How can I stop my dog from jumping on people?

Jumping on people is your dog’s way of showing affection and getting attention.  But what may have been cute when your dog was a puppy can be downright annoying when he’s full grown. I’ve had 65-pound Golden Retrievers jump on me and there’s nothing endearing about it.

When training your dog: a good rule to follow is “to ignore inappropriate behavior and praise good behavior.”  Easier said than done, I know.

But next time Fido jumps on you, ignore him.  That’s right.  Turn your back to him, and cross your arms until he stops jumping. When he’s settled down, reward him with ample praise or treats.  It will take several times before he gets the message. But eventually, he’ll learn that  “sitting dogs get more attention than jumping dogs.”

Once he’s mastered the basics, the real challenge will be outdoors. For starters, be armed with plenty of yummies.  When your dog is about to jump on someone, say “sit” in a stern voice and drop a morsel of two on the ground.  It’s pretty hard to scrounge for goodies and jump at the same time.  As soon as his hind end hits the pavement, praise your dog lavishly.

Be patient. Just as your dog became adept at jumping over time, he’s not likely to stop immediately. Practice is essential. Be consistent.  And when strangers excuse your dog for this indiscretion (and they will), politely say that he is in training.  Hang in there.

At the end of the day, having a polite dog will be its own reward.




About Cambridge Canines Pet Sitting Service

I'm a Cambridge resident who has written about feline behavior and body language for WebMD and Catnip, the Tufts Veterinary School newsletter. In a parallel universe, I also write about healthcare and have won awards for news reporting. A passion for animals led me to start my own pet sitting business in 2004. While the information in my posts has been researched, it is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary-related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly.
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