Dog jumping | dog behavior problems

How do I stop my puppy from jumping?

Although it's cute when a small puppy jumps and asks for attention, eventually the same puppy grows into a bigger and stronger dog. Sometimes even stronger than her owner! Most owners have no problem with their puppies jumping up, but eventually, they want to get rid of this habit.

The thing is that by the time the pup reaches almost an adult dog's size, she already has developed a strong habit of jumping up. Also, her owner acted in a manner that allowed her to jump, and now not only the dog but also the owner must change the way they act.

While the dog will most probably feel comfortable with the jumping situation, the owner should be the one initializing the change.

Most dogs jump on people to greet them. Some want to sniff their face, while others simply cannot hold their joy and need to put their excess energy somewhere. It's a way to show affection and cheerfulness, although not everyone likes it.

One shouldn't scold the dog for being too cheerful, as it might cause problems for that dog to react friendly to people. By scolding a dog, you would show her that anyone she meets is causing her discomfort. It would increase stress in your dog.

Instead, show your pup that there's another way to express her cheerfulness and get more attention from the people she meets. Ask others to pat her only when she stands on her four paws. As usually, first comes prevention. It's convenient to hold your dog's collar gently, so she wouldn't get a chance to jump up. When your puppy is already aware that only standing (or sitting) on her four paws leads to attention, you can step by step reduce the pressure on the collar.

Even if your puppy is still very small (or it's a small-sized breed, and even as an adult she won't grow much), make sure to teach her not to jump. Even if you like your dog jumping on you, most people prefer not to be greeted this way. 

When your dog has learned not to jump on other people (and you), it's not a problem to teach her to do this on command, if wanted later. However, we strongly advise teaching your pup not to jump at first and only then encourage her to jump on you if you want that. It's easy to encourage active behavior, such as jumping, and not so easy to encourage calmness.

If your dog struggles and whines, barks, tries to run towards another person, etc., increase the distance from the person she wants to run to. Let her greet other people only when she's calm. However, if you start this practice with a young pup, there shouldn't be any problem with her barking or running towards somebody, as it won't become her habit when she's still young. Most dog training is simple prevention of future problems. 

If your puppy jumps on you and you struggle to keep her down on the ground while using her collar, immediately stop interacting with her when she jumps. The moment she stands on the ground with her four paws, pay her some attention. Be calm and persistent. If waiting doesn't help, go to another room. Your puppy must understand that jumping leads to no attention and even you leaving the room. No puppy wants that!