How to stop a dog jumping up to people 

Dog jumping on people

Dogs have their own way of expressing happiness and joy. Swinging their tail, barking enthusiastically, and jumping on people are some examples of this. Nevertheless, the habit of jumping on people can be somehow problematic, especially if your dog does this a lot and if it even jumps on random people on the street when you go for walks. Not everybody loves dogs, and some people might even be afraid of unknown canines, so having a dog jump on them is surely not a pleasant feeling. Moreover, it can be especially dangerous for children, older people or someone with a physical disability.  

In this sense, if you have one of those dogs with the habit of jumping on people to greet them or to express happiness, it’s important that you consider the need to unlearn your dog to jump on people. As we have stated, even though this is not a problem for your dog and it does not evidence a bad behavior, it might be a problem for other people your dog encounters, so it’s definitely something to pay attention to. That’s why in this article we’re going to tell you more about the different things you can do to start to change this habit. 

 

What’s the reason behind this behavior? 

The main reasons that explain dog’s habit of jumping on people have to do with their need for attention. If your dog jumps on people, it’s a way of saying “here I am!”. As we have mentioned above, it’s also a way they have of greeting people and connecting with others. If the jumping is too enthusiastic or excessive, it might also be evidence of overexcitement, overstimulation or anxiety. 

Nevertheless, it’s not only about dogs. People also play their role in this behavior by encouraging it. It’s possible that you or other people don’t do it consciously, but there are some things that people do that make the dog think that jumping on people is an approved behavior, and thus they will continue to do it. If you greet your dog happily and joyfully when it jumps on you, then your dog understands that this is okay.

Moreover, if you push it off, yell or scold it, you are actually also motivating it to keep jumping on people. When dogs get attention, they understand that what they are doing allows them to achieve their aims. So, it doesn’t matter if your reaction towards the behavior is positive or negative. As long as you give your dog your attention, you will be reinforcing this (and any!) habit. 

 

Ignore your dog when jumping happens 

So, the challenging question is: how can you stop your dog from jumping if whatever way you react to this behavior is stimulating it? The answer is simple: don’t react at all! That is, ignore your dog and keep your attention away from it as soon as the jumping starts. 

A good piece of advice to put this into practice is to turn your back to your dog and cross your arms over your chest the minute it jumps. Stay like this until the jumping stops and, when it does stop, then you can turn back towards your dog again. What the dog reads from this reaction is that, if it jumps, it doesn’t get the attention that it’s seeking, so it will eventually stop doing it. 

Another thing that you could do is directly walk away from your dog when it jumps. So, for example, if you arrive home and your dog jumps on you to greet you, go back out again and then come in. This is another way of communicating to your dog that, when it jumps, it doesn’t get what it wants. Also, in this case, your dog will eventually stop jumping.