Tired of Your Dog's Jumping? Here's Why He Does It — And How to Change the Behavior

Put a Stop to the Jumping

Traditional training advice has been to knee the dog in the chest or to step on his rear toes when he jumps up. However, this approach is extremely problematic; not only can such physical punishment easily injure the dog, it still rewards him for jumping. Punishment is a form of attention — your dog will continue to jump if you continue to respond to this behavior, even if that response is negative.

A more effective way to put a stop to jumping is to teach your dog an alternative behavior that he can use to greet people. Train him to sit and stay when people come into your home; when he does so, reward him with attention: either praise, petting or treats (or all three). It is also important to remove any type of reward or reinforcement for jumping; if he jumps on you, ignore him and leave the room. He will eventually learn that the best way to get your attention is by doing as you ask.

No matter why your dog jumps up, this type of attention-seeking behavior should be ignored rather than reinforced or rewarded. Instead, teach your dog a set of acceptable behaviors — sitting, lying down, shaking hands — that he can use in place of jumping and reward those behaviors with attention and praise. It's always easier to reward good behavior than it is to fight bad behavior.


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Curb Jumping When Greeting

When a dog jumps to reach your face, he simply wants to connect with you socially. But not everyone appreciates such behavior. Vetstreet training consultant Mikkel Becker teaches you to train your dog to stop jumping when greeting.


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