How to stop your dog from jumping up (for good this time)

A quick read on how to stop your dog from jumping up to greet you and your guests.

Training is one of the best parts of being a pet parent. It’s a great time to bond with your dog and watch as their character starts to shine. That’s what dog training is all about: making cohabitation between dog and owner as comfortable as possible. And that means teaching a few rules here and there.

Why do I need to train my dog at all?

Because your household will be better off for it, believe us. Training your dog isn’t about turning them into robotic wonder-hounds, they are still 100% themselves but they are learning how to behave in a human environment.

Dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and temperaments, and it’s up to you to figure out where the weaker points are. Maybe they are very furry and need to be kept off certain furniture. Maybe they like to howl through the night and need to be taught that doesn’t make many people very happy.

Or maybe they’re very large and jumping up to greet guests is proving to be a messy and slightly dangerous affair. If that’s the case, you’ve come to the right blog. There are plenty of benefits to training your dog. A polite, well-trained dog is a pleasure to have in the home.

Why do dogs like to jump up?

Do you know  what dogs love more than gravy and chicken? Attention.

Dogs jump up to greet guests because a) they love a good face to face greeting and b) they’re guaranteed attention, whether it’s good or bad. Even if you try to push a dog back down, dogs will only see this as a cool new game to play.

Dogs will always repeat behaviours that earn them rewards – remember this for later for we get into training your dog. Dogs also may jump on unfamiliar people in an effort to try and regain control and assert their dominance on a new member of the pack. Or your dog could just be bored.

If your dog has extra energy or becomes overexcited, he or she might become a jumper.

Related: How to Make Your Dog Stop Barking While You Work from Home

How to stop your dog from jumping up

Greeting with four paws on the floor

You need two people. Put your dog on a leash and ask the other person to approach your      dog. Have treats on hand, and before your helper can reach your dog, scatter several treats on the ground.

While doggo is getting down with the treats, ask your helper to greet the dog by patting him on the head or back. Your helper should stop greeting them before they’ve finished eating. You’re going to have to repeat the above a few times (with patience).

Each time you repeat the process, make the greeting longer. Once you see that your dog is keeping all four paws on the floor, ask your helper to greet your dog without any treats. You can put treats on the ground during the greeting.

The end goal is to have the greeting being perceived as the reward. This will be the outcome once your dog starts to understand all the rules!

Sitting upon greeting

“Sit” is a fundamental cue and should be learned for most situations, not just greeting. The earlier you teach your dog to sit, the easier other training cues will be. Use your dog’s leash to tether them to a leg of secure furniture or to a doorknob.

Stand a few meters away from your dog, as an approaching guest would. Ask your dog to sit. Once they’re seated, slowly walk towards your dog. If they stand up (as they probably will) then head back to your starting point and tell them to sit again. If they stay sitting, gently praise them when you approach them.

Remember to keep it calm as you don’t want them to get over-excited. When they stand, you should also stand and walk back to your starting point. Your dog will soon realise they need to sit to receive your greeting. The more they understand this, the more enthusiastic you can be with your greetings.

You can go back to step one when friends and family come to visit!

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Keeping them calm during training

Training takes time and you may have guests coming in and out during your training phase. While you’re teaching your dog not to jump, you can send them to another location when guests are coming. You can also use a baby gate to section them off and wait until they’ve calmed down.

This one is a pet favourite: keep them calm with treats. You could place some treats away from the entrance, so your dog is distracted. Let your guests know you’re training your dog and run them through your visitor protocol. This could be to not give your dog attention if they do jump and to ignore them if they aren’t responding to your commands.

You’ve got this!

Yours in Not-So-Average Pet Advice,

The Team