January 28, 2023

The Ways To Teach Dog Not To Jump On People

The Ways To Teach Dog Not To Jump On People

In most cases, the dog’s jump is our fault. Many dog owners are encouraging them to jump from puppyhood. If your puppy or dog jumping, you touch / reply saying “hello”, you are clearly strengthening and rewarding such undesirable behavior. This is a three-step process might be helpful for training your dog:

1. Avoid ALL Unintentional Reinforcement:  Make sure you are not unintentionally rewarding your dog’s jumping.  What can your dog view are reinforcing?  Petting, talking/greeting/praise, pushing them away (which becomes a game of its own), and grabbing their collar.  These actions are very engaging and reinforcing from your dog’s perspective.  Once all forms of reinforcement are removed from the equation, we can move onto step two.
The Ways To Teach  Dog Not To Jump On People
2. Clearly Teach “Off”:  “Off” is a very important command for all dogs to know.  “Off” tells your dog to take their front two paws which are on either a human or object (such as a counter top) and put them back on the ground.  Remember the phrase, “All four on the floor”.  It’s essential that you clearly teach your dog what this means.  You can NOT simply yell “OFF” and expect your dog to understand…they will NOT.

One way to teach “Off” and prevent jumping is to have your dog on a leash and collar prior to meeting people.  The leash provides positive control.  Without it, you have no recourse to stop their jumping (other than the unintentional reinforcement triggers outlined above).  With the leash on, tell your dog “Off” and guide them off the person/object.  Do so by moving the leash in a backward and downward direction (angled away from the person/item they are jumping on).  Consistently repeating this process every time your dog tries to jump, will clearly teach what “Off” means.  Once a sufficient understanding and pattern of compliance occurs, you can then consider removing the leash.

Teach a Socially Acceptable Way to Greet:  The final step is to teach your dog how to appropriately greet people.  There are many ways to do this, but I tend to teach the dog to “Sit” when meeting people.

In order to do this: Tell your dog to “Sit” prior to meeting someone, then allow petting.  If they start to jump, stop petting, redirect into a “Sit” and then resume petting.  Use the leash to ensure that your dog never makes contact with the person they are jumping on and to assist in redirecting back into the “Sit” position.  Your dog should quickly learn that the act of sitting is what results in the affection they are seeking.  Jumping is no longer being rewarded and is now discouraged.  As a result, sitting should now become their default way of greeting.

As with all aspects of dog training, teaching your dog not to jump requires consistent follow-through.  Every dog is unique, so this is only one possible teaching method.  Determine based on effectiveness and your dog’s response, as to whether this is most appropriate for your dog or other training techniques may be better.  Whichever training approaches you use, ensure that you are consistent in applying them in everyday real-world activities.  This is the secret to creating a reliable response and understanding from your dog.