with our mouths, we move our eyes and dogs want to interact with all those facial expressions.
But how do I stop my puppy from jumping is what you’re asking?
1. Getting Out Excess Energy
As a base for every successful training, you need to get all the excess energy out, especially with puppies. Play a proper game of fetch with your puppy for at least 10 minutes.
I often hear “My puppy just isn’t interested in balls. What should I do?” or some variation of that.
As owners, we have a preconceived notion of how a dog should play but your pup may as well prefer a good ol’ tug-of-war instead of fetching balls. Find out what your dog’s into!
Here are a couple of ideas if your dog is not into games at all or is easily bored.
- Go for a
long morning walk.
- Play some puzzle games which will also tire him out mentally.
- Buy a snuffle mat.
- Try the game hide and seek and either hide a toy or yourself (especially good on rainy days).
Start by getting your dog into a sit-stay position or ask a friend to hold him. Choose an easy hiding spot in the beginning so your dog won’t lose his interest. Then simply call his name and wait for him to find you and reward his win. Over time, you can increase the difficulty.
Be careful to not reinforce unwanted behavior like barking or door scratching.
2. Jumping = No Petting
If your puppy tries to jump up, say a firm but calm “no”. That way, your dog will understand that his behavior is wrong and not appreciated.
But most people stop training there.
For a much better result, show your dog what he should be doing instead of jumping up on people. Command him into a sit or lay down. Start petting him or feed him treats for this behavior.
If he gets too excited and out of the command, simply stop the praises and wait for him to calm down.
You can walk away for a second and ignore the jumping of your puppy. He will make the connection that jumping = no attention. When he is calm again, continue treating him.
Repeat it a couple of times a day over the course of a few weeks and try to be very consistent and patient.
If your dog has a general problem with overexcitement (when greeting strangers, for example) check out this article on how I calmed my overexcited dog.
3. Redirect His Attention
Puppies love to get pet by people, so if your dog jumps on you, he will probably jump on other people too.
Wave a treat in front of his eyes and ask him for a sit. When your puppy is very excited, you will probably have to wait for his attention until the person is far enough away. Trust me, it will get better over time.
Be careful not to treat your dog in the wrong moments which would reinforce the undesired behavior.
At this early stage, try to avoid crowded areas like parks with many dogs and people because you will never get his attention there if you haven’t trained him before.
Ask friends and family members to come over and repeat the process from step 2.
Try to fit little training sessions into your everyday life. When you come home from work and your dog wants to greet you, ignore him for the first few minutes until he settles down.
This will not only help you with the puppy jumping but it will also help prevent separation anxiety in the future.
Bonus: Keeping it Low
Many dogs tend to jump up on you or other people to greet them. You will mostly experience this behavior when coming home.
Jumping is an attention-seeking problem, so the best way to solve it would be to simply ignore the dog and turning away from him until he becomes calmer. Put him into a sit, lay down or stay and only reward him when all four paws are on the ground.
Here is another method that you could try:
- Get a friend over that your dog loves to greet.
- Attach a leash to your dog, get him into a sit, and ask your friend to approach both of you slowly.
- When your friend comes closer, your dog will probably get up like he is used to. When that happens, your friend has to turn away from the dog and retreat.
- Call him into the sit position again and repeat until he stays in a sit.
- Then you can give him permission to greet the person but if he starts jumping, your friend has to walk away again.
What Not to Do
When you are training your dog to not do something there are also a few things that you should be avoiding.
Yelling – Screaming at your dog out of frustration or anger never helps. He will probably get scared which makes the training experience negative for him. If he is barking and you are yelling at him, he doesn’t see this as correction, more as if you are tuning in.
Time-out – Crating or forcing your dog to stay in one corner of the room is a punishment that a dog simply doesn’t understand.
After a dog has done something bad you only have a time window of 3 seconds to correct him but many people give their dog a time-out in the crate (a place that should be associated with something positive).
Once your dog is inside the crate, he has already forgotten what he just did. Also, you never want to associate the crate with punishment. It should be treated as a safe and comfortable place for the puppy in order to crate train him.
Remember: Get out that excess energy!
Hitting – Some owners just kick the dog away if he starts to jump. Physical correction is never appropriate and never understood by the dog. Canines never use pain as punishment and therefore do not understand it. This will only lead to your puppy losing trust and respect.
How did you solve your puppy jumping or do you still have problems with that? Let me know in the comments down below.