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How to Stop My Dog from Jumping on People


Spectrum Canine, The Bay Area’s #1 Dog Trainer, Call Now (510) 405-4766

How do you handle a pup who channels its energy and excitement into jumping on people? Do you resign yourself to a lifetime of being bowled over by your pup at the slightest hello? We hope not. How about enrolling your dog in a canine obedience class?

The pros at Spectrum Canine have been training all manner of pups for 10+ years. We’ve seen it all, from the pooch who makes a nuisance of themselves by barking incessantly to the fur ball who lunges when people come to the door – and everything in between.

Our team also knows the techniques you can use to stop your pup from jumping on people. We get it; even if you’re a dog-parenting rockstar, it’s embarrassing to have a pup who’s overly enthusiastic when greeting everyone they encounter. Besides, it’s not always a welcome gesture and might even induce fear in some people. All the same, here are pointers to help them learn to keep all four paws on the ground:

Understand Their Motivation

Jumping on people indicates your pup is seeking attention. When they jump, they are simply trying to get closer so they can give and receive affection. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are being naughty; instead, they’re probably trying to be social and friendly in the way they know best.

Plus, it’s easy to reinforce such behavior unintentionally, as we often laugh it off or pet them when they jump. Or, probably, you’ve tied pushing them away. Did it work? We guess not. Chances are they interpreted such a gesture to mean you were ready for a wrestling match – and they were totally up for it.

The key to putting a stop to such behavior is to get rid of associated rewards. This implies managing them to reduce opportunities to practice negative behavior. While at it, you can teach them an alternative way of behaving around people. So, how do you go about it? Here’re some useful tips to help you get started.

Basic Obedience Training Does the Magic

If your fur buddy hasn’t been to a canine obedience class, they could be missing out on some key lessons. Such classes help create a firm foundation upon which you can use to mold their behavior.

They also provide an excellent tool to start teaching them good manners and the basics of canine etiquette. Plus, obedience training helps them understand what you expect from them while forging positive relationships with people. And once they get the hang of responding to basic commands, you can more easily address their niggling habits, such as jumping on people.

Train an Alternative Behavior

Dogs are intelligent creatures who learn through positive reinforcement. This means they associate a particular behavior with something pleasurable, such as treats or praise. It also explains the importance of rewarding your pup when they exhibit good behavior and providing gentle guidance when they misbehave.

But how do you encourage them not to jump on people and still acknowledge them for it? Simple – you train an alternative behavior. For instance, you can teach them to sit, stay, or wait. It doesn’t matter how you want them to greet people – the goal is to get them to do something else instead of jumping up on people. Here’s how to train them to sit:

  • Find a leash and treats.
  • Stand facing your pup, with the leash looped around their neck or tethered to furniture.
  • Hold a treat in one hand and say “Sit” while positioned away from them.
  • As soon as your pup sits, give the treat and praise them verbally or pet them. If they start to get up, turn or step back and repeat the command. Soon enough, they’ll figure out that if they sit, they get attention and vice versa.
  • Repeat the process until they master the command. Once they learn to associate the word “sit” with your greeting, they’ll know they’re onto something – and a reward is on its way.
  • Move on to other distracting scenarios by practicing at the park or with friends. Follow through with treats and praise when in public.

Consistency is Key

If you train your dog to sit or wait, you must be consistent. Otherwise, they’ll find it hard to understand what you want from them.

So, reward them each time they sit or wait in random places. Also, everyone else in your family should be consistent with the commands and rewards. That way, your pup will know that such behavior is expected from them all the time, no matter who they’re around or where they are. This also implies your canine isn’t free to jump on people sometimes, which can send a mixed signal.

Practice Makes Permanent

It takes time and commitment to train your furry pal not to jump on people. All the same, it’s not uncommon for some pet parents to give up when they don’t get results as fast as they’d expect.

Training pets requires a never-say-die attitude, so don’t rush to get things done. You’re more likely to succeed if you keep practicing with them and remain patient as you provide positive reinforcement.

Don’t give up if they don’t respond to your command immediately; they’ll eventually understand it. Keep at it, and with some practice, you can soon have them greeting people politely and with the right mannerisms.

Give Clear Instructions

When training your pup to stop jumping on people, be clear. If you want them to wait, say “Wait” and use the same word each time you practice.

But if they jump while practicing, don’t get angry or frustrated; simply calmly repeat the instructions until they comply. Also, remember to offer them treats or praise when they nail it (a fact we cannot understate), as this helps create a positive association between their action and reward.

It’s awesome to have a pup who can control their urges and keep all their furry cuteness to themselves. Hopefully, with patience, you’ll soon have your pup shaking paws like a pro. And if you need assistance, our dog trainers are on hand to guide you. Also, consider browsing our website at to learn about our comprehensive training programs.

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Spectrum Canine Dog Training, 

34060 Rowland Dr Fremont CA 94555, 

(510) 629-9498

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