Why Dogs Jump Up On People & How To Train Them To Stop

When a new pup is brought into our home, he bonds with us and sees us as his leader. We'll usually clap and call his name, encouraging him to come to us. When he obeys, we celebrate with attention that usually ends with him jumping into our arms or with us picking him up. In this way the pup learns that jumping up is a way to get affection and attention. As he grows up, though, we no longer want him jumping all over us or anyone else.

When considering how to correct problem behaviors like jumping up, you need to consider your individual dog's temperament before deciding on the best method for addressing this unwanted behavior. You should always try the simplest method first.

Stop Him Before it Becomes a Habit

If you can nip the behavior in the bud while he's still a pup, it will be much easier than trying to correct a behavior that's already developed. The simplest method is to teach your pup an incompatible behavior such as "sit". Train him to come and sit on recall. When he comes and sits, praise him lavishly and/or give him a treat. Most young dogs learn quickly with this method.

If it's too late for that, or if your dog jumps at other times such as when greeting guests, at feeding time or when he's about to go for a walk, you can try turning away and ignoring him. When he begins jumping, turn your body away so he can't make contact. Give the "sit" command and then praise him when he complies.

Choke or Pinch Collars

Some trainers use a choke chain or pinch collar that tightens around the dog's neck when you make a correction with a short, sharp yank on the leash. There are issues, however, with using these devices. Some dogs will just pull against them, essentially eliminating the opportunity for effective correction. They have also been known to cause physical damage to the dog’s esophagus and/or spine. Because of these issues, pinch and choke collars have fallen out of favor with most trainers.

Next you'll want to teach your dog not to jump up on others. For this you'll need to enlist a friend or family member to help. Start outdoors with both a flat collar attached to a long lead and the e-collar in place. As your helper approaches, give the sit command and begin tapping on the button until he sits. Do this a few times each session, and do a couple of sessions every day. After a few days, if not before, your dog will learn not to jump up on people.

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