Stop a Dog From Jumping When Excited

How to Stop a Dog From Jumping When Excited

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Like many dogs, my dog gets so excited when people visit our home. She wants to be petted, will run around and just be really annoying to everyone. In general, she is definitely not a jumper but her level of excitement can be surreal sometimes.

Every dog will express their excitement in another way. While some might start pacing through the house others will get jumpy and greet people by the face. It may be enough to take out a ball and show it to your dog to trigger his excitement.

But excited jumps won’t usually end there. On walks, your pup might pull to people while constantly jumping up for a pet which is not desirable for many people. My dog gets the most excited when seeing other dogs on the leash. Excitement is definitely not a bad thing but it can evolve into a bad habit pretty quickly.

Where Does That Excitement Come From?

Some dogs naturally get more excited than other dogs. Especially puppies and young dogs are most likely to pull on the leash or jump up on guests. Your dog can’t channel his emotions in those kind of situations which makes him really hyper and jumpy.

But the thing with excitement is, that it’s self-rewarding and you are most likely encouraging the behavior unknowingly. Excitement doesn’t go away by itself and rather builds up over time meaning that your dog will become more and more excited the more his behavior will be rewarded.

You might think that your dog must be the happiest pup during his high arousal moments but a certain amount of excitement can be very stressful for a dog. So working on the excited jumps will not only be beneficial to you but also to your dog.

Why Do Dogs Jump When Excited?

Jumping is a common behavior seen it dogs and it also has a natural root. When looking into canine social behavior, you will recognize that greeting each other mainly happens in the face of another dog.

So greeting strangers or the owners up high is their natural instinct of social interaction. If you are holding something in your hands, curiosity will get your dog to jump and investigate the object. This type of jumping is especially concerning if a baby is being carried around the house.

Working on impulse control and some manners will definitely get rid of that problem. But you will have to brace yourself for many frustration jumps if that was the way your dog has received a treat or toy in the past.

How Am I Encouraging the Jumping?

Depending on how long you have already been accidentally encouraging the behavior, training might take a few days or weeks. The most obvious positive reward would be giving your dog attention while he jumps up on you.

This includes petting your dog when you arrive home or interacting with him in any way. But it doesn’t have to be positiv interaction. Negative attention is also a form of reward. So telling your dog “no, don’t jump” won’t really cut it and might even encourage it in the future.

Think about situations where your dog got something he wanted from you whether that’s attention, pets, toys or treats no matter how small it was. Dogs are fast learners and they will adapt quickly to behaviors that resulted in their desired outcome.

A common form of this can also be found in barking. Nearly every owner has told their dog to shut up at least once. Most will just give in and let the dog into the room or pick them up for a kiss.

Dog’s don’t do anything to annoy us. They just use what has worked for them in the past.

How to Calm an Overly Excited Dog

Firstly, ask yourself if you are contributing to your dog’s excitement. When you are correcting any behavior, how do you do it? If you have to repeatedly shout at your dog, the energy you are projecting on him is a very excited one.

If you want your dog to be calm, you will have to be calm yourself. Corrections have to be precise and don’t need to be shouted. If you yell at a barking dog, he will just start barking louder because he thinks you make noise with him.

All this excitement often evolves from excess energy. If you are not meeting your dog’s daily exercise needs, you will be bombarded with unwanted behavior like destructive chewing or jumping. Make sure to provide your dog with enough physical exercise through walking, playing fetch or running as well as mental stimulation.

Mental exercise gets often overlooked leaving intelligent breeds very unsatisfied. Working the mind really helps in tiring out your dog through scent games or hide and seek. You can read about some fun brain games here.

My alltime favorite brain toys are snuffle mats. I recently purchased the AWOOF Snuffle Mat and my dog loves it. It has endless possibilities for me to hide the treats and she really needs to work it with her nose.

Overexcited Dog on Walks

Having a jumpy dog on a leash can be a pain. This type of leash reactivity is completely self-rewarding especially if your dog was able to reach another dog through pulling and excitement in the past.

I wrote a whole blog post solely about how I managed to calm down my overexcited dog on walks and what mistakes I made. It really comes down to choosing the right gear and restricting any on-leash greetings at least during the training weeks.

It’s definitely not easy to get positive excitement out of a dog but after a few weeks of dedicated training, you will eventually get there. Make sure to stay consistent with the steps and reward every little progress on the way.

Overexcited Dog with Visitors

Dogs jump up on people to greet them in their face because that is where all the action happens. They really connect with our eyes and simply want to interact with us. While this is not a bad thing, most times jumping is annoying and can even become dangerous.

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.

Educate any visitors about your training beforehand so they know how to react appropriately to it. It also helps to train your dog to “settle” when guests arrive. The command settle will teach your dog to lay calm on his spot instead of jumping up on people.

My Dog Gets Too Excited When I Come Home

It’s very common for dogs to go crazy when the owner arrives home. The best way to conquer this behavior is to don’t react to it at all. Showing him that only calm greetings will be rewarded.

Whatever you do, don’t encourage the excitement which means, no eye contact and no attention whatsoever. If your dog jumps up on you simply push him away without talking to him. This way you will show him through body language and energy that his craziness will result in ignorance.

Eventually, your dog will try other things like making a calm sit. Once your dog’s four paws are on the ground, reward him with attention. You will probably have to ignore your dog for a couple of minutes until he has calmed down completely.

When leaving the home again, do not talk to your dog and don’t throw an emotional goodbye. Just grab your things and calmly walk out of the door. This will decrease the amount of excitement when you arrive at home and it will help in preventing separation anxiety.

How is your dog expressing his excitement and what steps did you take to get it under control? Let me know in the comments below.

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