Going home after an exhausting day at work can be all the more exciting when you know you’ll be greeted by an adorable furry friend at the front door. Somehow, seeing them jump up and down eases your stress and worries. Their kisses can be fun and playful but their behavior can be harmful to both of you.
Dogs jump up and down on people as a way of communicating. Sometimes, it’s because they want to play, other times they feel scared. Consistent management and training can help prevent unwanted situations in the future.
Let’s dive into the root cause of this common problem and find out what you can do when your dog jumps when excited.
Why Does My Dog Jump All the Time?
They’re Eager to Greet You.
If we, humans, say hi to each other by waving our hands, our four-legged friends greet nose-to-nose. And since they’re shorter than us, they enjoy showing affection by using their non-existent trampolines to reach our noses!
They Want to Assert Their Dominance.
Dogs can’t communicate verbally, so one way for them to declare their pack ranking was by taking up space as big as possible. Some dogs, especially those who weren’t socialized well, jump on people and animals to scare them off. They usually even growl and try to hold on to you when they’re going ballistic.
They’re Scared or Asking for Something.
Sometimes, their anxiety kicks in and they will turn to you for help by jumping. This is because puppies naturally jump up to their mother and lick their faces to ask for food.
Why Should I Stop My Dog from Jumping When It’s Their Natural Behavior?
It Is Harmful to Both the Dog and the Person.
Some may find this behavior adorable, but a dog jumping on a baby or an elderly person is not cute at all. Well, at the very least, it can be annoying. But it can also cause injuries like scratches and bruises, especially if the person is not steady on their feet.
As for your dog, their muscles may not be able to handle the impact of a jump, especially if they’re still below 12 months old—an age where growth and development are still taking place. This is why most pets still have to take agility classes and conditioning exercises before joining competitions.
It Is a Sign of Poor Socialization.
Dogs with poor social skills aren’t always bad dogs. Sometimes, it is our fault that they can’t properly express themselves. They may tend to respond to unfamiliar experiences by running around, sniffing from corner to corner, and jumping on new friends.
If this applies to you, then you probably need to start sorting out their stress levels by introducing them to new places and training them to control their impulses.
However, there may be times when they continue to jump despite the endless reinforcement. Even though you push them off or raise your voice, they may continue leaping because they think you’re giving them positive attention.
This may be a sign that your dog is disrespecting you or is not listening to you, and it will take proper training and perseverance to build their respect.
What Should I Do If I Catch My Dog Jumping on Me or Someone Else?
When your dog jumps up on you, immediately turn away from them and do not make a sound. Scolding them verbally will only serve as rewarding them with attention.
Cross your arms to avoid further contact. Turn the other way again if they follow your direction and jump back up. Do this until they stop jumping.
If you walk inside the door and they jump up, you can walk back out and repeat the procedure until your dog calms down and stops jumping.
You can toss your pooch a treat as soon as all the paws are kept on the ground, but don’t reward too much or they’ll get all excited and start jumping again.
Confine Them in Another Room
This becomes helpful when jumping becomes a distraction especially when there are many guests. Put your dog in an empty room or the crate when they create such nuance in the house or find a good dog gate to keep them confined.
However, take note that this is the least effective way of teaching your pup to stop jumping when they get excited since it is merely a way of managing a situation. It is not a way to correct the behavior.
Don’t Knee or Leash to Correct
Putting your dog on a leash is as ineffective as confining them in another room. Moreover, improper leash correcting can seriously injure your dog.
Avoid trying to correct your dog’s behavior with dangerous movements like kneeing or pulling hard on the leash. Your dog won’t learn anything and you can cause them harm.
What Are Other Training Tips That Will Stop My Dog from Jumping?
Teach Them To “Sit”
As soon as your dog stops jumping, ask them to sit down. Walk through the door while giving the command. Practicing this several times will result in them eventually sitting when you enter the room without the need to ask anymore.
Reward Them for Good Behavior, but Don’t Punish Them for Bad Behavior
Offer them treats when they keep their paws on the floor and sit. This will encourage them to behave correctly in the future. Then again, don’t give too much or they might activate the springs on their feet again.
In case of disobedience to your command, give them no attention. Don’t punish or even push them off, or they will mistake the gesture for attention and playing. The best way to do so is by simply ignoring your dog.
Involve Your Friends and Family in the Training
Having other people assist you during training sessions is very much recommended, especially those whom your dog loves to play with. It is important to teach your dog to be obedient to your friends and family too, or else they will end up being compliant only for you.
As for strangers, say random people at the park, you can either ask them to stop approaching your dog and say you don’t want your dog to jump, or you can give the person a treat to offer your pet. Tell the random stranger to command them to sit first before approaching.
Be Consistent in Correcting and Training
Your dog will not get it right after the very first session. It’s not their fault, and neither is it yours. Correcting and training take strict and consistent practice before you finally notice any results. All your patience and efforts will be worth it and you will no longer have a dog who jumps when excited.
If you would like further advice on training your dog to stop jumping, you can try this free dog training video course.